The Wreck of the Martian Observer

from The Space Between Notes by Sunnie Larsen

supported by
Terry England
Terry England thumbnail
Terry England Beautiful vocals, a sophisticated arrangment and nice rendition of this "space story." Everyone loves a good shipwreck song, right? This one is majestic.
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  • An 8.5"x11" saddle-stitched chord & lyric book with full-color glossy cover featuring the album artwork by Beckett Gladney. Each song's lyrics are accompanied by a wonderfully whimsical drawing by Jela Schmidt with borders drawn by Sunnie. The inside pages are printed in black & white on uncoated 70lb coloring book paper, ideal for your favorite colored pencils or crayons.
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about

To the tune of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot
Filk lyrics by Sunnie Larsen & Aron Wolf

lyrics

The legend lives on from Europa on down
To Phobos and Syria Planum
The belt it is said never gives up its dead
From the cold, hard embrace of the vacuum

With an orbiter fair twenty-two hundred pounds bare
Went the fine hearty Martian Observer
That good probe and true was a bone to be chewed
When the "Great Martian Ghoul" came to claim'er

The probe was the pride of the American side
With a line item budget from NASA
As Mars probes go, she was bigger than most
And her flight crew all were well seasoned

With a boost from below she left LEO
On a Hohmann orbit trajectory
But somewhere inside was a fuel valve that died
And put a seal on her fate in the ending

10 months and more on her orbital chore
Went the gallant Martian Observer
But the day she prepared to burn red Martian air
Was the day that her thrusters would fail her

Her engines were up and were ready to go
But the fuel lines they were all leaking
And that hydrogen gas it went up with a flash
The exothermic reactions were reeling

With all her might, she tried to turn right
But her hydrazine storage was venting
And then her main dish was turned against her wish
Into deep space where no one was listening

The Red Planet drew near and she shed bitter tears
for the mission that never would happen
And she flew quietly by in the grip of the night
All the while with her batteries flattened

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When you find yourself slowly fading
Days, months, and years, all your hopes and your fears
Are tight beamed off to Alpha Centauri

But such is the lot of a space probe robot
To go where no man has gone before her
And had she the spin, she'd have said with a grin
"Mission Control, it was nice to have known ya."

Demos it tumbles and Phobos it races
and the Trojans they all lay quiet
Jupiter seems to hold biologist’s dreams
And Pluto, we’ve finally seen it

Closer to home, Chinese rovers that roam
Under an Indian lunar observer
And the Mars probes still go with their ground crews below
And their metric conversions remembered

On a black granite stand on a Florida strand
Lies the American space heroes’ mirror
NASA’s engraved each of 24 names
But all the lost space probes are absent

The legend lives on from Europa on down
To Phobos and Syria Planum
The belt it is said never gives up its dead
Nor the wreck of the Martian Observer

credits

from The Space Between Notes, released July 20, 2019
Sunnie Larsen - vocal, violin
Jeff Bohnhoff - bass, drum programming
Tony Fabris - acoustic guitar
Betsy Tinney - cello
Daniel Gunderson - organ
Maya Bohnhoff - backing vocals

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Sunnie Larsen Seattle, Washington

Sunnie is a performer in the Seattle area. She plays violin and viola and sings. She is a member of local bands Vixy & Tony, Bone Poets Orchestra, and Menage a Trio, and has participated in numerous other recording projects.

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