Spoke Too Soon

from Flotsam from 2007 by Brooke Abbey

  • Digital Track
    Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price

    You own this



Based on James Tiptree, Jr.'s "A Momentary Taste of Being," which is anthologized in Star Songs of an Old Primate. Oh Tiptree, you're so DEPRESSING.


Our colony fleet has exhausted our metals Am F Am E
We can try to escape our doomed world but just once Am F Am E
So the question is now: where in space can we send her? Am F C Am
So with men of all nations we've set out to hunt Am Em E Am

We fly blind and desperate, earth's last exploration F Am
And earth's only fleet waits for our signal call F Am E
Green - come rejoicing, Gold – come with caution F Am
And Red - do not follow, don't follow at all Am E Am
But to signal across all that terrible distance F Am
Carries an equally terrible price F Am E
Choose wisely, O Captain, what signal to send them F Am
Choose wisely, O Captain, for we can't signal twice Am E Am

We found a new planet, with sweet air and water Am F Am E
Plants we can eat and these quaint coloured lights Am F Am E
Quarantine surely is just a formality Am F C Am
But the captain won't signal - says something's not right Am Em E Am

But our crew carries spies who have hidden agendas Am F Am E
Government orders and loyalties torn Am F Am E
A mutinous band sends the green signal early Am F C Am
Now it's all gone wrong and we're too late to warn Am Em E Am


For the planet's queer lights were the aliens' vector Am F Am E
To infect us, implant us with their spectral brood Am F Am E
The crew one by one lose their wits, then their bodies Am F C Am
It seems I'll be last - I'm in no cheerful mood Am Em E Am

Now the captain has found me, his mind almost shattered Am F Am E
To utter his last before he too is dead Am F Am E
As he grips me a ghostly glow oozes around him Am F C Am
"The signal we sent, O it should have been red. Am Em E Am
Yes, the signal it should have been red." Am E Am


And the fleet now will follow... but we can't signal twice. Am E Am


from Flotsam from 2007, released December 31, 2007




Brooke Abbey Vancouver

Brooke Abbey (formerly Brooke Lunderville) is a banjo-playing pharmacist from Vancouver, BC.

contact / help

Contact Brooke Abbey

Streaming and
Download help

Report this track or account