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LETRA PICKS AND LASERS (LIVE)

(this next song is called "picks and lasers", it's a science fiction war song about a guy some time in the future who's mining ore on mars and hears about an intergalactic war. he goes up and he enlists in the federation and fights, he enlists for a, er, for a tour of eighteen years, and-a, he goes off to fight in outer space and, er, gets kind of bummed out and wants to go back home. and that's about the size of it. the story is all this time and-er, this is called "picks and lasers", so here we go, kind of a long involved thing but i think you'll enjoy it.)

well, the first time that i heard the sound i thought it was the humming
of weather-drones orbiting above the frozen sea.
the next time that i heard the sound i also heard the voices
in a hundred different languages calling out to me:
"come put away your laser-pick and soar the galaxy."
And working on my k-jet in the heat of martian summer
i felt a strange vibration coming from the distant stars.
old charlie only laughed at me, he said it was 'space fever'
he thought that i had lost my mind when i told him that i saw
the war-ships of a thousand worlds slicing through the stars.
Then from the sky came saturn sal with contrail streams behind her
and the word she said was 'war' again, so what was i to do ?
oh, the 'droids' all started chirpin' and old charlie's mouth fell open
as i tossed my picks and lasers in the little turbo-two.
i could hear them cryin', "no, don't go!" as the red dust blocked the view.
Hey, picks and lasers; bits and phasers in another time.
here's a story of blood and glory and life upon the line.
picks and lasers; bits and phasers in another time.
here's a story of blood and glory and digging in the mines,
in the martian mines.
Oh, the 'cruiter' said i'd broke down and surely i must know it
for i'd been diggin' martian ore for thirty years or more.
i must have made a fortune and i'd probably live to spend it
if only i would change my mind but i insisted, "no!"
so i filled out all the proper forms ... that was eighteen years ago.
I joined the federation and they placed me and my unit
in the rainbow rings of saturn two thousand years away
and the squadron doing night watch are all kriptees from artura
and the day watch is all human clones from the u. s. a.
poor souls, they vaporized them all the other day.
But no one tells me nothin', i never ask no questions
my vision's 20-20 and my health is a-ok.
i'm a z rank photon sniper and they work me like a slave 'droid'
and laugh to see me vaporize a ship a week away.
oh, i hold the highest kill rate in this galaxy, they say, hey!
And at night, they beg me please to tell them of my memories
of diggin' in the red dirt beside the frozen sea.
where the daylight lasts forever and a man can make a fortune
and they sit like little children, just as quiet as can be,
things of every size and color how they hearken unto me.
And i tell them of the ore mines scarring up the desert,
of tunnels going farther than the human mind can go.
i tell them of explosions vibrating on forever
and us down with our laser picks a hundred miles below,
while above us on the surface atomic stockpiles glow.
And i tell of crystal caverns with walls of coal and copper,
of tunnels packed with veins of ore, but never hint of life.
and craters packed with sensor beams and mine shafts filled with darkness,
i tell them of my eco-dome at the recon-testing-site
and i find myself thinking, "hey, that sure was the life."
So i talk of copper mining while the death-rays are exploding
and the soldroids at the firing place are homing on the foe.
and i yarn of ore refining while the star fleets are destroying
and they listen to my stories, seven hu-droids in a row,
seven sleek and shiny hu-droids with their circuits all aglow.
And i tell them when it's over how i'll return to my planet,
those seven shiny hu-droids are crazy to go, too.
and i'll get myself the laser drill that i had always wanted
and ask the price of crude ore, and the depth of martian blue,
and i'll get my gear in order and i'll start to work anew.
For i've had my fill of fighting ? i've seen a world divided,
space all filled with slaughter and the heavens red with gore
an a galaxy a-smolder and as if it really mattered
for the red dirt is calling me to my dome upon the shore.
and the 'droids' are chirpin' madly ... old charlie's singing gladly
and i'll rest upon my planet and i'll leave it never more,
and leave it never more.

Country Joe McDonald

PICKS AND LASERS LIVE

COUNTRY JOE MCDONALD



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