Space Force’s song goes off for the stars, but some think it’s regressing

Since its creation in 2019, the US Space Force has named its service personnel Guardians, created a futuristic-looking silver delta symbol, and debuted a uniform with a navy blue coat to evoke the vastness of space.

This week, the Space Force dropped an official song, “somber supraIt is named after this, a Latin phrase meaning ‘always above’.

Complete with cymbals and high-flying lyrics glorifying the celestial mission of the Force, the song was composed by two former service members—one singer-songwriter and arranger—who collaborated over months to create a piece of music that would inspire pride. Community spirit.

But after Space Force released the song and “Behind the Music” video on Tuesday, some of the public reaction was harsh.

Single title, dated Military.com, read: “The Space Force has unveiled its official service song. It’s Not a Banger.” Kevin Barron, Executive Editor of Defense One, called words “Verbal word authority version of bad air force billboard.” Some suggested that she needed laser sounds.

These reactions became all too familiar to the fledgling military branch, which drew endless comparisons to “Star Trek“Indeed, he was mocked at”space forceNetflix comedy series starring Steve Carell.

“You want something that inspires people,” said Raul Camus, professor emeritus of music at Queensboro Community College in New York and former band director of the 42nd Infantry Division in the New York Army National Guard. “That’s like jumping into a carnival.”

Professor Camus, author of Military Music of the American Revolution, also questioned the lyrics. “I don’t want to use the word ‘funny,’ but come on,” he said. “It really drives patriotism to the point where I wonder: Do people think that?”

The branch, despite its name, does not focus on sending its members into space, but rather on training and equipping them to launch and operate satellites. However, the words are very dependent on the images of the other world:

We are the strong watchful eye

Guardians behind the color blue

Invisible front line

Brave and true warriors

Boldly reach into space

There is no limit to our sky

Permanent guard day and night

We are the space power from above

Not everyone criticized the song. James Davis, a professor of musicology at State University of New York at Fredonia, who researches Civil War music and musicians, had a more positive view.

“As I suppose they wanted,” he said, “I thought it was remarkably similar to the other service anthems.” “In terms of speed, wisdom, and even melody, it reminds us of some other military songs.”

He and others noted that the song should stand side by side with well-established military songs such as “aweigh anchors“which is considered the unofficial song of the United States Navy,” andMarines hymn‘With her famous poems that begin ‘from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli’.

“So if this would be attractive?” Professor Davis said. “Wonderful. Good luck to them.”

Eamonn O’Keefe, a doctoral student at Oxford who researches British military musicians during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, said that the song was an effective effort to create a sense of pride of unity and that its use of the terms “warrior” and “guardians” evoked the “newness and modernity of the branch”.

However, he added, “I don’t think a few dystopian, dramatic words about being a ‘strong vigilant eye’ etc. would help Space Force surpass their public reputation as something reminiscent of a Hollywood science fiction movie.”

The song took years to develop. It was motivated by James Tichenor, a singer-songwriter and former US Air Force Academy band member, who created the melody and wrote the lyrics.

He then teamed up with Shawn Nelson, chief musician, trombone player and arranger for the US Coast Guard, who said Mr. Tichenor “wanted me to help add and harmonize.”

“At first, it started with singing and playing the piano,” said Mr. Nelson. a permit. “I became familiar with the songs of other branches, but I wanted this song to have its own modern feel to reflect what the power of space is – modern, new and very advanced.”

Mr. Nelson added 30 bass parts and then the song was played and recorded by the Coast Guard and submitted to the Space Force for review.

After several months of revisions and differences, the Space Force launched the final version for the first time at this year’s Air, Space, and Cyber ​​Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on Tuesday.

“It has been a long work in progress for a while,” Mr. Tetenor said. in the video He elaborated on its creation, “because I wanted to make sure that everything that was in the song would appropriately represent all the capabilities our Space Force participates in, and make sure I didn’t fail the mission or see what the Space Force does.”

In a statement, General John W. Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, described the formation as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to establish a space power song that will be part of our culture and heritage for years to come.”

He added, “I will be proud, to sing Semper Supra along with my fellow Guardians.”

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