Great Big Thing
copyright 2013 by Tim Griffin

There’s a great big thing in outer space
And we’re going to investigate the place
So get on board the ship ’cause we’re going on a trip
Yeah, we’re gonna represent the human race!
No, we don’t know what it is or what it’s for
But it won’t be very dangerous I’m sure
We’ll just fly really near and admire the engineering
Of a great big thing in outer space.

I was told by the guy who planned our trip
We’d be safe on the surface while he stayed aboard the ship
Pretty sure the locals won’t get mad
So why’d the expedition go so badly

On a great big thing in outer space
Where our well laid plans are in disgrace
Where the only good part is that we learned a lot of physics
And it didn’t do much good in any case
Because the natives on the thing are really strange
You know their logic is confusing and deranged
It isn’t easy making friends with a bunch of aliens
On a great big thing in outer space.

What kind of messed up alien being
Would build such a crazy colossal thing?
Why build a world you can never ever fill
Where the whole population wants to kill me

On a great big thing in outer space
Where every creature that you meet could eat your face
If I make it home again, gonna hide in bed and then
Never ever gonna leave my happy place

For a great big thing in outer space!


One of my few true “filk” songs, this was originally written about one or more novels by Larry Niven; I first performed it at GAFilk in Atlanta, with Larry in the front row. Larry was a very good sport about it (as I expected), but I fear what will happen to me should I ever appear in one of his stories. I also have to acknowledge that Larry has way more Hugos than I, so who am I to criticize?

Later it was pointed out to me that this song could also describe a lot of other books, movies, and TV episodes; including maybe half the of the original Star Trek. So now it's become sort of a Swiss Army Knife of filk songs: whenever someone asks for a song about Battlestar Galactica or Dr. Who or Stargate or whatever, this song usually works fine.

A, D, E, F#m, Bm, B.