SFF Song of the Week: Emma Adams

I’m still reeling from the Knob Head jokes (see post below) but now to raise our game.

Here’s a song I LOVE, chosen by the gifted Emma Adams, screenwriter and stage dramatist. Over to you Em:

Emma Adams writes:

Carpenters – Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft

Thought One – Karen Carpenter, you’re really weird but I think I love you.

So while I’m happy to admit to my big love for Suzie Quattro in her rock and roller jump suits, I have never been able to bring myself to admit my secret-weird-soft-spot crush for Karen Carpenter. Until now that is. Because, there is something very very wrong with Karen isn’t there? Her terrifying blank, too cute all American grin. Her skinny, get a meal boneyness and of course her really really strange hair and terrible frocks… But still, I find I can forgive her all of this because of two things. Her total cool ass drumming and her absolutely amazing beautiful voice. A voice that is instantly recognisable in a way that only a handful of voices are. And no matter how bubblegum light the lyrics are, she conveys great warmth and tenderness when she sings. There I’ve said it. I’m out of my Carpenter Closet. Karen Carpenter may not exactly rock but she gently sways my world.

Thought Two – I’m so glad that the Carpenter’s believed recording this strange song was a good idea. It probably wasn’t, but nevertheless it gives me hope.

It’s not so much a song as a series of pompous musical postures that get more and more ridiculous as it goes along. It is to my mind a fantastic example of pop genius gone mad and for this reason alone I take great delight in it. For me the descending Beatlesy orchestration at the end is just fantastic. It’s the bit I wait for. And it always makes me smile.

Thought Three – The CIA refer to unintended misfortunes coming out of ‘well meant’ foreign policy moves as ‘Blowback’. I wish Karen had known this before she went into the recording studio.

You will have noticed by now that the lyrics of this song are very bad. But when I listen to it, I can’t help worrying that they could create a consequence far worse than mere aesthetic unpleasantness, promoting as they do a dangerous untruth. To be specific, Karen on several occasions directly addresses Aliens, reassuring them in no uncertain terms that:

“We are your friends”.

Now let’s be clear. I don’t think for a minute that lovely, skinny, mixed up Karen was actively lying when she sang these words. She had a lot of issues in her life. But we also know that sometimes those who have the best intentions can create the most harm.

I can’t help worrying what could happen if Aliens actually heard this song.

Will they know that humans when encountering new civilisations always announce “We are your friends” just before embarking on a big stealing, killing frenzy?

I can only hope that they are more clued up about human history than Karen was.

In your mind you have capacities you know
To telepath messages through the vast unknown
Please close your eyes and concentrate
With every thought you think
Upon the recitation we’re about to sing

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary most extraordinary craft

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary, most extraordinary craft

You’ve been observing our earth
And we’d like to make a contact with you

We are your friends

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary ultra-emissaries

We’ve been observing your earth
And one night we’ll make a contact with you

We are your friends

Calling occupants of interplanetary quite extraordinary craft

And please come in peace, we beseech you
Only a landing will teach them
Our earth may never survive
So do come, we beg you
Please interstellar policeman
Oh won’t you give us a sign
Give us a sign that we’ve reached you

With your mind you have ability to form
And transmit thought energy far beyond the norm
You close your eyes, you concentrate
Together that’s the way
To send the message
We declare world contact day

Repeat (*)

Calling occupants
Calling occupants
Calling occupants of interplanetary, anti-adversary craft

We are your friends

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