SFF Song of the Week: Mike Cobley

This week’s song comes from my fellow Orbit author Mike Cobley, author of widescreen SF epics Seed of Earth and The Orphaned World, numerous short stories, and the Shadowkings trilogy.  Mike and I shared a magazine feature recently when a British weekend magazine published a list of presents suitable for gadget fiends…and we both got our books on the shelves, next to some utterly ridiculous gadgets.

Mike Cobley writes:

Last century, at about the 4/5ths mark, I had just been sorrowfully yet firmly ejected from Strathclyde University (BSc Production Engineering & Beer Bar Lager), having failed to pass the 2nd year exams. Such are the twists and turns of life’s twisty turny laundry chute. However, I had got involved with the entertainments department at Strathclyde Students Union, persuading 1st the internal radio station to let me have a stab at playing records and, like, being a DJ, man! before becoming an official Ents crew member (in as much as any of us reprobates were, like, official). This was 1979, so it was a pre-digital and inherently grimy world of discos and gigs and guzzling tins of lager (free to Ents staff, heh heh) and smoking Benson & Hedges (this was before my body staged a revolt about a decade later). So anyway, amongst the very many now-classic choons and toetappers that passed across the twin decks (usually a Citronic Mk2 with Garrard turntables) was – Space Station No 5, as sung by Sammy Hagar, from the live album ‘Loud and Clear’.

The song originally appeared on Montrose’s self-titled album, out in 1973. But when I first heard it, about 1980, this was of course years and years before Babylon 5 was even so much as a twinkle in JM Straczynski’s eye. But listening to it again soon after B5 hit the screens it struck me as the natural, if unofficial, theme song for the series. The original album version is cool in its way, but the live version just completely tears loose, hammers along with a breathless urgency. Entirely fantastic.


Start, with the sun
And move on out
The future’s in the skies above
The heavens unfold
And a new star is born
Space and time makin’ love

Oh what a time we had
Living on the ground
I’ve moved to station Number 5
See you next time around,
Next time around

As far you want, as close as you need
It’s all in the mind, you know
This old world hasn’t really seen it’s day
It’s here, time to go


Remember when it was so clear
We were young, but the memory still remains
To pick fruit from a tree
Fish from the seas
Now nothing’s left here, but the stains
Well I can’t cry no more
Can only be glad
There’s other places we can be
If the time suits you right
I’m leaving tonight
Come fly away
With me!
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Oh, yeah
Start, with the sun
And move on out
The future’s in the skies above
The heavens unfold
A new star is born
Space and time makin’ love


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