The World Inside the Crystal

© 1985 Stephen Savitzky. CC-by-nc-sa.

My first serious computer song. You can always tell the programmers in the audience. They've been there, and they know.


[ogg] [mp3]

Lyrics [pdf] [txt] [cho]

1997 Pegasus Award winner: Best Science Song.

Here is where the mild-mannered hacker takes off his disguise and stands revealed as a wizard of great power--because, you see, there is a world where magic really works...

Am C
  Beside the world we  live in
G C Em
Ap art from  day and  night
Is a world ablaze with  wonder
Em Am
Of  magic and del ight

Like a magic crystal mirror,
My computer lets me know
Of the other world within it
Where my body cannot go.
  You can only see the shadows
Am G Am
Of  electrons on  screen
Dm Am
From the  world inside the  crystal
Em Am
That no  human eye has  seen.

The computer is a gateway
To a world where magic rules
Where the only law is logic
Webs of words the only tools

Where we play with words and symbols
And creation is the game
For our symbols have the power
To become the things they name.


Now you who do not know this world
Its dangers or its joys
You take the things we build there
And you use them as your toys.

You trust them with your fortunes,
Or let them guard your lives.
From the chaos of creation
Just their final form survives.


instrumental break: verse+refrain

Call us hackers, call us wizards,
With derision or respect,
Still our souls are marked by something
That your labels can't affect.

Though our words are touched by strangeness
There is little we can say.
You would only hear the echo
Of a music far away.