[ ed halley ]

What is Filking?

From one Filk Music FAQ page,

Filk music started off forty or fifty years ago, at science fiction conventions, where people got together late at night to have good old-fashioned folk music song circles. Well, late night circles being what they are, some folks got a little silly and started singing song parodies about their favorite [science fiction] books and authors. Fans started writing song parodies about themselves or each other. Some started composing serious songs about favorite topics. Some authors started composing original songs for their books. If the author didn't list a tune, fans made up one. Sometimes two. Sometimes several.

From Karen Anderson's "Introduction to Filk Singing," quoted on another page,

In the first place, "filk song" was a typographical error. That was obvious to everybody who read the essay in whose title it appeared. Besides it had no meaning. Who ever heard of a filk? Since the essay appeared in an amateur publication circulated among science fiction fans, though, there was only one thing to do. Rather than waste a phrase like "filk song," something must be created to which the name could be applied. Now, some eight years later, it means "a topical song borrowing the melody and structure of a well-known folk or popular song." And there are hundreds of them.

As a wee amateur, I've written a couple computer-industry related filk songs, included below. There are a few others I've enjoyed, with permission from their authors, on a separate filk song page.

All of the original songs obviously remain the property of their original writers, singers, publishers, marketers and/or distributors (or whomever tricked the writers out of their due). These are parodies, using and adapting popular cultural references in fair use.


Drag Me Drop Me
--to the tune of Savage Garden's "Break Me Shake Me"
--by Ed Halley, August 2001

I never thought I'd change my browser again,
 To play movies in a format I've never known.
 To play movies in a format I've never known.

But straight away you dominate the market again,
 You abused me in a way that I've never known.
 You abused me in a way that I've never known.

So drag me, drop me, treat me like an object,
 With a mouse click here, you will start to load.
Just drag me, drop me, treat me like an object,
 With a mouse click here, you will start to load.

So here's the file that deals with the games on the web,
 But it's compressing in a way that I've never known,
 It's compressing in a way that I've never known.

So drag me, drop me, treat me like an object,
 With a mouse click here, you will start to load.
Won't you drag me, drop me, treat me like an object,
 With a mouse click here, you will start to load.

"Support... I can help you, but what do you say?
 Oh, it's not free baby, you'll have to pay."
You just keep me registering, watching upgrade costs recurring,
 God, don't you make more than our national debt?

'Cause I used to copy in a way that you've never known,
 So then you accuse to the feds that you've never known,
 Watching profits grow in a way that I've never known.

So drag me, drop me, treat me like an object,
 With a mouse click here, you will start to load.
Just drag me, drop me, treat me like an object,
 With a mouse click here, you will start to load.

Loading, baby, leave me, leave me alone...
 Drag me, drop me, treat me like an object,
 Make me, shake me, charge me for a late fee,
 Update me.


Every File You Take
--to the tune of The Police's "Every Move You Make"
--by Ed Halley, March 2001

Every file you take,
 Every scan you make,
  Every net you quake,
   Every song you play, I'll be watching you.

Every single day,
 Every word you say,
  Every game you play,
   Every night you stay, I'll be watching you.

Oh, can't you see?
 Those songs ain't free,
  How can poor artists
   Give every song you play?

Every scan you make,
 Every sound you take,
  Every phile you fake,
   Every claim you stake, I'll be watching you.

Since you logged, I ping hosts without a trace
 I query all night, bootlegged 'threes and WAVs
  I look out for warez, hoping to make a case
   Don't feel so sold out, a song you can't replace

Don't crack S. D. M. I, please...

Oh, can't you see?
 Those songs ain't free,
  How can poor artists
   Give every song you play?

Every scan you make,
 Every sound you play,
  Every trial you stake,
    Every LAME you break,
    Every player you fake,
     Every song you take,

I'll be watching you.


The opinions expressed on my private web pages are not those of any other individual or organization.
Contact Ed Halley by email at
ed@halley.cc.
Prose, Artwork, Designs 1996-2003 Ed Halley
All Rights Reserved