“Take the Air” with Arabella of Mars!

Last year at OryCon I saw a performance by the PDX Broadsides, who describe themselves as “a trio of nerd enthusiasts who sing about science, piracy, superheroes, robots, and other geeky topics with great vigor and harmony.” I knew that they had composed a custom sea chantey* for Portland cartoonist Lucy Bellwood’s Baggywrinkles, and I asked them if they were interested in a commission for Arabella of Mars. Well, they were, and it’s now complete! I’m just thrilled with how it came out.

You can listen to it using the gadget below, or click “download” to download the MP3 from BandCamp for a “pay what you will” price (which includes free!).

Here are the lyrics, if you’d like to memorize them. You may have an opportunity to sing along if you see me at Westercon or any of my other personal appearances this summer!

Take the air, take the air
The wind is fine and fair
‘Tween the stars and stones I roam
Oh the sun feels fine
Up above the falling line
And I never want to see my Earthly home

Well I reef and hand and steer
Like the hardest privateer
And I never like my feet to touch the land
For if England’s shore I see
It’s the sponging-house for me
So I’d rather I was buried where I stand


Give the pedals all you’ve got
Till you’ve fin’lly earned your tot
Strike the spankers and sheet home the mains’ls now
We are sons of Kidd
So give thanks for what he did
From the moment the Adventure left the ground


John Company’s man am I
And I sail across the sky
In a Marsman of the finest honey-blond
We are skyward bound
So pass the rum around
We’ll drink his health to Venus and beyond


Now the rising’s underway
We won’t see the break of day
Til we walk upon the crimson Martian sand
And the bell’s struck eight
So for god’s sake don’t be late
For the cosmic tide she waits for no man


Oh the sun feels fine
Up above the falling line
And I never want to see my Earthly home

* I use the spelling “chantey” rather than the equally valid “shanty” because I want to clarify that we are talking about a sailors’ song here, rather than a shack.

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