small logo Sing a Song of SETI

Tax Cutters on the Hill
lyrics Copyright © 1996 by H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D.
sung to the tune of Ghost Riders in the Sky, copyright © 1948 by Stan Jones

In Washington, a Senator named Proxmire and his staff
Were balancing the budget in a manner that is daft,
By cutting NASA to the bone, ignoring good advice.
They sought to clear the deficit, but science paid the price.


Future be damned, projects we kill.
Tax cutters on the Hill.

So Proxmire tackled SETI. His supporters thought him brave.
By standing up to aliens, the money he would save!
By five cents per American our coffers would increase.
And that's how NASA SETI did win the Golden Fleece.


When Bryan from Nevada moved to kill HRMS
He pointed out that NASA lacked immediate success.
For not one single LGM had stepped up to declare
"Take me to your leader." Which proves they are not there.


Then Barney went to lobby. He concluded very few
Of our elected leaders would embrace a longer view.
So he was able to announce a great discovery:
"There is no intelligence in Washington DC."


The former NASA SETI team refused to go away.
They raised from private citizens what Congress would not pay.
Because we have a need to know if anyone is there,
They started Project Phoenix on a shoestring and prayer.


And now a group of amateurs with radio expertise
Is proving that it's possible, without advanced degrees,
To build the gear to scan the stars a billion miles from home.
The SETI League is searching now. We Know We're Not Alone.


Our native curiosity and private enterprise
Are keeping SETI going, for the people realize
We cannot trust our future to the House and Senate floor,
And Proxmire and his denizens will fleece us nevermore.

Final Chorus:

Congress be damned, Popular will,
SETI is living still!

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