Science Fiction Hymns

Jeff Carter recently mentioned science fiction hymns, providing a couple of examples from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And it got me thinking whether there are others, and if so, what they are.

Not long ago I mentioned some hymns in Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, but the contents of those (as Atwood herself would also emphasize about her novels more generally) lack the characteristic features of sci-fi.

And there are the “Jedi Hymns” that circulated as a hashtag on Twitter, but that was just titles or small snippets. Has anyone made any complete Jedi hymns, with not just titles but lyrics?

The only solid Christian example is Sydney Carter’s “Every Star Shall Sing A Carol” which I’ve mentioned on this blog before. Here are two renditions on YouTube which have appeared since the last time I mentioned this Christmas carol.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

Those are specific to a particular season. And of course there is Larry Norman’s “UFO” which is not strictly speaking a hymn, but it still is worth mentioning, since it has sci-fi elements, including the words “and if there’s life on other planets then I’m sure that He must know, and He’s been there once already and has died to save their souls”:

YouTube Preview Image

Is there anything else – whether hymns from human religions but with a science fiction aspect to them, or ones made in relation to shows or other things? Are there any hymns about Ezekiel 1? What if someone made one, based on John Williams’ theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind? :-)

Please share anything else in this vein that you are aware of, whether already existing, or something that doesn’t yet exist but you think should!

  • Jeff Carter

    I may not have been clear in my post. Only the first of the two I mentioned was LDS. The second I found in a Lutheran hymnal. Sorry I wasn’t more precise.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Sorry, I must have been distracted by the hieing to Kolob!

  • Jeff Carter

    “God Concrete, God of Steel” by Richard G. Jones has this as its second verse:

    Lord of cable, Lord of rail,
    Lord of motorway and mail,
    Lord of rocket, Lord of flight,
    Lord of soaring satellite,
    Lord of lightning’s livid line,
    all the world of speed is thine.

  • Amaryllis

    Are there any hymns about Ezekiel 1?

    I only know the one about the wheels –

    Ezek’el saw the wheel
    ‘Way in the middle o’ the air
    The big wheel moved by faith
    The little wheel moved by the grace o’ God
    A wheel in a wheel
    Way in the middle o’ the air

    (If poems count, of course T. S. Eliot made extensive use of Ezekiel in The Waste Land.)

  • T. Webb

    Jeff Carter beat me to it…. I can’t believe you missed “God of Concrete, God of Steel”. It’s got to be the most famous modernist hymn. There is a website devoted to the hymn at http://godofconcrete.org/ with the full text. However, I must say that the lyrics leave something to be desired… as it is written, lyrically it pretty banal (IMHO).

  • guest

    I’m not sure it counts as a hymn, but there’s a Christmas song called ‘a spaceman came travelling’.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmZg7tvGN9o

    There was also the hymn to akhaten from the recent Dr. Who series, which was performed live at the Proms this year. I think it’s lovely.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h59H8lnkgng

    And maybe this is cheeky, but the being in ‘Electric eye’ by Judas Priest has elements of Godhood.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ96oEwYrE8

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Thanks! I meant to mention Chris De Burgh’s song and somehow neglected to in the end. I’m glad you fixed that oversight on my part!

      • guest

        No problem. I’ve never heard ‘Every Star shall sing a carol’ before; it’s beautiful. I’ll have to add it to my Christnas playlist.

  • HoboBanana

    How about the Dorsai Hymn? (the Recessional, by Kipling) : http://www.mit.edu/people/dpolicar/writing/prose/text/dorsai.html

  • Gary

    Nag Hammadi ought to be full of SciFi hymns. The Bapttismal Hymn in The Holy Book of the Great Spirit, EO OU EO OUA, IIII, EEEE, OOOO, UUUU, OOOO, AAAA, in truth truly, … In another voice… O aeon, aeon, God of silence….ES, ES, the E, formless one existing among formless ones…
    Or The Three Steles of Seth, Communal Hymn to the Barbelo Aeon, Unified Author of Multiplicity, …You are Kalyptos, a hidden one; you are a world of knowledge…
    And advice from Marsanes, Vowels and the Second and Third Configurations of the Soul…the third configuration of the soul is a sphere and a spherical one goes around it…
    Not a hymn but
    The Great Unnamable Virginal Spirit, the male virgin Barbelo, the triple male Child Telmael Telmael Heli Heli Marchar Marchar Seth, the power that truly lives in truth, the male virgin Youel…
    Many more. SciFi if you lived in 100 AD.

    • Gary

      The Baptismal Hymn in the Holy Book of the Great Spirit, and the post Fairie Aire and Death Waltz reminds me of patterns. Nag Hammadi
      A
      EE
      EEE
      I I I I
      UUUUUU
      OOOOOOOO
      Being who exists forever
      In truth truly
      IEAAIO
      The notes say “ritual power such vowels mat be arranged for visual effect- in this case perhaps a pyramid”. Being Coptic and from Egypt, reminds me of a Star Gate episode.


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