Musical Piracy

      What’s a bored second-grader to do early in the morning before heading off to school? Write a story that becomes a podcast and then a track on an album, of course.

       At least that’s how the story goes behind the song What the World Was Called Before Us, the creation of Windsor Farm Elementary student Liam Heist.

      Heist, 8, and his family — brother Adam, mom Kristen and father Matt — are big fans of podcasts. One of their favorites is called Story Pirates.

      Story Pirates are not your typical swashbuckling villains. Instead of stealing treasure, they steal the ideas of children to turn into hilarious sketch comedy performances. Well, it’s not really stealing. More like borrowing.

       Liam’s mom Kristen was just fine with Story Pirates plundering her son’s imagination. “We listen to it all the time and it’s really funny,” she said. “They take all the stories kids send in and turn them into comedy. I was always encouraging both our sons to send something in.”

       One morning, says Kristen, “Liam shoved something in my face before school. He had just written a story for the podcast.”

      Nervous at first to let his mom send it in, Liam was later thrilled to learn that his story was chosen — not just for the podcast, but for an album of songs created from stories.

      The 12 songs on the album Nothing is Impossible were all inspired by actual stories created by imaginative kids. The digital-only album features songs that originally aired on the Story Pirates podcast and are performed by a cast of actors and musicians. The troupe travels often to schools around the nation to perform live.

      Liam’s song poses the question of what the world was called before us. Was it weasel, cow or dolphin? Or something else entirely?

       “I had nothing to do, so I wrote a story,” Liam said of his inspiration.

       “I like stories,” says Liam, a boy quite unaccustomed to press interviews. “I also like the books The Terrible Two and Magic Tree House.”

      The littlest Heist hasn’t let his newfound fame go to his head. He thinks his story turned out “pretty good,” and he still likes math and dislikes guided reading.  Good luck, pirates, on making a song out of that.