I am a bit of a music geek. I am a music theory geek, a band geek, and a classic rock geek. Therefore, I love the intersection of music and my other geeky interests, such as science fiction. I am especially amused when those two things intersect unexpectedly. Every so often it will happen, that I listen to a song, a typical song, one you would hear on the radio, and realize how much science fiction is actually in it. This is not uncommon as many musicians were inspired by scifi including Jimi Hendrix. Another favorite of mine, Savage Garden, took its name from a phrase in one of the Vampire Chronicles (Memnoch, the Devil, for those who care).
So, I made this list. I limited myself to mostly well-known artists and songs, and only one song per artist. As much as I love Jonathan Coulton and They Might Be Giants, when geeks write music about scifi, it’s apropros, but when rock musicians do it, it’s pretty cool! I’m not going to try and explain these since I didn’t write them and really, I don’t know the meanings behind them, so I just put the lyrics that I think illustrate my point the best. In no particular order, on with the list!
1. In the Year 2525 by Zager and Evans (this was a one-hit wonder that our Mothership played often)
“In the year 3535, Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie. Everything you think, do, and say is in the pill you took today”
2. Come Sail Away by Styx
“I thought that they were angels, but to my surprise we climbed aboard their starship, we headed for the skies”
3. Space Oddity by David Bowie
“Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles, I’m feeling very still and I think my spaceship knows which way to go. Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows”
4. Clones (We’re all) by Alice Cooper
“Six is having problems adjusting to his clone status. Have to put him on a shelf”
5. Rocket Man by Elton John
“Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact, it’s cold as hell, and there’s no one there to raise them if you did. And all this science I don’t understand. It’s just my job five days a week, a rocket man.”
6. Zombie Jamboree by Harry Belafonte
“It was a zombie jamboree. Took place in the New York cemetery”
7. Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen
“I’m burning through the skies Yeah! Two hundred degrees, that’s why they call me Mister Fahrenheit. I’m trav’ling at the speed of light. I wanna make a supersonic man of you “
8. Back in Time by Huey Lewis and the News
“Tell me, doctor, where are we going this time? Is this the fifties? Or nineteen-ninety-nine?”
9. Zak and Sara by Ben Folds
“Often Sara would have spells where she lost time. She saw the future, she heard voices from inside”
10. Third Stone From the Sun by Jimi Hendrix
“Starfleet to scoutship, please give your position, Over. I’m in orbit around the third planet from the star called
Isn’t that fun! Now, when you hear these, you can smile and think about the science fiction bits, and no one else will know why you are smiling funny. Do you know of any others?