Sunday, August 11, 2013

Those Crazy Alien Friends of Mine

Song bio after the lyrics


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THOSE CRAZY ALIEN FRIENDS OF MINE
=================================
They arrived one night quite secretly
Out of the mist of another time
Walked for miles through the desert sand
And quietly crossed over the borderline
They settled in next door to me and then I heard no word
'Til accidentally on purpose one day I overheard
They spoke in a language foreign to me and seemed bothered by the sun
It's pretty clear they're not from here- they're illegal aliens

Then curiosity
Got the best of me
So one night I went to spy.
One of them cornered me
In the peonies
So I looked him in his eye
(Busted!), I introduced myself
From what I understand
They're from Ceti-Alphaville - a far and distant land
That ain't nowhere 'round here - it's as far as they come!
I knew it! They're illegal aliens!

And every evening by and by
I catch them staring at the sky
And if I ask them why - they just shed a little tear
From that single eye just underneath the ear

I got to know them fairly quickly - they're really very kind
But they'll take in the trash and put out the cat, those alien friends of mine
And nuclear reactors ain't a dime a dozen but they've got a dozen in the garage
Hmmmm....

Then curiosity
Got the best of me
So I asked them to explain
About Astronomy
And Relativity
And why they carry a second brain
We fixed their rocket up
I helped them stock it up
With chocolate, beer and krill
'Cause you can't get food like that in Ceti-Alphaville

And every evening by and by
I catch them staring at the sky
And if I ask them why - they just shed a little tear
From that single eye just underneath the ear

I got to know them fairly quickly - they're really very kind
They opened up and told me they just came here to unwind
And that I'm welcome to come visit if I really wanted to
For a friend of the family it's the least that they could do

Then one day a nosy neighbor with too much time on his hands
Dropped a dime to the I.N.S. and he sped up our summer plans
We had to take off rather quickly amid fear and consternation
Now it's off to outer space for a heavenly vacation
I've never been so far from home, but I'm sure that I'll be fine
With those crazy alien friends of mine

And every evening by and by
They catch me staring at the sky
And if they ask me why - I just shed a little tear
I didn't know the world would look so small from way up here.

Yeah...
I didn't know the world would look so small from way up here.




Notes:

William wrote the core of these lyrics on December 12th, 2001.  For the past twelve years I've been brushing past them without a second glance... or if I did glance, it was accompanied by a snort.

Two days ago that changed, and I don't know why.  I just looked at them and said, "Yes, they're silly, but I'm going to do them anyway.

A few people have told me now that the song sounds like it ends, and then keeps going, and then it ends again, and then keeps going... That's because it does... about five times. I'll explain:


The original lyrics were a lot more ambiguous than these... except for the name "Ceti-Alphaville" and the fact that they had two nuclear reactors, there wasn't much to identify these folks as being space-aliens. They could have been from Mexico.  And even "Ceti-Alphaville" doesn't say much, as I once lived not too far from Jupiter, Florida. The Ceti Alpha part of it was a nod to "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan", but only William knows what possessed him to put a "-ville" on the end of it. The end result sounded a bit "Ray Stevens" to me. The thing is, a Ray Stevens song would resolve the ambiguity into something really ridiculous, and it would be interminably long.


I added the goofiness about the single eye and ear, and the bridge, and turned the INS call into a conflict. Originally they just took off happily on vacation. I was also wrestling a bit about the best way to describe whatever it was they took off in... which conveniently just wasn't mentioned in the original. So I considered all manner of "space-ship"and "flying saucer" until I just said screw it and went with "rocket", both because it's ridiculously unbelievable already, and because I have always loved the fact that Ray Bradbury always used the word "rocket" no matter how far away another planet was. I mean... who cares that it's not really a rocket? You don't actually "dial" a phone, either.  The chocolate, beer, and krill were simply answers my children provided to the question "what foods don't go together?"


NOTE: If I were to record this again I might change "chocolate" to "toothpaste". Aliens.

So I'd add a verse, then realize there was a little more story, then I'd re-arrange a verse, or resurrect some of the original lyrics, then I'd do it again. When all was said and done, I realized that there was a perfect opportunity to re-visit the bridge with the roles reversed. So I did that, and the song ends with the bridge... so it keeps going every time you think it should stop, and the stops on the one occasion where your head says it should keep going.


Yeah... there's probably a rule against that, but I really don't care.


I'm still thinking about doing another version of this, only the aliens are from Canada. Now those are some strange folks. ;)

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