“Stay in Your Spaceship” Live at Rose Street

Here’s the second song I played at Rose Street Artists’ Cooperative and Gallery Coffeehouse on July 6th of this year. It’s called “Stay in Your Spaceship”:

If I’m willing to share a song with you, that means I’m proud enough of it to take the risk of criticism, hostility, or, God forbid, indifference. But some songs mean a little more to me than the rest, and “Stay in Your Spaceship” is in that company.

“Spaceship” started its life in second person: it was all about “you”. (“You catch a ride…You have your airlock shut…”) It suffered accordingly. I never heard the criticism, but I started imagining a listener coming back with, “Oh, I know, I’ll just sit here and hear this song where the dude tells me what an awful person I am.”

Changing the person changed everything, and I found I could now sing it with more sincerity, even if, like any work of fiction, the first-person narrator is not the literal experience of the author. (Which reminds me, I have another song I’ll be rolling out in a few weeks that’ll test this statement strongly…) But it’s still taken me a few years to perform it without lapsing into “you” instead of “I”, and careful listening will turn up a few of these mistakes. So you should definitely go back and listen to it again, like, 14 times…

I think the lyrics speak for themselves. And the spaceship? A metaphor. Someday, if we last long enough to be able to make space flight routine…I’ll have to come up with something else. That would be a wonderful problem to have.

Stay in Your Spaceship

I catch a ride through all the crises of my legendary generation
I have my airlock shut so tightly when the frightened news begins to scream

   Are you afraid to see the face of your enemy,
   And are you breaking every mirror as a remedy?
   When every family on the planet’s in flames
   You won’t wait inside
   Don’t say that you’ll pay for that ride
   Don’t stay in your spaceship and hide

And every need demands a needle, every habit wants its satisfaction
But what I’ve got won’t get me stopped in any clinic or a twelve-step scene

   Are you afraid to see the face of your enemy,
   And are you breaking every mirror as a remedy?
   When every family on the planet’s in flames
   You won’t wait inside
   Don’t say that you’ll pay for that ride
   Don’t stay in your spaceship and hide

Can’t hear the ranting of my neighborhood’s incendiary random madmen
Can’t see the pistols or the prisons when I’m passing through the stratosphere

This is the instant I awaken like an infant to the revelation
I am surrounded in this land of stranded astronauts
All strapped in cockpits,
Lost and desperate
In a space-age dream

   Are you afraid to see the face of your enemy,
   And are you breaking every mirror as a remedy?
   When every family on the planet’s in flames
   You won’t wait inside
   Don’t say that you’ll pay for that ride
   Don’t stay in your spaceship and hide

© Copyright 2012 Nate Orshan

Notes:

  • The white noise you hear in the video’s background is the fans the Coop had set up to mitigate the heat, and, unfortunately, the camera’s mic picked them up as well. Ditto the kids in the audience, which is how you know it was really recorded at Rose Street Coop!
  • In case you didn’t catch it the first time around, I dedicated the song to Itai, my brother across the waves. But it’s not about him, any more than about any of us.
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Comments

“Stay in Your Spaceship” Live at Rose Street — 6 Comments

  1. An unintentionally darling moment transpires when you ask the audience “What are kids riding these days anyway?” whereupon a caption appears on the screen reading: “Stay in your Spaceship”. 🙂

    I love the song. Truly a tour-de-force of songwriting, and you deliver it right on the money. Despite the sub-ideal sound recording quality, for some reason the guitar manages to stand out more prominently than in the performance you posted here last week.

    All those missing years when i could brag my talented rockster of big b! Oh well, better late than never.

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