Space Is Dark

Lyrics and Music ©1978 by Bill Roper

Now here's a cheerful little ditty! I wrote this right after "One Last Battle", when I realized that there was a chance that I could write serious songs, even if I was unable to write the funny stuff. And if fighting an interstellar war where the protagonist might not survive was good, then a space mission that turns out so badly that the entire crew commits suicide should be even better!

Folks seemed to agree. This was a very popular song. Hey, it's got bouncy lyrics and a singable chorus...

	Am                 G
	Space is dark, and space is deep,
	        Am                  G
	And the price we've paid is far too steep.
	Am           G        F      E
	Though we've gained a hero's name,
	Am        G         Am       G
	We're all cripples, just the same.
	        Am       G         F    E
	And the scars we bear will testify
	       Am      G       F        E
	To the pain we found beyond the sky.

   Am             G           Am     G     Am
We set out in our starship in twenty forty-nine.
C               Am              Em       Am
Sent to ply the galaxy, another earth to find.
     C             Am                  G          Am
They put us in our coffins, and gently closed the lid.
             G         Am     G             Am         Em      Am
If I`d known then what I know now, I'd have wished I'd wake up dead.

And so we flew a thousand years through interstellar space.
Light years separated us from the human race.
Then at last we slowed as we approached our target star,
And now we'd find the reason that we'd traveled so far.


When we awoke from frozen sleep, we each knew what to do.
We'd scan the sky about the star for a planet shining blue.
We'd pull into an orbit and check her atmosphere.
And run a half a hundred tests to see if she proved fair.

We'd monitor the radio, so that we could see
If there were any aliens who'd come there before we.
Then from our receiver, a tiny voice we heard.
It spoke to us in English and we understood each word.


Ten years we had been on our way, when they found the hyperdrive.
And man spread to a thousand stars while we were half-alive.
But still they could not stop our ship to save us from our fate,
And so we have arrived here, but nine hundred years too late.

They told us we were heroes, pinned medals to our chests,
And they gave us a fine pension and sent us off to rest.
For we're anachronisms from another place and time,
And so they have retired us though we're all still in our prime.


And of the ten men of our crew, but two of us remain,
For trapped here in the future, we all have gone insane.
We knew when we set out that we'd be gone a thousand years,
But we never thought we'd end up as unwanted pensioneers.

And soon we two will follow where the other eight have gone.
And then our long sad journey will finally be done.
In the next room waiting is my time-lost lonely wife,
And I'll see her one last time as we take each other's life.