Rare Earth

Lyrics and Music ©2022 by Bill Roper

I am a pessimist on the subject of extraterrestrial life, especially on intelligent extraterrestrial life. I could be wrong, of course.

So I was lying in my bed in the ER one summer day, waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the CT scanner to come available so that they could take a look for my kidney stone. By this time, it had moved to a place where I was no longer in pain.

I was, however, bored. (As Garfield would say, "I'm bored, bored, bored." This beats "I'm in pain, pain, pain", of course.) And I had my phone. And my phone had a copy of Google Keep Notes, which gave me a place to write something.

I wrote a chorus and four verses for a song. Because it beat the heck out of being bored.

After I got home, the placeholder tune was replaced with something I liked better, the four verses turned out to be two, and I just needed to finish the song. Work had other ideas.

I had a great many things that I needed to get done on the following weekend. But this was the fun one, as I wrote the missing bridge and verse to finish this up.

There are so many worlds.
There are so many chances
For a world where life whirls
For a world where life dances.
But a world thatís like ours
Is a world thatís so strange
That a world where life flowers
Dm6            Asus2
May be hard to arrange.

Asus2                               G
Earth is just the right size and in just the right place
       F                   E7
With a hot iron core to protect us from space,
Asus2                            G
Spinning round and around making magnetic fields,
F                       E7
Saving our air from the wind the sun wields.
   D                        A
We stand on a crust made of tectonic plates,
 E7                         A
Recycling old rocks as they slide Ďneath their mates.
D                         A
Building new mountains on which we can climb
     G                         E7
In a billion year cycle thatís running down time.

Not too much water and not too much air,
Nor too little of each or life wouldnít be there.
The balance is fragile, or so it would seem,
Watching Venus and Mars as they lifelessly gleam.
There are worlds that we know orbit far distant stars,
But none of them seem quite as lovely as ours.
Just a bit larger may be much too large
With an ocean of atmosphere firmly in charge.

D                           Asus2
The world that we love is a world that can kill
E7sus4                    Asus2
Tossing us dangers with a bit of ill will.
Sending tornados
And super-volcanos
   G                       D
We may need a world we can barely survive
   F                  E7
To find a place where lifeís gonna thrive.

How tight do all the numbers have to be
For a planet fit for habitability?
Too much of this or too little of that
And our search for life simply ends up flat.
We stand on a planet so incredibly rare,
Just hostile enough to keep us in air.
Mother Earth has to be cruel to be kind,
Breeding up life and breeding up mind.