Yehudi Mind Tricks – Benjamin Newman

I was raised in a desert country
Where the sun burns double and it seldom rains,
So we drew our water from the meager trickle
In the narrow places that became our chains.

Then a cry for rescue was heard in the wasteland,
In the plain disguise of a restless stray,
And this revelation at the edge of freedom:
You have to lose your bearings to find your way.

“Yehudi Mind Tricks” by Benjamin Newman, a gorgeous Jewish interpretation of Luke’s narrative in Star Wars.

Chords, lyrics, and mp3 are all available on Ben Newman’s website.

Tiberius Rising – Ookla the Mok

Jimmy always was a restless boy
You could see it in his eyes
There was something wrong when I watched my son
When Jimmy watched the skies
And very often on an Iowa night
I’d see him standing in the yard
I can’t describe how I loved that boy
But Jimmy loved the stars

“Tiberius Rising” by Ookla the Mok. It had to have been rough being Jim Kirk’s mother.

Lyrics available here.

Ship of Stone – Araxie Haldane (originally by Don Simpson)

scribefindegil:

My voice is dying and my fingers are sore, but I’ll leave you with this one. It’s one of those poignant space songs that filk is known for, and it makes me remember the good things about humanity.

Planetfall – Araxie Haldane & Nana Graye

scribefindegil:

Another space filk with a bit of a stealth TAZ flavor. My words to a traditional tune, sung by me and @howtotrainyournana

Lyrics:

Oh planetfall, I long to reach you
Away, across the cosmos
Oh planetfall, I long to reach you
Away, we’re bound away
Chasing hope and starlight.

The darkness comes, but we keep flying
Away, across the cosmos
The darkness comes, but we keep flying
Away, we’re bound away
Chasing hope and starlight.

Our world is gone, there’s no returning
Away, across the cosmos
Our world is gone, there’s no returning
Away, we’re bound away
Chasing hope and starlight.

But we will build a home together
Away, across the cosmos
But we will build a home together
Away, we’re bound away
Chasing hope and starlight.

Roll the Old Shuttle-Ship Along – Araxie Haldane & Nana Graye

scribefindegil:

@howtotrainyournana and I singing a space filk of the traditional sea shanty “Roll The Old Chariot Along,” written by Nana.

Lyrics:

Oh we’ll be alright with the sunbeams in our sails
Oh we’ll be alright with the sunbeams in our sails
Oh we’ll be alright with the sunbeams in our sails
And we’ll all hang on inside

CHORUS:
And we’ll roll the old shuttle-ship along
We’ll roll the old shuttle-ship along
We’ll roll the old shuttle-ship along
And we’ll all hang on inside

Oh another loop around wouldn’t do us any harm
Oh another loop around wouldn’t do us any harm
Oh another loop around wouldn’t do us any harm
And we’ll all hang on inside

CHORUS

Oh we’ll be home-bound with the engine set on full
Oh we’ll be home-bound with the engine set on full
Oh we’ll be home-bound with the engine set on full
And we’ll all hang on inside

CHORUS

Oh a night among the stars is a wonder to behold
Oh a night among the stars is a wonder to behold
Oh a night among the stars is a wonder to behold
And we’ll all hang on inside

CHORUS

Oh the captain and the crew try and keep us all from harm
Oh the captain and the crew try and keep us all from harm
Oh the captain and the crew try and keep us all from harm
– And we all respond in kind

CHORUS

Oh we’ll be star-bound in our souls and in our lives
Oh we’ll be star-bound in our souls and in our lives
Oh we’ll be star-bound in our souls and in our lives
‘Long as stars and souls survive

CHORUS

Paper Moon – Seanan McGuire

“Paper Moon” by Seanan McGuire, performed here by Seanan, S.J. Tucker, Vixy & Tony, and Betsy Tinney.

As Seanan explains before performing, “In a dimension very much like our own, Firefly is still on the air and they’ve made spin offs. And I keep writing theme songs for those spin offs.”

Lyrics are available on Seanan’s website.

Broken Dreams of Uplift – Benjamin Newman

Crawl out of the mud, ongoing but slow
For the path that is easy ain’t the one that lets us grow
Climb the ladder rung by rung and never looking back
On this track we walk alone

Composed after Andy Eigel’s “Uplift”, and may be sung against it (as in this recording).  Lyrics and chords available here.  Words by Ben Newman, to the tune of…you’ll figure it out.

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!