SONG: “Antarctica Awakes!”


“Antarctica Awakes!” [Download]
(To download: double right-click & “Save As”)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on “Scientists close to entering Vostok, Antarctica’s biggest subglacial lake”, Washington Post, 31 Jan 2012, as used in the post “Lovecraft report: Scientists set to disturb primordial lake, deep under Antarctic ice.” (cf. 2011)

ABSTRACT: This is an anthem, written (as was last month’s song) for Song Fu 2012. The prompt was simply too good to pass up – Neil Gaiman challenged participants to… “Write the national anthem for a new country. A country made up of, well, people like us.” Already considering the nationless space of Antarctica for something involving whatever is sleeping below Lake Vostok, it was a short leap to an anthem for people like us. Drawn to the frozen wastes by an urge they can barely name.

I grew up listening to national anthem albums, so I could already feel how this one should go. With a little more time and a full orchestra, I would have interpolated something like the frenzied strings from Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slav somewhere… but really, a Cossack choir, pipe organ and bagpipes were enough.

Now, everyone stand and salute the white flag of our science utopia….


Lenses gleam through jets of steam
Above volcanic lakes
We guide devices through miles of ice
Till Antarctica awakes!

Hear our voices on the wind
& rumbling from below
Nameless things await within
From 20 million years ago

Our home fires burn as our engines turn
The ground begins to quake
With winch and steel, by gear and wheel,
Till Antarctica awakes!

See the shadows on the storm,
Faces in the snow
Nameless things shall be reborn,
From 20 million years ago

Drill and dredge to define our leg-
end – as every limit breaks
So knowledge shines in the darkest mines
Till Antarctica awakes!

Feel the shift behind your eyes
Hold fast to what you know,
What nameless sleeps but never dies
From 20 million years ago

Through reason, hope and microscope
What we build, no one unmakes
Through logic, wish and radar dish
Till Antarctica awakes!