Dawson’s Christian – Vixy & Tony

There are stories of the Dutchman, the Celeste and Barnham’s Pride
There are stories of the Horseman and the Lady at his side
But the tale that makes my blood run cold, the more because it’s true
Is the tale of Jayme Dawson and his crew
Yes, the tale of Dawson’s Christian and her crew

A newer recording of one of my favorite classic filk songs, “Dawson’s Christian,” a space opera ghost story, originally Duane Elms.

Autonomous – Marshall Burns

This song was written by Marshall Burns (and animated here by Sunny Adams) for the novel Autonomous by Annalee Newitz, and she wrote a really good post about the genre she’s calling “Canadian prairie futurism” and how it relates to traditional music.  I’m just gonna copypaste a chunk of it here because it’s such a good explanation of a huge part of the filk ethos:

Two summers ago, when I was finishing the first draft of my novel Autonomous, I watched Marshall play and thought about the future. Back then he was at Leopold’s Tavern, and I’d come to the crowded bar with a bunch of family after a long dinner full of conversations about politics and art. This is the sort of thing we might do more often if there were an apocalypse, I mused. We’d gather in some communal shelter, after a day of hunting and gathering in the trashed wastes. Then somebody from our family would start to sing. We’d raise our voices too, to take our minds off the famine and plague and wildfires.

But it’s also the exact kind of thing we’d do in a Utopian future. Imagine us surrounded by carbon-neutral farms whose plants are monitored by sensors and satellites. Our brains would be crackling with ideas, thanks to government-funded science education. After a productive day in the fields and the labs, we’d gather at the co-op watering hole and sing our brains out in agrarian socialist solidarity. We’d all sound great too, because we’d have optimized our vocal chords with open source biotissue mods.

Maybe it sounds a little strange to say that Marshall’s old-fashioned songs gave me these vivid, contradictory images of the future. But I see the future clearly in these anachronistic moments. If we can still hear traditional prairie music in a modern city bar, then it’s a kind of guarantee that people of the future will still be listening to us. As Marshall sang, I could imagine distorted bits of my own culture still alive in a world utterly transformed by time’s passage.

And besides all that, enjoy a song about sad robots!

Helva’s Song – Cecilia Eng

And the stars still dance the spiral dance
And the planets circle far
But the ship who sang will sing no more
Between the distant stars

“Helva’s Song,” by Cecilia Eng, performed by Cecilia Eng and Ernie Mansfield, based on “The Ship Who Sang,” a short story by Anne McCaffrey

Hold the Line – Terence Chua

Hold the line – don’t retreat and don’t surrender
Hold the line – though around you others fall
We will give our last full measure
May the fates all treat us kind
So hold the line, my boys, just hold the line

“Holy the Line,” by Terence Chua, a war song applicable to real life or to a dozen sci-fi and fantasy universes, as ones’ predilections direct.

Lyrics/Download

The Lady – Urban Tapestry

But the Lady is faithful, she rides the bright sea
Her bowing is graceful, full of dignity
She speeds ‘cross the water, the wind at her back
And the crew hopes she’ll carry them home

“The Lady,” by Urban Tapestry (Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Allison Durno, and Jodi Krangle)  plus Tom Jeffers on bass, Dave Clement on lead guitar, and Kylea Fulton on pennywhistle

An immigration song…about vampires.

Ballade of the Blue Rose – Clarsa McElhaney

"I know the secret longings hidden deep within the songs you sing,

     "and though I've never loved I must now for the sake of the rising Spring.

"I will fulfill your secret dream from now until the next sunrise

     "if you'll consent to let me have, the fire, from your eyes."

If there’s one thing filkers can’t seem to get enough of, besides puns, it’s weird and ominous songs about musicians.  “Ballade of the Blue Rose,” by Coral de Chauncey (Wendy Murphy) and Brad of Cambria (Brad Banyan), sung by Clarsa McElhaney.  Lyrics and chords available here.

Filksong Genealogy: By the Time I Get To…

 

Yesterday I journeyed for half a million miles.
Now I’m stacked up on an aircraft’s back.
This last part takes a while.

“Phoenix,” by Julia Eckar (lyrics), is a heartwrenching song about a futuristic space ship with a soul.  “By the Time I Get To…”, by Bob Kanefsky (lyrics), is one of those rare parodies that’s almost as poignant as the original song, this time about very realistic spaceflight, and picking up the pieces after re-entry.

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

 

The Ballad of Raven’s Roost – Araxie Haldane

scribefindegil:

In-universe ballad about the rebellion of Raven’s Roost. Companion piece for my fanfic “The Ballad of Raven’s Roost,” available here on tumblr and here on ao3.

(Download from Bandcamp)

Tune: Rosin the Bow (traditional)
Lyrics (below the cut): scribefindegil/Araxie Haldane

Keep reading

Legacy of Legends – Mark Horning

“Legacy of Legends,” by Mark Horning, written in memorial for Gene Cernan who passed away on Monday 16 January, 2017.  The last man on the moon is with us no more.

Another year goes by,
Another hero fades away.
Another Living Legend,
From a brighter future day…
–When hope rose up on flaming wing
–And dreams were forged of steel
–And the men who strode the heavens
–Were very, very, real…

The Collars – Escape Key

And the tales of our creations never change with what we tell
How we dream of something better than ourselves

“The Collars,” by Escape Key.  “We all want a better life for our children” gets tricky when your child is an illegally constructed artificial intelligence.  Based on a short story by Matthew Dockrey, the singer’s husband, but the song stands alone well.

Wait for the Sun to Be Born – Ben Newman

Dark and cold, dark and cold
The Sun he has perished as ever of old,
And here in the darkness that never knows morn,
We wait for the sun to be born.

“Wait for the Sun to Be Born,” by Ben Newman, downloaded from his website, with lyrics and chords available here.