ROVERS: THE MUSICAL (Composer's Demos)

by Aaron J. Shay

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This is music from a musical, produced in 2018 by Annex Theater in Seattle, WA. Its story follows the adventures of a group of Mars rovers as they try to find their place in the universe.

The concept and the book were devised by Natalie Copeland, and directed by Emily Harvey. Thank you to all of the cast and crew for their contributions, and to Catherine Smith for helping us produce this.

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released July 31, 2018

Lyrics written by Natalie Copeland and Aaron J. Shay
Music by Aaron J. Shay

Photo by Ian Johntson, edited by Kyleigh Archer, and Aaron J. Shay
Subjects are Queenelle Gazmen, Kenna Kettrick, Minna Lee

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Aaron J. Shay Seattle, Washington

Songwriter and storyteller, blending old-world sounds with speculative fiction and performance theatrics. You're probably gonna like it.

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Track Name: Welcome To Mars
You’re approaching at thirteen thousand miles per hour
Now you better get ready to hit the atmosphere
There’s gonna be some turbulence, so raise your shield
Even though there’s barely any air out here

Welcome to Mars, where the dust storms blow
Welcome to Mars, where water used to flow
Welcome to Mars, where there is so much more to know

You’re warming up to thirteen hundred fahrenheit
And you’ve still got eight more miles left to fall
Better ready your parachute, and hit the brakes
When you let your heat shield go, we’ll have a ball

So close to your destination
After traveling so far
You come down screaming from the sky
To become Mars’ newest star!

Time to finally hit the rusty Martian ground
Make sure you know exactly where you’re gonna land
Like a rock and roll legend, float down to the stage
And we’re here to welcome you, ‘n be your backing band!

Welcome to Mars, where the dust storms blow
Welcome to Mars, where water used to flow
Welcome to Mars, where there is so much more to know
Track Name: Dear Mission Control
Dear Mission Control
I hope this finds you well
Here’s my very first data!
It’s Sol-set, can you tell?

I hope I’m doing this right
There’s so much to be found
Oh! And I met some new friends
The moment that I touched the ground

So many new things happening
And so many of them inside
I wonder if I can navigate
Without you as my guide

But I won’t disappoint you
I hope to hear from you soon
Transmission is through
With wonder, ALISCE
Track Name: The Great Galactic Ghoul
Gather round and hear a tale of rue, and woe, and strife
A story sure to make you fear for limb and battery life
There’s something lurking out there in the wilderness of space
The Great Galactic Ghoul could strike at any time or place

The Great Galactic Ghoul eats rovers for breakfast and lunch
The Great Galactic Ghoul thinks that you are a hell of a crunch!
It shreds your wheels and drinks your fuel, it grinds your gears and devours you whole!
The Great Galactic Ghoul will never stop until it’s full.

The Great Galactic Ghoul drinks all the water from the land
And when you look, there’s nothing there but dusty sand
Ionosphere, Magnetosphere, it leaves no trace behind
The Great Galactic Ghoul takes everything you seek to find

The Great Galactic Ghoul is such a volatile lout
You’ve never seen a dust storm like the ones it kicks about
It hides your rocks and research, and it buries form and friend
And if you do survive, the storm could last for months on end.

The Great Galactic Ghoul is watching everywhere you go
It’s in the air! It’s over there! It’s down below!
It comes when you’re together and it comes if you’re alone
It’s coming for you now
Just listen for its moan
It’s coming for you now
Just listen for its moan
Just listen for its quite climactic, pan-galactic moan
Track Name: The Time Slip Song
G Bm
Look up to the stars, babe
G D
Look out upon the vastness of the universe
C D
And keep in mind…
G Bm
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
G Bm C Am D
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence… Ooooooh

Em D
You are dusty, and so you better be humble
Am C
And yet be noble, for that dust is made of stars
Bm G
And let the Earth inside that keeps you running
C D
Remind you that you have traveled far
Em D
Go placidly amid the desert sand
Am C
Remember what peace exists in being alone
Bm G
The vastness can seem overwhelming
C D
Knowledge will warm your weary bones

G Bm
Look upon the land, babe
G D
Go and see, where there is water, there is life
C D
But if it ain’t there, keep in mind…
G Bm
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
G Bm C Am D
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence… Ooooooh

Em D
Aren’t we lucky? The odds that we would all exist
Am C
Are about a trillion to one (yeah, that’s right)
Bm G
We are the product of countless random accidents
C D
The time slip is ending… here comes the sun

G Bm
Look up to the stars, babe (10, 9, 8, 7)
G D
Look out upon the vastness of the universe (6, 5, 4, 3)
C D
And keep in mind… (2, 1, 0…)
Track Name: Mission 2 Control
C G F Am G
So far from home, but too close to fail
C G F Am G
I feel like I’m floundering at a time when I should sail
F G Em Am
So much is on the line and it’s all up to me
F G Em F
If this rover fails its mission, what else can it be

C G F G F G
What I want is to be more than an semi-autonomous laboratory
C G F G F G
What I want is to be more like the kind of craft that earns a story
Am F E Am
There is something ready to roll
Am F E Am
Inside my core, beyond my goal
F G C
I want a mission... to control
C G F G F G
What I want is to ignite more than samples of alien stone
C G F G F G
What I want is to inspire all the people back at home
Am F E Am
Potential must become kinetic
Am F E Am
Or I’m going to go frenetic
F G C
I want a mission... to controooooooooooool
Am F E Am
I want to be more than a fancy tool
Am F E Am
Th’t can not even keep its cool
Am F E Am
I want to be more than a rover
Am F E Am
Proving itself over and over
F G
No ghoul can stop me, nor any black Hole
F G C (hard stop)
I want a mission to control
Track Name: When The Humans Arrive
When the humans arrive
There are going to be tough times
There are going to be times when it’s hard enough
Just to survive
But if we make it through the storms
That sweep across the sky
We’ll be here when the humans arrive

When the humans arrive
They may need a reminder
When the tough times come
And they lose their drive
Something to remind them why
They came to this cold place
Remember why
They wanted to arrive….

We do more than search for water
We are more than just machines
They named us for their better parts
To be their emissaries
My mission is to be their Spirit
And carry their hopes and dreams
And yours is to keep exploring
Giving more Opportunity

When they arrive
I can only imagine
What it’s like to feel so fragile
And so alive
But if they need a symbol or some kind of magic charm,
Something sweet and wonderful to keep their hearts warm,
Why not you and me, arm in arm?
At the landing site as the humans arrive

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