Download “A Brave New World.mp3

(Want the sheet music?)

(Here’s a video of me performing this song live . . .)

For the first 24 hours after reading this challenge, I was set in my mind that I wasn’t going to do a religious song.  I felt it would be too “expected,” coming from me, and I wanted to find a different direction to explore.

But I never found a better direction.  And in the meantime, Ken Ham was in the news for raising enough money to build his ark . . .

But the song didn’t suggest itself to me right away.  I had a couple of intros and a couple of vague ideas, but I couldn’t “unlock” the song itself.  The second intro I wrote I actually ended up using.  The first intro I wrote would have helped me echo the opening of the 1986 film version of Little Shop of Horrors.  That intro would have played out as follows:


Not that long ago -- just six short years from now -- the conservative courts upheld a law enacted by the Republican House and Senate and signed by the Republican governor that forever changed the face of public education in their state.  Though it angered and upset many educators, the stalwart few who remained in the profession set themselves to the task of delivering the new, improved curriculum.  Today, we visit a science classroom to see what we can learn . . .

(Then it would have segued into a revival-style song, rather than 60s doowop as in the movie . . .)

But for a long time it didn’t matter -- I couldn’t figure out how to write the song itself.  The biggest problem is that there is just so much -- I mean SO. MUCH. -- that is wrong with young earth creationism, and I couldn’t see a way around the problem of the song almost by default being WAY too didactic in nature.  The alternative though, I feared, was to not put any of the evidence into the song, which would then (ironically!) be just as devoid of substance as the arguments from the very camp I was mocking.

I did end up doing the latter though, of course.  I still attempted to allude to the arguments without directly invoking them (particularly by invoking instead the names of specific scientists like the dendrochronologist A.E. Douglass or the teams of scientists who studied mtDNA inheritance in humans or discovered the evidence of cosmic background radiation).

I also had some wry fun in the crafting of the lyric.  (Besides the obvious, of course . . .)  The rhymes that occur at the ends of lines are true rhymes, as is the norm for songs from me.  But within the longest lines in the lyric, there are weird little things going on internally.  Not true rhymes, mind you -- but rather assonance.  (This is Edric the lyricist helping the character delivering his song be subversive on yet another level.)  Internal rhymes lend a lyric “sparkle” and tend to push the ideas along -- which is a good and compelling reason in-and-of itself to include them in lines as long as some that this song has.  But buried inside this “science lesson,” things just aren’t quite right . . .

  Verse 1:    “okay/faith” and “pieces/agree with”

  Verse 2:    “figures/billions” and “ignoring the/authority”

  Vs 1&2:    “Bible/remind you”

  Verse 3:    “about/discounted” and “areas/their beliefs”

  Verse 4:    “access/answers” and “Bible/provided”

  Coda:        “see/lead” and “observations/faith”

And finally?  I didn’t plan the complete reversal that happens in the last line of the song -- I discovered it serendipitously after I had written the penultimate line -- but I’m ever so happy to give this poor, frustrated character that little “Eppur si muove” moment right at the end of things . . .

(Interesting fact?  This song shares the exact same keys -- right down to the modulation -- as the other song I’ve written that mocks the most fundamental of Christian fundamentalists.)


All right, boys and girls . . .

Thanks to our right-wing governor

And Republican supermajorities

In our State House and Senate

And the will of conservative courts

And, of course, evangelical lobbyists --

Today I am proud to present to you

An alternative science curriculum.

Would you please turn to page one

Of your new, sacred text . . .

And we’ll begin!

Ev’rything you’ve learned in here

That contradicts the Bible is wrong.

The only bits of science

It’s okay to put your faith in

Are the pieces that agree

With what we’ve known all along!

The Bible says the Universe

Is just six thousand years old.

(And the Bible, I remind you,

Is the greatest story ever told!)

Oh!  All the things you’ve learned

That say the Universe is ancient are lies.

The scientists who tell you

It’s a figure in the billions

Are ignoring the authority

The Bible supplies!

The Bible is infallible --

It’s God’s own heavenly word!

(And the Bible, I remind you,

Tells the greatest story ever heard!)

It tells us

God’s the cause of ev’rything.

The plants that grow.

The birds that sing.

The stars above.

The Earth below.

The lives we live.

And all we know.

The Word of God is all we need.

It shows the path

If we just heed

Its clear-as-crystal,

Unambiguous truth!

(As interpreted by fundies . . .)

Anything that contradicts

The Bible is a boatload of crap.

So ev’rything in science

Is about to be discounted,

Save the areas where their beliefs

And ours overlap!

The Bible’s unassailable --

Beyond all shadow of doubt!

So Einstein

And Hubble

And Darwin

And Douglass

And Penzias and Wilson

And Wilson, Cann and Stoneking

And thousands of cosmologists

And geologists

And biologists

And archeologists


Dendrochronologists --

Don’t know what they’re talking about!

No!  No one but the Fundamental

Christians can be trusted at all!

But armed with Holy Scripture

You’ll have access to the answers

That the Bible has provided those

Who live in its thrall!

The Bible is the only place

Where all God’s answers belong!

So centuries of careful

Scientific observation

Are never gonna factor in your

Right-wing education!

Don’t believe the scientists

And all that they say.

Don’t let the world you see around you

Lead you astray.

Don’t trust in rationality

To figure things out.

Don’t let your observations

Put your faith in doubt.

You can’t believe in science

Or in things you can see,

So close your books,

Turn off your brains

And take it from me!

Yes!  Ev’rything you see and learn and read

Except the Bible is wrong!

(Except the Bible is wrong!)