The Loneliest Robot

Hi. How are you? I’m good thanks – and thanks for asking. I suppose you’re wondering why I’ve brought you here today. Well, I done wrote a song. It’s about robots and space and that. I hope you like it.

Lyrics

Do you remember how we said goodbye?
The songs you made. Fanfares. Parades.
The tears that pricked your eyes
The sky was blue and infinite the day
We went our separate ways

Soaring past the outer atmosphere
Carrying your hopes and dreams
And secretly your fears
I hurtled up into the void beyond
The world that where we belong

Now I’m the loneliest robot this side of the sun
And I’m just sending out signals – hoping they’ll get to someone
But the skies have long since fallen into quiet
I hope that you’re alright
Cos I’d really like to see you once again
You who that gave me life and chose my name
I hope that you’re OK?

Now the sun’s a pinprick in the sky
Dusty pinks, in shrouded hues
The years go ticking by
Sending out my messages each day
I wonder what they say

Finally, the light is fading now
The final backup drawing near
I’ll cross the line somehow
And wait forever underneath the dust
Like we always knew I must

Now I’m the loneliest robot this side of the sun
And I’m just sending out signals – hoping they’ll get to someone
But the skies have long since fallen into quiet
I hope that you’re alright

But the loneliest robot wasn’t done. As the years passed in their slow, cosmic majesty, and the stars crossed the heavens in the long alien nights, the loneliest robot gathered her strength, thinking about the fragile blue-green globe that hung out there somewhere in the velvet black void. And every day, the loneliest robot grew a little bit stronger, feeding from the cold rays of the distant sun, until she was ready… ready to go home…

Thoughts

Chords are back in vogue, it seems. A slightly random comment, you might think, but while looking back through songs I’ve written and never recorded, a common theme is that they were rejected by my then-bassist for having ‘too many chords.’

While I miss the band every day, that’s one thing I don’t miss. And after working solo for a few years now I’m fully back in love with chords and melodies rather than trying to keep it simple and cool.

Anyway, that digression brings me to the construction of this number – which has finally arrived in a mostly finished form after a few weeks of relatively painstaking work.

The inspiration came (in case it isn’t obvious) with the news that the Mars Rover had finally powered down after 9 years pottering about on the surface of the titular planet. The robot has been carefully anthropormophised by NASA and the media – persumably to try and rekindle some enthusiasm for space exploration, which has faded somewhat over the years. It is now fully 50 years since we went to the moon and that is still arguably the apogee of humanity’s acheivement – and one we show no sign of matching.

Anyway, I was suckered a little by the idea of the robot having a personality and began noodling a tune. I tried approximately 4,500 variations of the verse melody before settling on the one you hear here – which I thing has a certain plaintive prettiness to it. I’m certainly quietly pleased with it.

There’s also a few bits of modulation here and there. Ostensibly in A major, it has trips to G major, A minor and F here and there – and finishes with… a key change! It’s the part of the song where I will get off my stool while singing it at the Dog and Hammer open mic.

I’ve ornamented it with a pretty mobile bassline, some frankly horrible piano playing and crowded with sound effects to try to convey a space-y atmosphere.

Finally, this song isn’t actually finished as yet. You’ll notice it fades out after the spoken word section (delivered by my daughter) and a sort of electronica passage. This will eventually be a bridge to a concluding verse, for the song is a story in three parts:

  1. The launch, experience, loneliness and eventual closing down of the Loneliest Robot
  2. The Loneliest Robot coming back to life to visit Earth
  3. The Loneliest Robot arriving back on Earth to find out that humanity has killed all life on the planet with its grotesque stupidity

I do have the final piece written, but pulling this altogether has exhausted me, so I’m having a few days off.

I’m rambling. This is as close as I’ll ever get to prog. And now I need a wee, so I’m finishing here. Bye.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *