Sung Wherever The Imperial Exploratory Service Buys Liquor

(Very lightly filkificated for somewhat-inebriated Eldraeverse purposes from “Space Shanty“, by The Senate. The vast majority of the words remain theirs.)

Oh, the whiskey is floatin’, won’t stay in me glass –
I’m weightless and spinning and drunk off me ass.
Oh, the whiskey is floatin’ in a sphere o’er me head –
If we don’t hit this window we’ll surely be dead.

So reach for the whiskey, sophs, reach for the stars!
They won’t stop us drinking on old Talentar1
So reach for the whiskey, sophs, reach for the sky!
Ere the vacuum of space sucks the bottles all dry.

Oh, infinite profit awaits us in space –
We’ll seek out and contact with fervor and grace.
New worlds and new sophonts we simply adore –
Let’s party where no-one has partied before.

So reach for the whiskey, sophs, reach for the stars!
They won’t stop us drinking on old Talentar –
So reach for the whiskey, sophs, reach for the sky!
Ere the vacuum of space sucks the bottles all dry.


1. As mentioned before, Talentar produces a lot of grain for the rest of the system. And what else is there where there’s grain and engineers?

Yep.

 

Filk: “Space Uranium Fever”

Ttto and blatantly imitating: “Uranium Fever”, by Elton Britt [1955].

Verse 1

Well I don’t know but I’ve been told
Reactor fuel’s worth more than gold
I sold my hab, bought an OTV
With a smeltin’ stack and refineree-

Chorus

Uranium fever has done and got me down
Uranium fever – it’s spreadin’ all around
With a Geiger counter for spacewalks
I’m a-goin’ out to stake me some orbitin’ rocks
Uranium fever has done and got me down.

Verse 2

Well, I had a talk with the I.G.S.
Bought some charts to the stars they thought were best
Picked out a belt ’round a star of class B
So I laid out my course; loaded up delta-v.
A hundred lights I surely burned
Chasin’ that metal for which I yearned
When three weeks later I braked to meet
That shiny rock that I aimed to deplete.

Chorus

Uranium fever has done and got me down
Uranium fever – it’s spreadin’ all around
With a Geiger counter for spacewalks
I’m a-goin’ out to stake me some orbitin’ rocks
Uranium fever has done and got me down.

Verse 3

Well, I took my Geiger and I opened the lock
Got on my candle and headed to the rock
Set up my bore and started to drill
(As all the space-burned rock-rats will)
I drilled that ‘roid from crust to core
But of ion clicks there were no more
And for all the gas that I spent that day
Not a single core would earn my pay.

Chorus

Uranium fever has done and got me down
Uranium fever – it’s spreadin’ all around
With a Geiger counter for spacewalks
I’m a-goin’ out to stake me some orbitin’ rocks
Uranium fever has done and got me down.

Verse 4

Well, you pack up your kit and you burn again
For another lonesome rock where nobody’s been
You find a spot where there’s clickin’ ore –
And that spot’s been staked seven times before…
Well, I ain’t kiddin’, I ain’t gonna quit
That bug’s done caught me and I’ve been bit
So with a Geiger counter for spacewalks
I’ll keep right on stakin’ them orbitin’ rocks.

Chorus

Uranium fever has done and got me down
Uranium fever – it’s spreadin’ all around
With a Geiger counter for spacewalks
I’m a-goin’ out to stake me some orbitin’ rocks
Uranium fever has done and got me down.

 

Goin’ Up To Minmus (Filk)

(This has absolutely nothing to do with my writing, and everything to do with the fact that I play far too much Kerbal Space Program, and am ridiculously susceptible to earworms.

And maybe writing it down will at least help with the latter.)

The Minmus Colonial Anthem
(ttto: the South Park theme music)

Jebediah Kerman:

We’re going up to Minmus,
Gonna have ourselves a time.

Bill Kerman:

Kethane drilling everywhere,
Shuttlecraft from every station.

Jebediah Kerman:

Going up to Minmus,
Gonna leave my woes behind.

Bob Kerman:

Parking orbits day and night,
Asteroids without rotation.

Jebediah Kerman:

Headin’ on up to Minmus,
Gonna see if I can’t unwind.

Gene & Wernher von Kerman

[couplet in Kerbalish]

Jebediah Kerman:

So come on up to Minmus
And help us build a mine!

[rocket-thrust sound]

Trope-a-Day: Future Music

Future Music: While the Empire has been around for a very, very long time and as such has accumulated far more musical genres that I can reasonably describe, here are some notable ones – with staying power – in Imperial space:

Digital: This isn’t a parallel to our electronic music; it’s the native music of AIs and other digital sapiences.  To most biosapient ears it sounds like a hideously cacophonic mixture of modem noise with a bank of packet sniffers all set for audio output, but that’s just because we don’t have the right ears to hear it properly.

There’s also a biosapient offshoot using theremin-like instruments which pull their input data from sampling the player’s neural activity, which makes it vitally important to pick your musicians’ emotional-conceptual phase spaces (“we need an ecstatic, a melancholic, and two tranquillaries to play this quarto”) to match the pieces you intend to perform.

Drinkin’ Music: (Yes, the actual word translates literally as “drinkin’ music”.)  While this particular subgenre probably sounds most like Irish pub songs, from an Earth perspective, some of its best-known works are virtually impossible to perform when sober.

Emergent: A heavily improvisational musical school, and also the most danceable of the notable genres, “emergent” would sound to the Terran ear as something like a jazz-swing hybrid.  It occupies the Empire’s “mainstream popular music” niche.

Fightin’ Music: (Yes, this one does too.) Heavy on the trumpets, bagpipes, percussion, and bombast.  Really serious works in the genre include unconventional percussion instruments like spears-on-shields (after all, much of it was written to be performed on the battlefield), and modern examples may add firearms and small artillery pieces, and in one memorable example, the main armament of a Bellicose-class assault cruiser.  (The Ethring Nautical Symphony actually owns one, surplussed out of the Capital Fleet; the piece in question is remarkably popular during the Armament Day celebrations.)

The combination of the drinkin’ and fightin’ music genres is… best left unmentioned.

Filk: Well, speculative fiction is one of their major literary genres, so what would you expect?  (An outgrowth of Traditional, which see.)

Metatonal: The music of the augmented, metatonal makes use of elements, in audible range, timing, and differentiation between notes, that are impossible for the unaugmented ear to hear.  Or music that is targeted at an audience of two species at three different pitch ranges, of which only the middle one is audible to both.  Or – well, the more complexity you can cram into the music, and the more people you can please with the result despite their different perceptions, the closer you come to the real spirit of metatonalism, so they say.

Opera: While stylistically and dramatically similar to opera as we know it, Eldraeic opera includes elements of ballet, and is – in its higher forms – notorious for particularly involuted plots and extraordinary numbers of layers of symbolism.  It’s also often performed in archaic languages, or archaic dialects, at least.  In short: while still widely enjoyed, this is where Imperial high culture reaches its apotheosis.

Traditional: An outgrowth of the historical bardic tradition, this occupies what is effectively the “classical” music niche.  While there is considerable variety within the genre, the typical examples are relatively lengthy ballads or similar works, with relatively subtle instrumental accompaniment.  While not always presented, most also come with some form of visual accompaniment.

We Possess, So It Seems, One Of Man’s Greatest Dreams: Author’s Notes

For those who didn’t catch the reference in the title of that last fic-a-day, the reference was to the chorus of the filk piece Home on Lagrange (The L5 Song), copyright 1978 by William S. Higgins and Barry D. Gehm.

The lyrics are as follows:

Oh, give me a locus where the gravitons focus
Where the three-body problem is solved,
Where the microwaves play down at three degrees K,
And the cold virus never evolved.

CHORUS:

Home, home on LaGrange,
Where the space debris always collects,
We possess, so it seems, two of Man’s greatest dreams:
Solar power and zero-gee sex.

We eat algae pie, our vacuum is high,
Our ball bearings are perfectly round.
Our horizon is curved, our warheads are MIRVed,
And a kilogram weighs half a pound.

(chorus)

If we run out of space for our burgeoning race
No more Lebensraum left for the Mensch
When we’re ready to start, we can take Mars apart,
If we just find a big enough wrench.

(chorus)

I’m sick of this place, it’s just McDonald’s in space,
And living up here is a bore.
Tell the shiggies, “Don’t cry,” they can kiss me goodbye
‘Cause I’m moving next week to L4!

(chorus)