Yeah, Filk!

For space is wide and good friends are too few



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)


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…

Four Stars – Mark Horning

The news has been full of reports lately that 80% of North Americans can no longer see the Milky Way due to light pollution.  Can. not. even. SEE. the. MILKY. WAY!  So, while this is a couple years old, it’s still depressingly on topic:

She grew up in the city. It’s the only life she knows,
Surrounded by glass buildings, and the neon city’s glow.
And the only stars she’s ever seen were on the picture show…

Concert Set from BayCon 2016 – Mark Horning

Concert Set from BayCon 2016

Vocals and Guitar: Mark E. Horning.
Videography: Christine Tillman
Soundboard: Kristoph Klover

Roll On Sojoner © Mark Horning
Modern Myths © Mark Horning
Undiscovered Country © Mark Horning
Dreams of Dragons © Mark Horning
Last © Mark Horning
Bound…no More © Mark Horning
It Doesn’t Matter Anymore © Larry Warner

The theme for the 2016 BayCon was “It’s all about Space”

(since I’ll be updating even more sporadically than usual, how about a whole concert?)

Hope Eyrie – The Trubadors

“Hope Eyrie,” by Leslie Fish, performed by The Trubadors (Ayelet Dekel, Yannai Gonczarowski, and Roni Goren Ben-Zvi) at Yuri’s Night at Campus Tel-Aviv – a “World Space Party” celebrating human achievements in space.

…and I’m honestly so angry I didn’t know about this event earlier, so extra thanks to @nokama for submitting!  It’s held every April 12 (ish) in various locations worldwide.  Including Antarctica, apparently.

Dreams of Dragons – Mark Horning

And who here has never dreamed of dragons?
Who here has never dreamed of stars?
Well we might be dreaming still, but there’s a fire oe’r the hill
And a red Dragon has set her sights on Mars

Something new, inspired by the SpaceX announcement that they were planning to send a Dragon Capsule to Mars, “Dreams of Dragons,” by Mark Horning

I have always thought that it must be a terrible burden to be Eugene Cernan.  Who wants to be known as the LAST man on the moon?

Armstrong and Aldrin, heroes of yore,
Doing something never been done before.
But I would honor,
Cernan and Schmitt,
The very last people to journey that trip.

LAST – Mark Horning

Neil Armstrong – Cat Faber

On the scale of the sky even species must die;
Mortality’s all that is sure.
Generations have gazed up the path that he blazed
Where his footprints beyond us endure.

“Neil Armstrong,” by Cat Faber – written they day after she found out Neil Armstrong had died.

Fire In the Sky – Kristoph Klover

Prometheus they say brought god’s fire down to man
And we’ve caught it, tamed it, trained it since our history began
Now we’re going back to Heaven just to look Him in the eye
And there’s a thunder ‘cross the land and a fire in the sky.

“Fire in the Sky,” by Jordin Kare, performed by Kristoph Klover – for when you want to be REALLY PUMPED ABOUT SPACE but also kind of sad and afraid.

The Undiscovered Country – Mark Horning

“30 years after Challenger, perhaps we ought to contemplate on why we seek new heights.”

“The Undiscovered Country,” by Mark Horning

Impostor – The Doubleclicks

Feels like I’ve held my breath for hours
And I turn on my eyes to find I’m very far away
I take account of all my wheels, my arm, and my tiny drill
After all my training, I will do nothing familiar today

“Impostor,” by The Doubleclicks

I usually put the chorus or something like that in that fancy indented bit, but…that seems spoilery with this.

When I Was a Boy – Steve MacDonald


I found it! I found it! It DOES still exist!

Impossible Dream (space version) – Marc Grossman

A space version of “The Impossible Dream” from The Man of La Mancha at OVFF 30

Thanks to sci-fantasy for identifying the singer (and lyricist) as Marc Grossman (with improvised accordion accompaniment was improvised by Gary Hanak)

Space Ship One – Mark Horning

It’s rare to find a wholly optimistic space song these days, but it seems there’s hope in commercial spaceflight (a filk circle at OVFF last year got derailed for five minutes while a few people excitedly traded the latest developments in the field and nobody complained)

lyrics and chords available in the FilKONtario 24 songbook

Message of Yucca Mountain – crystalandrock


Several weeks ago dog-of-ulthar reblogged this post about the warning message of the nuclear waste facilities at Yucca Mountain. He also tagged it with ‘I need this filked STAT’.

…well, it took me a few weeks to get around to it, but today I wrote some filk! The tune is Cold Iron, because it felt right and also because Kipling. The lyrics are written by me and obviously quoting heavily from the warning message itself. It is also sung by me and recorded on my cellphone, so I apologize for the low quality that comes from both of those things.

Honor is for the hero – tributes for the bold –
But this is not an altar to bear our sacred gold.
This place is a message, hear it if you will:
The danger is below us, and the danger can kill.

We considered ourselves mighty, and we thought ourselves right.
We made what repulsed us, and we hid it out of sight.
This message is a warning about danger that is here:
The danger is below us, and the danger can kill.

The danger has a center we buried deep below,
The danger just increases as towards the core you go.
The danger was in our time and it is present still.
The danger is below us, and the danger can kill.

The form is insubstantial – a release of energy.
The danger is unleashed if you disturb this place physically.
This place is best left shunned, let no one live upon this hill:
The danger is below us, and the danger can kill.
The danger still below us is a danger that can kill.

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