This directory contains (mostly filk) songs by Steve
Savitzky[bio] You can find
concert recordings at ../Concerts. Recently
I've been re-organizing this page.
New! Printable songbook:
If you want to print my complete songbook (I have no idea why anyone but
me would want to, but it seemed like the right thing to provide), you will
find it here, in Songbook.pdf.
It is laid out for two-sided printing on (US letter-sized paper), so you
won't have to turn a page in the middle of a song. You'll also use half
as much paper that way. If you prefer to view it on a screen, most (all?)
PDF viewers can render it with two pages side-by-side.
The typesetting is done using a collection of software tools called MakeStuff; it also
builds the HTML song pages on this site. It's open source, so feel free
to use it for your own projects.
was originally written in 1986 for the Challenger. It has
(unfortunately) recently been updated, and a new verse added, for the
If you need comic relief and have a
high tolerance for black humor, check out Thrill-Seekers' Waltz, and don't
say you weren't warned. If you want to record Keep the Dream
Alive you can send the royalties to a space-related charity
instead of to me. Just drop me a note.
isn't a memorial, it's a victory march, for all the women in
our lives whose quiet courage and fortitude rarely get the recognition
they deserve, even from themselves:
Here's to the women, gently brave
Mothers, daughters, sisters, wives,
And to the quiet victories
We seldom notice in their lives.
If you're female and have triggers, you should approach this one with
caution -- it probably hits most of them. Colleen usually passes out
boxes of tissue paper when I perform it, and they get used. It is,
however, the best thing I've ever written.
isn't a memorial either; it's a tribute to all the toolmakers, from
flint-knappers to software developers, who together have built our
Our tools tamed wind and water, then brought the age of steam
The lightning does your bidding now, your midnight cities gleam.
We've probed the depth of space, and seen where human eyes are blind,
And built of sand and logic tools to aid the human mind.
2008 Kazoo Award: ``Devils and Other Malevolent Spirits'' at ConChord 21.
2001 Kazoo Award: ``HAL 9000 User Unfriendly Computer Filk'' at ConChord 15. 2001 Pegasus
Nominee: best computer song.
1990 Kazoo Award: ``Charles Babbage Memorial Hacker's Award'' at ConChord 6.
2009 Kazoo Award: ``Recycled Fish'' at ConChord 22.
This was actually written before ``Keep the
Dream Alive'', but it was several years before I dared to perform
it. Leslie didn't kill me. Black humor, as noted above.
by Don Simpson is one of the greatest filksongs ever written
-- I get to say that because I didn't write it. This version was recorded at
Baycon 2006, with me on vocals and guitar and Callie Hills on flute.
It won the Pegasus award for Best Classic Filk Song in 2019 -- it's
The Middle-Sized Bear is a character out of science fiction: the section
“Conversation With the Middle-Sized Bear” in
Cordwainer Smith's novella,
Mark Elf. For several years I've used it to refer to the aspect of my
personality that is, so people have told me, comfortable to talk to and be
Note: This index contains lyrics for all of my songs, plus a few
others for which I have permission (or, in the case of public domain,
don't need permission) to post lyrics and audio on the web. It used to be
my almost entire repertoire, but hasn't kept up with what I perform in
groups these days. Other songs in my repertoire have brief entries, which
sometimes acquire notes and links to lyrics and performances elsewhere.
This work is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International
There no longer appears to be a specific music-sharing license,
so audio files for all songs both written and performed by me (when I get
around to posting them) are also posted under the Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-SA
4.0. (I'll try to get permission from other
people to license their performances of my songs, and my covers of
other peoples' songs, the same way. Trying to license my occasional
covers and filks of songs by people outside the filk community promises
to be something of a nightmare, so for now I'm simply not going to post
any. If you're a songwriter whose songs I cover, and you don't mind my
posting them, please let me know. If you're a listener, you'll just
have to wait for the CD.)
Since the HTML is automatically generated by a rather stupid PERL script,
don't expect the world's best typesetting. In particular, the spacing
between verses is horribly inconsistent. This will eventually improve.
For an example of what's possible, see the PDF files.
We prefer to use the free, open Ogg Vorbis format -- it provides noticably better sound than MP3
and is unencumbered by patent restrictions. It's supported by most PC
media players and some "mp3"-players. If you don't have one, here's a list of free player
software. You might have good luck with jlGui, which is
written in Java and so has a decent chance of running almost anywhere.
We do provide MP3 files so that you can transfer them to
legacy devices like iPods, Macs, and cell phones that don't understand
For some reason, many people like to play their oggs with Audacity, an excellent
cross-platform, open-source sound recording and editing program. I
just use it for recording and editing. Being cross-platform it's great
for collaboration, and it also makes short work of splitting a concert
recording or ripped cassette tape into song files.
For text editing, I use GNU Emacs. In the past Emacs has been derided for being bloated
and slow, but back then 1MB was a lot of memory, and 1MHz was a
blazingly fast CPU clock. These days, it's about a tenth the size of
the popular Firefox web browser
(which, like Emacs, is mostly written in an interpreted language), and
I don't hear many people complaining about it.
Note that the indices no longer have links to postscript files, which
were eliminated due to space considerations (they took up about 5 Mb at
a time when I only had an allowance of 35). If you really want a
printed songbook, send me a note at <steve+filk at
theStarport.org> and if I get pestered enough I'll think about
publishing one. They do have links to PDF's, which are pretty
repulsive but easier for most folks to handle than .dvi's.
I'm a lousy transcriber, so doing this right will probably require a
voice-to-MIDI translator. Anyone have one that runs on Linux?