If a Star

by @janeg @philkmills

Liner Notes

Phil, my beloved husband and guitarist, suggested it would help my songwriting if I tried to fit my ideas into the structures of appropriate commercial songs. He did not realize that with great hubris I would pick Bruce Cockburn's If a Tree to write about the amazing new photos from the James Webb telescope! Bruce mostly talks and in phrasing very different from anything I've ever tried to sing before. Phil is trying very hard to follow me in this recording; I am not making it easy. #parody #astronomy #science

Lyrics

Light from 13 billion years old shown to us at last
From almost the start of the universe yet newly seen
Light so old the star has exploded and then passed
The beings it warmed forgotten and forever gone
Did they watch that special star rise and set daily in the sky
Never thinking the one they worshipped would let them go extinct

If a star shines in the darkness, does anybody see
If a star shines in the darkness, does anybody see
Anybody see the galaxies form

Did they believe themselves the centre of all things
Believe a benevolent creator watched over only them
A speck in a small galaxy yet they think themselves kings
Rotating on a rock in a universe too vast to contemplate
Dominion over all when all is beyond their understanding
Perhaps this is Universe 1.0 or maybe there have been dozens
Following the immutable laws of nature and ever expanding
Then folding into itself if the universe truly has an edge
And must collapse to start anew, or are there borders with other universes
So it can’t expand forever without invading, and then Mother Nature curses

If a star shines in the darkness, does anybody see
If a star shines in the darkness, does anybody see
Anybody see the galaxies form

If a star shines in the darkness, does anybody see
If a star shines in the darkness, does anybody see
Anybody see the galaxies form

If a star shines in the darkness, does anybody see (x3)



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Ha! I love the backstory and love this song! I love all of the details contained in the phrases of the verses and how it such a great contrast with the thought provoking chorus. Love the question of the chorus! Lovely gentle guitar and beautiful delivery.

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I do not know that Bruce Cockburn song - I'll check it out later. What I know of him, I really like.
Lovely combination of your talents! Phil's picking rolls along nicely, as it always does. And Jane delivers a lovely, thoughtful vocal.

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As a keen amateur cosmologist, I really liked this.

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I like the idea that this isn't Universe 1.0. Although maybe we're still in beta... Also it's nice to think about what kind of people might have been living there when the light set off. I don't know the Bruce Cockburn song but I enjoyed this.

Also I've been hoping to hear a song inspired by the JWST! I haven't been able to manage myself (yet), so I'm even more happy to hear this.