Hey, you know what’s a great resource for obscure music?

Hey, you know what’s a great resource for obscure music? Shared playlists, especially the kind that multiple people can add to. There’s a hell of a lot of filk and closely filk-adjacent music on this playlist, and it’s growing all the time.

Obligatory disclaimer: this playlist isn’t and can’t be comprehensive, since there’s also a hell of a lot of filk that isn’t on Spotify. Still, here’s almost six hours’ worth of music by an amazing variety of artists, and even if you’re familiar with filk there’s likely to be some you haven’t heard. Enjoy!

is there even a better genre of music than gay space shanty, really

is there even a better genre of music than gay space shanty, really


hey op, you got a playlist?


unfortunately i’ve only got the one, so ​if you have more, then PLEASE share


Thank!! I didn’t have this one. And yeah, I’ve got more, ill pull a list together tomorrow and tag you!


(I realized I’m dumb and can just add them here, I’ll still tag though, jic @lesbianomens​)

A disclaimer: As far as I know, the one you have above is the only explicitly gay filk song with recordings available online. I am 100% sure others exist!! But, I’ve not found them (if anyone has links to more, PLEASE send them my way!) SO, the songs here are ones I’ve got tagged as queer/gay/lgbt in my library, sometimes for textual reasons (Archetype Cafe, It Suits You), sometimes for thematic (noted below), and sometimes just because the #vibes are undeniable.

If there’s an ** next to a song, it’s filk more broadly, not necessarily a space shanty, but the pickins are slim and they’re all good songs. This fall mostly into the sea/space songs sub-genre of shanty (in that they would be sung when the crew is at leisure, not while they’re doing work. hence the lack of a pulling/pushing rhythm for most).

  • We’re Not Friends (The Future Has a Place) by Crime and the Forces of Evil.
  • **It Suits You by Kirby Krackle
  • Signy Mallory by Heather Alexander/Leslie Fish (written by Mercedes Lackey; not explicitly gay, but oh man the Vibes)
  • Somebody Will by Sassafrass (Look, LOOK, this song changed my life. I’m not kidding. It’s all about fighting for a future you may never see, but knowing that someone out there will live that future, again, not explicitly gay, but thematically)
  • **Archetype Cafe by Talis Kimberly (not space, but hella wlw)
  • Long Distance Transmission by @astriiformes​ (No pronouns, a song of longing and wanting someone who’s far away, hopeful and sad all at once)
  • In Flight by @idiopathicsmile​ (written by @soemily, inspired by star wars (Poe Dameron I think specifically?))
  • **I’m Your Moon by Jonothan Colton (technically about a literal moon, spiritually though? about saying fuck societies expectations and being who you are and with who you love)
  • The Seas of Space by Mark Heiman (again, no pronouns, a song about traveling out into the wonders of the vast expanse with your beloved at your side, also about helping each other through the loss of your old home, ultimately hopeful I think)

In the true sea shanty genre there are some obvious gay™ choices that could be easily rerecorded as space shanties (The Handsome Cabin Boy (warning for possible gender dysphoria issues, not sure how to tag/warn past that?), Leave Her Johnny Leave Her (technically the ‘her’ is a ship, but uh, I’ve never heard this sung as if that were the case), and Don’t Forget Your Old Shipmate, to name a few). So, if anyone out there is less tone deaf than me, do us a favor huh? There are even more if we step outside f shanties into traditional folk (which was sung on ships as well) but this post is already long enough.

A minor correction: while that recording of Seas of Space is sung by Mark Heiman, it was originally written by Suzette Haden Elgin.

The only other Gay Space Shanty I can think of is Make it So by Annwn. While the lyrics aren’t *explicitly* set in space, it’s not so subtle Picard/Riker slash.

But yeah, thank you for pointing out that there are tragically few songs in this genre, I now have a document open titled “the gay space shanty project” and am brainstorming trad shanties I can adapt to fix that…

– the brain mod

Playlist: What the Filk?


Folks have been asking me for sort of an introduction playlist to filk music for a little while now, and while I don’t think I’d ever be able to make a perfect primer to introduce people to all the genre has to offer, I figured it was far more doable to make one with a fair amount of variety of my favorites (at least, of the ones I actually have access to recordings of) – with a mix of old classics, new stuff, and some newer covers of songs that have been around for a while – and hope it would stand for itself. Enjoy!


Dawson’s Christian – Vixy & Tony // Come All You Knights  Technical Difficulties // Never Set The Cat On Fire – Frank Hayes // The Traveller –  Julia Ecklar // Few Days – Leslie Fish & The Dehorn Crew // Banshee –  Cheshire Moon // Fire in the Sky – Kristoph Klover // Everybody Hates Elves – Kari Maaren // Cheshire Kitten (We’re All Mad Here) – S. J. Tucker // Neil Armstrong – Cat Faber // Ship of Stone – Leslie Fish // The World They Call Terra – Juliana McCorison // Everyman Julia Ecklar //  Witnesses’ Waltz – Arlin Robins, Catherine Cook, Gloria Oberste, Joey Shoji, and others // I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing?) – Heather Dale // We Are Who We Are – Vixy & Tony // Somebody Will Sassafrass


Would you happen to know/have a link to any sort of ‘filk primer’ playlists or song recs, to send to people who are new to filk?

Nat (brain mod) made a whole “Filk 101″ series on 8tracks!
These have a got a pretty good range of songs, but I’d love to know if anyone else has an “intro to filk” playlist they give people when they’re trying to drag them in, or if there’s a song they consider The Filk Song when they want to give somebody a quick example!

The Spotify Filk Compendium

The Spotify Filk Compendium, a playlist by axons-and-synapses on Spotify →


I’ve kept meaning to post this and forgetting – if anyone’s interested, I’ve put together a playlist of all Filk music I’ve found thus far on Spotify. There’s actually a ton of Filk albums you can listen to for free, and I find new stuff all the time. Feel free to contribute if there’s anything I’ve missed or as new music is added 🙂


mix: there’s a starwind rising

because space is REALLY COOL, YOU GUYS

…I’ve been sitting on this one awhile, and kind of forgot about it, but I figured right now would be a thematically appropriate time to post it. so have a really eclectic assortment of space music, I guess.

  1. Star Trek Original Theme (Alexander Courage)
  2. Space Girl (Peggy Seeger)
  3. Original Doctor Who Theme (Ron Graineramp & Delia Derbyshire)
  4. Starwind Rising (Leslie Fish & The Dehorn Crew)
  5. Starman (David Bowie)
  6. Rocket Man (Elton John)
  7. Hope Eyrie (Julia Ecklar; originally by Leslie Fish)
  8. Battlestar Galactica Original Theme (Stu Phillips)
  9. Medley: Main Title / Rebel Blockade Runner (John Williams)
  10. Flash (Queen)
  11. Babylon 5 Season 1 Theme (Christopher Franke)
  12. Farscape Theme (SubVision)
  13. Space (M.I.A.)
  14. Battlestar Galactica Main Title (UK Version) (Bear McCreary)
  15. The Doctor’s Themes (Aeroferal; original themes by Murray Gold)
  16. Fire in the Sky (Kristoph Klover; orignally by Jordin Kare)
  17. Gravity (Steven Price)
  18. Star Trek Voyager Main Title (Jerry Goldsmith)
  19. Paper Moon (Seanan McGuire)
  20. Somebody Will (Sassafrass)

It’s not all filk, but there’s quite a bit of filk so consider this your BONUS POST for STAR WARS DAY


Filk 101: An Introduction

What is Filk? In lieu of trying to effectively explain it myself, I will shamelessly steal from the guy who literally wrote his thesis on this:

What is filk? Hard question.

Easy answer: the folk music of the science fiction fandom.

Thing is, it doesn’t always sound like folk music, and it’s not even close to all about science fiction. We’ve got singers and rappers, guitarists and accordion players, keyboardists and bodhran-wielders. We’ll take sad songs about space and ballads from the back pages of Mercedes Lackey novels, songs that are strings of innuendo based on Star Trek, songs about gaming, politics, Shakespeare, Kipling, cats, escapism. Songs to the tune of one song, referencing three more songs, making jokes about a sci-fi convention that happened back in the 60’s and speculating about the future of space travel. It’s music fit for Dothraki; it takes what it likes and goes where it will–but it has also become the bardic historian of fandom, and it’s one of the most inclusive and accepting musical traditions of Western civilization. We want you, your three banjo chords, and your truth. And by “truth,” I mean excess emotions about comic books.

On that note, I tried to make a single introductory playlist full of filk classics to educate the uninitiated.

I failed.

The genre is just too diverse to fit on a single mix. So, instead, have four playlists that attempt to introduce this wonderfully weirdass genre. They’re vaguely sorted by theme. I’ve included a mix of old and new filk on each; some “classic” songs that have endured from fandom days of yore, and some more recent music that I think will end up becoming classics for the filkers of the future. 

I’d like to emphasize that these mixes are by no means comprehensive; there’s lots of stuff I wanted to include but just couldn’t fit. I highly encourage people to go explore more after listening.

Here are the sections [full track lists are under a cut, because otherwise this post would be WAY too long]

Unit 1: Parody Everything

Parody is a central theme of filk. There’s a piece of media we like? We make fun of it. There’s a song we like? We make fun of that. There’s a filk song we like? We write yet another filk song to make fun of that.

Unit 2: SPACE!

Filk is obsessed with space travel both fictional and real. Some of the saddest filk songs (referred to as “ose,” derived from the pun “ose, ose, and morose”) are songs set in space. As well as some of the funniest songs. For whatever reason, there are far fewer songs that fall between those categories, so I apologize in advance for any emotional whiplash. I tried my best.

Unit 3: This Is What Happens When You Let Fantasy Novelists Write Music

This tradition began with Mercedes Lackey, who published songs in the backs of many of her novels. A lot of filk is rooted in the fantasy genre, and a bunch of songs are short stories in their own right.

Unit 4: Revenge of the Fairytale Princesses

From the beginning, filk has had a strong feminist bent. One way it manifests is in songs reinterpreting classic female characters or archetypes.

Track lists under the cut…

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