Solar System Survey

Lyrics ©2017 by Bill, Gretchen, and Katie Roper
Music ©2017 by Bill Roper

It had been extraordinarily busy here for the last few months. It was thus that we found ourselves coming up on the end of the school year and having not yet written a song for Katie's teacher, Mrs. Sharko. We knew what we wanted to write, but actually putting pen to paper was being challenging. We had had discussion on the subject with Katie and Julie. We had nothing actually written down.

And then on Thursday night, I started my vacation.

And at 3 AM I woke up Gretchen and rapped out a verse to her.

"Can I go back to sleep now?"

"Yes. Yes, you can."

Not much later, but much more awake, we managed to finish pulling everything together. While performing the song as a rap was a possibility, setting a tune to it was going to be a better choice. :)

And then, Katie was able to take the recording of the song to Mrs. Sharko, who liked it.

          C                 G
There’s a G-class star that we call Sol,
        D                      G
Made of hydrogen and helium, a big yellow ball.
       C                       G
We are part of the family that orbits round the Sun.
D                  C                G
Outward bound, our journey’s just begun.

G                           D
Earth is the planet that we start our journey from.
         C                             G
It’s the place we call home – it’s the third rock from the Sun.
        C                                     G
And the first thing that we notice when we’re sitting taking stock:
   D                    C              G
Terrestrial planets are mostly made of rock.
Em                  C
Mercury, Venus, the Earth, and Mars,
          D                            C              G
The first planets that we visit on our journey to the stars.

Out past the asteroids are planets that are large:
Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, but it’s Jupiter in charge.
They are all gas giants, here is what you need to know:
Holding onto hydrogen’s the thing that made them grow.
With rings and storms and lots and lots of moons,
Orbital harmonics have them dancing to the tunes.


Pluto was a planet up until 2006
When the IAU said they had to make a fix.
It might be kinda big and it might be kinda round,
But so are all these other Kuiper planets that we found.
Can’t clutter up the planet list with all of this debris,
So Pluto’s not a planet now and that’s OK by me.

The plane of the ecliptic’s where the planets can be found,
But when we reach the Oort Cloud, it is spherically round.
It is a place of mystery where far-off comets dwell
And just what else is waiting there, no one on Earth can tell.
The edges of the Oort Cloud are a cold and lonely place
And when we travel farther, we’re in interstellar space.

(Chorus twice)

Outward bound, our journey’s just begun.
Outward bound, our journey’s just begun.