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Stanny’s Song. New Video!

Bark exclusive: World web premiere of “Half-Breed Stan”
By Lisa Wogan, August 2009, Updated June 2021

[Editor's note: We originally debuted the audio track of Bill DeMain’s song, “Half-Breed Stan,” on our website back in January—see details from the original below. Now, we’re thrilled to share the video for the song, which features a cameo by Stan the Dog--at the bottom of the post. Enjoy.]


When it comes to writing about dog songs, Bark’s go-to guy is Nashville-based guitarist-singer-songwriter Bill DeMain, one-half of the alt-pop duo Swan Dive. Well, it appears DeMain’s journalistic forays into the world of Pup Pop kick-started his own contribution to the catalog, and, for the moment, is the only place you can hear—fresh from the mixing room—“Half Breed Stan.”



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A track on Mayfair, Swan Dive’s forthcoming album, “Half Breed Stan” was inspired by the real-life Stan, a half-Beagle/half-Basset Hound adopted by DeMain’s friend (and the song’s co-writer and back-up vocalist) David Mead. Mead found Stan at a Nashville rescue center about six years ago. “He’s stoic and even-keeled in his temperament, hence the comparison to Winston Churchill,” DeMain says. He’s also quite the ladies’ man.

DeMain met Stan last summer, when we was working on Mead’s album, Almost & Always. While in the studio, the pair decided one song, “Last Train Home,” needed a thumping drum sound. “But we had decided at the outset that the album was not going to have drums. So David got the idea to pat on Stan’s tummy, record it and make a rhythmic loop out of it. And that’s what you hear on the song. Stan’s body has a very resonant tone,” DeMain says. “Stan was very matter of fact about the whole thing, looking at David like, ‘I trust that there’s a meal at the end of this charade.’” (You can hear Stan’s belly beat on “Last Train Home” at NPR’s Song Of The Day. It will also be featured on an upcoming episode of Private Practice.)

“Half Breed Stan” has its fair share of unusual percussion as well. In addition to a ukulele, the backing track features a cardboard box, plastic garbage can, and an array of pots and pans from Dansk and Ikea.

By the way, DeMain’s favorite dog tune is “Me And My Arrow” by Harry Nilsson. 


Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of several books including Dog Park Wisdom.