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Filking is a long time fannish tradition. It exists in both science fiction and media fandom, but its roots are deepest in sci-fi fandom.

Here are excerpts from a book of filk lyrics I found in Stacy’s Doyle’s collection last week. The book is called the NESFA Hymnal.

****************************************************

(first up a song about the sadness of waiting for elevators at fan conventions. in the days before smartphones and hotel wifi, someone had to write one to pass the time while waiting.)

THE ELEVATOR SONG ( set to the Beatles song “Yesterday”)

Yesterday, I’ve been waiting here since yesterday.
Now it looks as though I’m here to stay.
Oh, all my plans have gone astray.
And just then, he went past me and went….

Bill Mallardi, Suzanne Tompkins, Jerry Kaufman, and Linda Bushyager
Copyright 1968

***************************************************

(how about a Star Trek themed filk song?)

THE FIRST DAYS OF OUR MISSION (set to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)

On the first day of our mission
The writers gave to me:

A transporter malfunction,
Klingons on the bridge,
Harcourt Fenton Mudd,
Ten million tribbles,
Several lovely yeomen,
A nurse to love the Vulcan,
A smart-assed Russian ensign,
A sword-wielding helmsman…..

Uhura fair,
A Scottish engineer,
An acid-witted doctor,
A Vulcan pointy-eared,
And a starship to roam the galaxy.”

(uncredited)

*************************************************************

(a filk song finally giving the bad guys of the Tolkien universe some air time)

GIVE MY REGARDS TO ORTHANC (set to “Give My Regards To Broadway”)
Give my regards to Orthanc;
Remember me to Barad-Dur.
Tell all the boys from old Nan-Curunir
That I’ll be there for sure.

Whisper of how I’m yearning

To mingle with the Morgul throng.

Give my regards to Shelob’s lair,

And tell her I’ll be there ere long.”

(uncredited)

******************************************************

(and how about those Ents? Catchy tune, eh?)

THE ENTS’ MARCHING SONG (sung to “The Ants’ Marching Song)

The Ents go marching one by one, Hurrah, Hurrah!
The Ents go marching one by one, Hurrah, Hurrah!
The Ents go marching one by one,
To get their chlorophyll into the sun.


CHORUS:The Ents go marching
Round and round and into the ground
And out in the rain and in again.
The Ents go marching two by two, Hurrah, Hurrah!
The Ents go marching two by two, Hurrah, Hurrah!
The Ents go marching two by two!
Does a marching tree wear a wooden shoe?

(Jim Landau and Sherna Comerford)

*********************************************************

(nothing changes much in space)

DRUNKEN SPACEMAN (sung to “(What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?”)

What shall we do with a drunken spaceman?
What shall we do with a drunken spaceman?
What shall we do with a drunken spaceman?
Light years out from Terra.

CHORUS: Hooray, and off she blasts,
Hooray, and off she blasts,
Hooray, and off she blasts,
Light years out from Terra.


Put him in the airlock till he’s sober…
Drop him on an asteroid till he’s sober…
Put him through a space warp till he’s sober…
Throw him in the algae till he’s sober…
Put him in the reaction chamber…
Zap him with a phaser till he’s sober…
Dump him on a comsat till he’s sober…
Hang him on a skyhook till he’s sober…
Leave him in his spacesuit till he’s sober…
Haul him by the legs with a running spaceline…
Leave him out in a Martian sandstorm…
Leave him all day in a Lunar crater…
Boost him into orbit till he’s sober…
Abandon him on a planetoid…

Further verses can be improvised until the singer’s pain threshold
is reached, or the listeners stone him to death.

(uncredited)

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