Home
Spacefest IV - Pasadena, CA, May 8-11, 2014
  Home
|| Tech || Culture || Activities || Resources || Links || Weblogs || Features ||
Site Info
Google
Web
HobbySpace

 



 

 

  
Space Filk, Folk & Country



Julia Ecklar sings Hope Eyrie, written by Leslie Fish (YouTube)

. ...Space Filk*

Filk refers to music inspired by science fiction and fantasy and primarily intended for the fan communities. The music is performed at conventions and there seems to be a special emphasis on having fun with it.

Sci-fi lyrics are often put to familiar tunes and are frequently humorous. Everyone is invited to join in.

The tradition began at science fiction meetings as early as the 1930's. Attendees would gather in the evenings for socializing and singing folk songs. Inevitably, participants could not resist putting sci-fi lyrics to the traditional tunes. When a typo in a magazine article about the practice referred to Filk instead of Folk, a new genre was born.

Note that the genre also includes completely new works with both original music and lyrics.

For more about Filk history & culture, see Kay Shapiro's Filk FAQ, Xenofilkia, and Filk 101 at Filk.com.


Space themes, of course, have frequently been a part of filk music. We list here some space inspired filk songs, with an emphasis on those that deal with near term space travel.

See Maureen O'Brien's Space Filk for a long list of space songs and links to their lyrics.

* Thanks to Eli Goldberg of Prometheus Music for extensive assistance with the filk section

Jim “J.C.” Granger asks the question, "What is filk?":


Filk News and Events

For previous Filk news items, see the archive...

Filk News Sources


Filk Radio

Web radio at Filk.com
Filk.com Web Radio


To Touch the Stars

To Touch the Stars
A Musical Celebration of Space Exploration
Prometheus Music.
See also the entry in Music for Space

  1. Witnesses’ Waltz - mp3 - written by Leslie Fish, sung by Kristoph Klover. - include at Aviation and Space Music - US Centennial of Flight - 2003
  2. Big Blue Sky - written and sung by Stan Clardy
  3. Fire in the Sky - mp3 - written by Jordin Kare (bridge by Kristoph Klover), arranged and sung by Kristoph Klover.
  4. Now's the Time to Touch a Star - written by Mike Penkava, sung by Karl Franzen
  5. Hope Eyrie - mp3 - written by Leslie Fish, sung by Julia Ecklar. Lyrics.
  6. Surprise! - mp3 - written by Leslie Fish, sung by Gunnar Madsen
  7. The Pioneers of Mars - performed by Karen Linsley
  8. If We Had No Moon - written & sung by Christine Lavin
  9. I Want to Go To Mars - performed by The Birdwatchers
  10. Star Fire [Sample at Strange Horizons] lyrics and music © 1981 Cynthia McQuillin, sung by Julia Ecklar
  11. Others Standing By - mp3 - written and sung by Kristoph Klover.
  12. The Challenge - written and sung by Karen Linsley
  13. Dog on the Moon - performed by Garry Novikoff
  14. Queen Isabella, Where Are You - written by Leslie Fish, sung by Kristoph Klover
  15. Beyond the Sky - written by Judy Collins, sung by Margaret Davis
  16. Legends - mp3 - written by Bill Roper, sung by Julia Ecklar.
  17. Dance on the Ceiling - written by Leslie Fish, sung by Gunnar Madsen


Fire in the Sky - written by Jordin Kare
(bridge by Kristoph Klover), arranged and sung by Kristoph Klover.

 

Notes:


NSS "1998 Apollo Award Space Song Writing Contest"

The National Space Society announced a space song writing contest in 1997 to "raise filk songs from obscurity". The songs could be in any style but needed a space inspired theme. In 1998 the following 10 songs (from 28 entries) were selected as the top finishers and Mike Penkava performed the winning entry at the 1998 NSS Conference.
  1. Now's the Time to Touch a Star - Mike Penkava *
  2. Queen Isabella, Where Are You? - Leslie Fish * performed by Kristoph Klover
  3. Big Blue Sky - Stan Clardy *
  4. The Voyagers - Charles Morley
  5. Don't You Know There's Space Out There - Wendy Sayvetz
  6. Frontier Creature - Elaine Walker
  7. Delta Clipper - Leslie Fish
  8. The Battle Hymn for Space - Carol & Erika Johnson
  9. The Next Age Has Begun - Chris Carberry
  10. Come Up! - Claire Stephens

* Included on the To Touch the Stars CD from Prometheus Music


Minus Ten and Counting
Songs of the Space Age
1983 - Off Centaur Publications
Producer Teri Lee, Sound engineer Jeff Rogers
The first anthology of space songs.

Side A

  1. Surprise! - written by Leslie Fish, performed by Leslie Fish, Roy Torley, Julia Ecklar
  2. Mercury-Our First Steps -written by Harold Groot, performed by Ross Douglas, Julia Ecklar
  3. Star Fire - written by Cynthia McQuillin, performed by Julia Ecklar
  4. Toast for Unknown Heroes - written by Leslie Fish, performed by Julia Ecklar, Leslie Fish, Doug Olsen
  5. Memorial - written by Mercedes Lackey/Ewan MacColl/Peggy Seeger, performed by Julia Ecklar. (Ballad of Springhill by Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger used by permission)
  6. The Phoenix -written and performed by Julia Ecklar.
  7. Pioneer's Song - written by Jordin Kare, performed by Julia Ecklar, Leslie Fish
  8. The Ballad of Apollo XIII - written by William Warren Jr/Gordon Lightfoot, performed by Julia Ecklar
  9. Legends - written by Bill Roper, performed by Doug Olsen, Leslie Fish
  10. Apollo Lost - written by Worden/McQuillin, performed by Cynthia McQuillin, Catherine Cook
  11. Hope Eyrie - written by Leslie Fish, arranged by Doug Olsen, performed by Doug Olsen, Sandy Rittenhouse, Ross Douglas, George Spelvin

Side B

  1. Minus Ten and Counting - written by Mercedes Lackey/Leslie Fish, performed by Leslie Fish, Arlin Robins
  2. Fire in the Sky - written by Jordin Kare, performed by Doug Olsen, Julia Ecklar
  3. One Way to Go - written by Diana Gallagher, performed by Julia Ecklar, Arlin Robins, Joey Shoji, Jim Fox-Davis
  4. Fly, Columbia! - written by Diana Gallagher, performed by Leslie Fish, Arlin Robins - [MP3 available currently at Jerry Pournelle's site - Fly Columbia]
  5. Everyman - written by Mary Jean Holmes, sung by Julia Ecklar
  6. The Moon Miners - written by Dianna Gallagher, performed Ross Douglas, Julia Ecklar
  7. Voyager - written Cynthia McQuillin, performed by Cynthia McQuillin, Joey Shoji, Catherine Cook
  8. The Light-Ship - written Leslie Fish, arranged by Catherine Cook, performed by Julia Ecklar, Catherine Cook, Joey Shoji
  9. Planetbound Lovers - written by Diana Gallagher, performed by Julia Ecklar
  10. The Mass Driver Engineer - written by Diana Gallagher, performed by Doug Olsen, Catherine Cook
  11. Sentries - written by Leslie Fish, performed by Julia Ecklar, Joey Shoji
  12. Witnesses' Waltz - written by Leslie Fish, performed by Julia Ecklar, Arlin Robins, Catherine Cook, Gloria Oberste, Jim Fox-Davis, Joey Shoji, Susan Fox-Davis.

Notes:


The Dream is Alive -- Music Of The Space Shuttles
by Joe Ellis
TAPE TA 10002 - Available at Random Factors

  • Enterprise
  • Columbia's Children
  • On The Middeck
  • No Strings Attached
  • The Challenge of Space
  • Dawn of Discovery
  • Atlantis Rising
  • A Vision of Tomorrow
  • Endeavour: Dreamlifter
  • The Dream is Alive: An instrumental suite in 4 movements based on a typical space shuttle mission:
    • 1st Mvt: Dawn Pad 39-A
    • 2nd Mvt: Countdown KSC Control
    • 3rd Mvt: Orbit 320 Km
    • 4th Mvt: Reentry and Landing, Edwards AFB

Fire In The Sky
by Jordin Kare
TAPE JK-01 - Available at Random Factors

  • Blazon
  • All Debts Are Paid
  • Kantrowitz 1972 (HEL Crew's Song)
  • Callahan's Bar
  • Bloody Bastards
  • Sail for Amber
  • The Designer
  • The Engineer
  • Darkness
  • Unified Field Theory
  • Pioneer's Song
  • Wanderer\Fire In The Sky
  • Song of The Bear II
  • Waverider


Space Heroes and Other Fools
Julia Ecklar and Anne Harlan Prather
1983 (OCP-16) - Off Centaur Publications.

Side A

  • Thoughts On Strange Visitors - by Leslie Fish, performed by Julia Ecklar and Anne Prather.
  • Ballad to a Spaceman by Leslie Fish, performed by Julia Ecklar.
  • Helva's Song - written and performed by Anne Prather.
  • Space Hero - by Leslie Fish, performed by Julia Ecklar and Anne Prather
  • Iron Mistress by Leslie Fish, performed by Julia Ecklar.
  • Hero's Lullaby - written and performed by Anne Prather.
  • Hymn to Breaking Strain - lyrics by Rudyard Kipling, music by Leslie Fish, performed by Julia Ecklar and Leslie Fish. .
  • Darkness - by Jordin Kare, performed by Julia Ecklar.

Side B

  • Pushing the Speed of Light - by Jordin Kare
  • Silver - by Julia Ecklar, performed by Julia Ecklar and Leslie Fish
  • Syble's Song - written and performed by Anne Prather.
  • Cold Dreams - by Cynthia McQuillin, performed by Julia Ecklar.
  • Hanrahan's Bar - by Cynthia McQuillin, performed by Julia Ecklar and Anne Prather.
  • Crystal Singer - written and performed by Anne Prather.
  • Homecoming - by Julia Ecklar, performed by Julia Ecklar and Anne Prather.
  • Thoughts of a Homeless Alien - written and performed by Julia Ecklar.

First Contact
by Black Book Band
TAPE DR-10011, CD DR-10011D - Available at Random Factors

  • Monorail to Atomland
  • If I Had a Rocket Launcher
  • Small Designs
  • Lightship Yarrow
  • Lady Be Crazy
  • Madman On the Watchtower
  • Sailplane
  • Comin' Back to Me
  • Moondance
  • Hope Eyrie

More space filk songs and audio files:

  • 2004 Roget de Lisle finalists - sound files for the 2004 Mars Society song contest winners and honorable mentions. Here are some of the entrants with online sites:
    • NASA event in May 2000: "Tina Swindell and the Nite Owls: Tina Swindell, a Marshall employee, and her husband Bill Swindell are singer-songwriters who have written "A Time for Courage," "Thank God Dreams Survive" and "Beyond the Stars." Their music has been embellished with scenes from NASA’s video library, to inspire and honor those who have dedicated their lives to the space program."
    • Lullabye of Mars by S. Miria Jo
  • Rhysling & Me (Requiem for the Magnificent Dream) - Words and Music by Michael Taht - 1993
  • Keep the Dream Alive - 1986, 2003 Stephen Savitzky
  • The Green Hills of Earth by Robert Heinlein, tune by Mark Bernstein
  • Surprise! - mp3 at Prometheus Music - written and performed by Leslie Fish.
  • Maureen O'Brien's Space Filk - list of songs and links to lyrics

 

Children of the Future - Karen Willson

Children of the Future - Karen Willson and Friends
Released in 1978 on cassette tape, it is considered one of the first filk albums available to the general public. Now available as a CD from Filk.com in a third edition with additional songs and tracks.

 


Resources
.

Space Folk...

In the more mainstream folk music community there has been, of course, much less singing about the wonders of space exploration.

A so-called Folk Revival occurred in the late 1950's and early 1960's and was especially popular on college campuses. Musicians like Pete Seeger and the trio Peter, Paul & Mary revived many wonderful traditional songs, while others such as Bob Dylan wrote original music that was heavily influenced by folk music styles.

The Sputnik surprise had a huge affect on American society and so inevitably affected many of the artists in all genres of the time, including those of the Folk Revival.

For example, the space events had a big impact on the Kingston Trio, one of the most popular groups of the revival. They wrote several space related songs.

These Seven Men , for example, pays tribute to the seven Mercury astronauts (included on Time to Think album, Capitol T/ST 2011, December 1963). Other songs include Those Who Are Wise which acclaims those "who gaze at the sky"(on the Sunny Side! album, Capitol T/ST 1935, July 1963) .

John Stewart later in 1969, after leaving the Kingston Trio to pursue a solo career, wrote the song Armstrong (lyrics). It was strongly criticized as a put down of the Apollo landing in that it juxtaposed the mission with poverty on earth. But he said he actually intended it as a positive message that pointed out that all people, regardless of their situation, could share in this great human accomplishment. See more about this in Space Milestones In Song - Space.com - Aug.26.00.

Other folk related space music:

  • Chris Conway - composer/performer who fuses rock, folk, jazz and other styles. Often his compositions are space inspired.

Space Country Western

As with folk music, country music might not come to mind when considering space music but in fact there are many space inspired tunes written and performed by country artists. This was especially so back during the post-Sputnik period, particularly if rockabilly type music is included.

Here are some resources about space inspired country music:

Julia Kay Rhodes Sings REACHING FOR THE MOON at ISDC 2010 Governors Dinner

 

Photo To Space
The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey
XCOR Aerospace
New Space Watch

Nasa Toys and Gifts

The Nerds Coupons
 

 

 
 
 
Home  |  Directory  |  Advertising  |  About  |  Contact  |  Disclaimer
© 1999-2013 HobbySpace, All Rights Reserved.
HobbySpace is a part of Space-H Services.