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Paperclip (Space Race Challenge)


by

Lennon714

 Genre: Rock & Roll

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Description
Wernher von Braun fought the laws of physics, and he straight won.

This is my submission for the Space Race Challenge. This song tells the story of Wernher von Braun. Total rock star. As European Theatre came to a close in Berlin the heavy task of looting Germany of all of its intellectual property had begun. The Soviets took some of this, the Americans took some of that. The Americans hit the jackpot with Wernher von Braun: Inventor of the V2 and eventual Godfather of the American Space program. When Americans got a prisoner of this value, they files were marked with paperclips in what was to be known as "Operation: Paperclip".

Explanations: Sure he was in the SS, but that was mostly ceremonial. He was primarily Intellectual Property. Hell, he was even arrested by the Gestapo for dissention so let's cut him some slack.

I've got nothing against Russians and assume they probably like God, too. The line in the song refers to von Braun saying he wanted to use his knowledge for a country "guided by the Bible", when in reality it probably had more to do with the Soviet reputation for torturing prisoners of war. Which begs the question: How would the Space Race have gone if the Soviets were nicer and von Braun took his team and his knowledge there?

Special thanks to Lavalamp for helping make sure I say Wernher's name right. I still probably screwed something up.
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Lyrics
Wernher von Braun's got his SS jacket on
He says "Surrender to the Yanks because the Soviets are Godless ones.
I'm a scientist, not a soldier
There's a paperclip on my folder

It's lonely here in Texas and I feel like a prisoner of peace
So I write back home and I marry my mother's niece.
These Godless Russians got a leg up on us
With an unmanned satellite stirring up a great big fuss.
That's a lot of weight on my shoulders
There was a paperclip on my folder

Well if the Soviets had only been nicer...

Well I'm sick of making weapons and I wanna put a man on the moon
Better get down to business 'cause the president wants it soon.
Like Bryan Adams sang it, baby, Summer of '69
That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.
That's a lot of weight on my shoulders
There's a paperclip on my folder.

If we can put a man on the moon...
Song Stats
Hits: 3332
Comments: 60
Fans: 31
Plays: 241
Downloads: 119
Votes: 2
Uploaded: Oct 04, 2009 - 03:45:35 AM
Last Updated: Oct 04, 2009 - 03:45:35 AM Last Played: Jan 11, 2017 - 04:08:59 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazz bass, Yamaha keys, m-audio fasttrack pro,
Software:
GB, Audacity
Comments
Narad said 2792 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Wernher von Braun
Rocky trip and a worthy dedication to an eminent astrophysicien and spaceexplorer.
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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Thanks!
Glad you could get behind this track!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
lavalamp said 2792 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
You got it right!
Buddy Holly 2009. This song is so cool. There are so many dynamics going on over this seemingly simple song.

You did such a good job with the lyrics. You voice is in top form here.

Bravo

Dave
Check out my latest song called The Shallow People
Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Thanks, Dave!
Who wouldn't love a Buddy Holly comparison? Thanks for helping me with the pronunciation. Much appreciated!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
MarkHolbrook said 2792 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
OMG Eric
I love love love this... Kind a punk rock meets the 1960's!!! Excellent... The guitars are great... Vocals are cool... Love the lyrics...

Hey I like it all! What a great great space race entry!!!
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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Thanks, Mark
I was going for that early 1980's new wave rocker, but it ended up sounding very 60's. When it starts even I think it's going to be 'I fought the law" with Bobby Fuller. I guess even when I want to be the Clash, I just come across as Bobby Fuller. Sigh.
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Feter said 2792 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Paperclip
Rock n roll at its place ( the moon ?) ..man
you cool ..you didnt screwed anybody here..
amazing song writing and the vocal ..definitely
awesome as ever ...the change in the middle was
just right ...man ...this is way cool...Rock on
thnx alot for sharin !!!!
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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
haha
To the moon, Feter. TO THE MOON! Glad you liked it!
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jgurner said 2792 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Ha!
I just recently watched a late 50s/early 60 bio pic about von Braun. It was pretty good stuff even though it kind of glossed over some of the more controversial stuff.

Such a cool tune. Love the lyrics and the style is very time period appropriate. Lots of fun and a great tribute to the man who helped us aim for the stars.

Thanks for sharing!
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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
haha
"von Braun loves the Bible, making cookies, and escape velocity". I watched something on von Braun a few years ago. It was on PBS and I swear it mentioned the US said he was a German truck driver or something. But in my research for the song I couldn't find anything of the sort. Did you see something like that or am I dreaming?
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scofugate said 2792 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Great Song!
Wonderful songwriting, arrangement, the breaks work perfect man. This song has longevity, I mean it could have been released October 1959 - today!. Love the Tele as well.
Great tune!!

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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Thanks
I love a great, inventive chord progression, but something nothing sounds better than a I-IV-V with a dab of 'tude. Thanks for the compliments.
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TERRAPLANE said 2792 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Great production!
All around ,,Very cool, thanks for the DL,T
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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Thank you
for downloading. I love when someone DL's a song. I think we all love the idea of someone listening to our music and thinking "I want to have a copy of this in my collection". Thanks!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
Vic Holman said 2792 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
way cool
i like how you approached this. the idea of doing a buddy holly style song is so timely with the early space race is brilliant.
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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Thanks, Vic!
I haven't even started listening to every else's submissions. What a great idea for a challenge, though. Can't wait to hear yours!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
rsorensen said 2792 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
oh man
this was pretty darn good then it turned to GREAT when that bridge came along. awesome bridge. your best bridge yet. Then it got AMAZING with the bouncy synth under the next verse... and THEN a BRYAN ADAMS reference and a SECOND BRIDGE??! I'm spent. effin love this song eric! Top of your game
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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Bridge-tastic
The bridge is a little bare. I wanted to have a Beach Boys sounding vocal thing going on, but I ran out of time and I haven't seen my kids in forever. I'll admit that I love the Bryan Adams reference. It's just so out of nowhere. The line feels very Rhett Miller-ish. Thanks, Ridd!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
sloparts said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Well that's one way to tell a story
that won't let you forget it. Great merging of genre and decades Eric Love the lyrics, very inventive and creative story telling there. The music is killer with enough dynamics to keep it really interesting.

Great entry into the challenge my friend, and a great song in it's own right.

Ed
Check out my latest song called Quack's Blues
Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Thanks!
I've always thought his story was very interesting. Glad you got in to the tune. I had a lot of fun with the challenge.
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
Relic67 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
(a) man LOL
brilliant lyrics and all-round songwriting.
i really like the guitar playing on this one too.
nobody mentioned the awesomeness of the last chord!!
so I just have to say, the last chord of the song totally rocked.


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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
hahaha
Well I'm glad you stuck around for the last chord. Thanks for the compliment.
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apod said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Amazing imaginative narrative Ramones style
Rocket to Russia lol. Just plain excellent!
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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
Rock and Roll Narrative
Glad you dug it. Did you guys put together a Space Race challenge? Individually you must have, but I can see the three of you doing something wild for this.
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apod said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
stand by...
;-)
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michael2 said 2791 days ago (October 4th, 2009)
amazing
this is such a good season, it's like a lost Elvis Costello track. Everything sounds great, love that organ, great guitar, and really sweet when you get to the bridge. so many surprises jump out in this one. wasn't expecting that synth, or that hilarious line about Bryan Adams. you get better constantly. thanks for sharing.
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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
You've got to
keep people honest and stick a Bryan Adams reference in every now and then. Thanks for the compliment. When I first started recording I figured it would take a month or two to really get a hang of it. I was crazy wrong, but it's been fun learning from everyone.
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
michael2 said 2790 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
why
does my reply say "such a good season?" weird. i tried posting a comment to this song like 5 times, and then decided to stop trying. it was making me banana's. glad you got hear how much I loved your tune.
Check out my latest song called Jazz Glitch Dub Experiment
Lennon714 said 2790 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
haha
I was going to make a smart ass comment about the season thing, but then I figured it was some hip LA thing to say so I thought I ought not dig myself a hole. Glad you stuck it out with the comment!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
Willywagga said 2791 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
Great song
Wow love the soviet break, great off centre song, hints of XTC in all the best ways.
Love the lyrics and that little squeaky noise around 2.30 ish
Brilliant


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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
Thanks!
Who would love an XTC reference? Glad you liked!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
tempie said 2791 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
a pop gem
the "prisoner of peace/mother's neice" line is sweet. breaks are beautiful dude. synth in the 3rd verse is pop genius. that's why lennon tunes go straight to the tempie ipod.
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Lennon714 said 2791 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
Marrying your cousin
Perhaps not all that bad. I was researching this guy and found his daughter. She is a professor of Earth Sciences in Idaho and runs a company of Earth Sciencing Somethingorother.

I've also been enrolled in the Tempie Turn of Phrase Academy for 13 months. I'm trying to apply the lessons more in my own tunes.
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Reinholt56 said 2791 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
Hi 714......
This is a wonderful, topical entry to the SRC 2009. Having been brought up with Werner and those NASA guys, I knew the story, so I'm with you with every word and sentiment.

Take care.

Paul
Check out my latest song called Back From Outer Space (A Reflective Ambient Mix)
Lennon714 said 2790 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
Thanks, Paul
I was really nervous about this one because MacJams is full of physics/engineering/space buffs that really know their stuff. I'm more of a history. But I knew if I got a detail wrong people would be turned off. So I'm glad you could get on board with this. It means a lot. Thanks!
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Doug Somers said 2790 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
Wow
Are you related to the early Elvis Costello? Great tune - obviously put together with care and feeling. I'm blown away by the whole package - vocals, lyrics, musical performance and production.

Nice!

Be well,
Doug
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Lennon714 said 2790 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
Elvis is cooler
so we couldn't possibly be related. Thanks, Doug. Glad you liked the song. There are some things I'll change, but for the most part I'm pleased with it.
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somebuddy said 2790 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
Cut time...
...the best thing to happen to music since sliced bread
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Lennon714 said 2790 days ago (October 5th, 2009)
You're the
best thing to happen to sliced bread since the Smith's Fresh Values card.
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cjdaley said 2790 days ago (October 6th, 2009)
nasa nazi
wernher von Braun gave his SS insignia to the ramones, and a culture was born.

Those bridges go straight to the moon.
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Lennon714 said 2790 days ago (October 6th, 2009)
It would be
wicked bad ass to build a bridge to the moon. I wonder how long it would take to drive to the moon. There are a lot of challenges, but Rome wasn't build in a day.
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lengold said 2789 days ago (October 6th, 2009)
Great idea for
a song and love the fresh and natural feel of it. Wonderful playing and vocal. Enjoyed.
Cheers
Len


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Lennon714 said 2789 days ago (October 6th, 2009)
Thanks Len!
I'm glad you came by and rocked it out. Thanks!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
blaky smith said 2788 days ago (October 7th, 2009)
Cool
I like it, excellent tune on every way Eric, a solid piece in this challenge. Bravo !
Marc
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Lennon714 said 2784 days ago (October 12th, 2009)
Thank you!
I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
davajonah said 2785 days ago (October 11th, 2009)
Good stuff
May I say a good subject for a song? Reminds me of something The Cars might have done. Most enjoyable!
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Lennon714 said 2784 days ago (October 12th, 2009)
I've been
accused of leaning a bit towards a late 70's/early 80's new wave sound... an accusation I can agree with. Thanks!
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drakonis said 2784 days ago (October 11th, 2009)
Those embroiled in history...
So glad we got Mr. Paperclip! My dad & I did some work for "RocketDyne" long ago up in L.A. (a company he helped guide into building re-usable space-shuttle engines.)

This is a great bouncy piece... awesome way to twist rather esoteric nerdy history into a very cool piece of pop-rock!
ttfn,
Drakonis
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Lennon714 said 2783 days ago (October 12th, 2009)
Nice
The connection is complete! I'm glad we got him, too. I've accepted that "esoteric nerdy history" is tops on my list. Thanks for listening!
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magnatone said 2783 days ago (October 12th, 2009)
Paperclip
oh YEAH - what a GREAT rocker!! i will be tapping my foot to this in my head the rest of the day! Thanks!
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Lennon714 said 2783 days ago (October 13th, 2009)
Thanks!
Infected with the rock and roll bug. Call in to work!
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egobandit said 2779 days ago (October 16th, 2009)
Greatness
Excellent all around! Vocals ,lyrics,description and the dead kennedy riff!!!!!!! tops!
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Lennon714 said 2779 days ago (October 16th, 2009)
Thanks, Tim!
Glad you dug it!
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five_extra_arms said 2776 days ago (October 19th, 2009)
If We Can Put A Man On The Moon
You are such a clever guy. I really love this song of yours. I agree that you are getting better and better and better. One thing I notice is that you seem to just go with the natural development of your tunes in a most unnatural way, or vice versa. My point is this, if iComp wasn't godless who'd be singing this song on the way home tonight? Not me!

Great song writing man, seriously. You're a top notch performer as well. Man, you play that organ like your parents are out of town for the weekend!
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Lennon714 said 2776 days ago (October 20th, 2009)
Unnaturally Natural
Thanks! It's good to see you back around these parts. Speaking of parts, let's go play some organ.
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ste said 2776 days ago (October 20th, 2009)
great
bright and vox guitars on this. top tune!
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ste said 2776 days ago (October 20th, 2009)
or
bright guitars and vox, even
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Lennon714 said 2776 days ago (October 20th, 2009)
Either way
sounds good to me. Thanks for the listen. I'm a warrior and not known for my wit.
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
Martin_Leroy said 2762 days ago (November 2nd, 2009)
VON BRAUN ROCKS!
This is just good! OK, it's amusing too.
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Warren Smith said 2325 days ago (January 13th, 2011)
WVB
Way back in the 60s when I was going through college for the first time, I had a roommie who could rattle off enough von Braun jokes to fill a space capsule. I only remember one -

I just shoot them up
I don't care where they come down
That's not my department
Said Wernher von Braun

I just thought I would share that little tidbit : )

This is a wonderful little rocker that harkens back to the sound of that classic period, but it has a quirky sensibility also making it feel new. That makes it a delightful listening experience for the contemporary ear.

"A prisoner of peace" - that's good writing.
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