small logo Sing More Songs of SETI

Make a SETI Station from the Junk Behind Your Home
lyrics Copyright © 1999 by H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D.
Sung to the tune of (what else?) Do It Yourself by Bill Sutton (used by permission)
[otherwise known as You Can Build A Mainframe With The Things You Find At Home]
also scans to MacNamara's Band

Come sing with me story of a search for life in space,
Conducted by the most creative members of our race.
Amazing ingenuity is daily being shown
To make a SETI station from the junk behind your home.

When NASA SETI got the axe in nineteen ninety three.
Who ever guessed that you and I could do the job for free?
The amateurs accomplished what some said could not be done:
We made us SETI stations from the junk behind our homes.


A pair of three pound coffee cans is all you really need
To build yourself a low-reflection fourteen twenty feed.
A TV dish and old computer you already own
Will make a SETI station from the junk behind your home.

The giant NASA telescopes cost fifty million bucks.
Of course we're short on funding, but we're really long on luck.
Because there are some simple ways the hobbyists have shown
To make a SETI station from the junk behind your home.

Our dishes may be tiny, but it isn't hard to show
They're sensitive as NASA's were just twenty years ago.
As software gets more capable we quickly realize
We'll make up in computer power what we may lack in size.


The budget axe in Washington just never could apply,
For SETI is the science which refused to simply die.
The hams had far more talent than the world had ever known,
To make their SETI stations from the junk behind their homes.

We're global, and the Flag of Earth we've recently unfurled,
With regional coordinators all around the world.
A search that's run by volunteers will never have to fear
That government will pull their funding after just a year.


Some people lack the training to know what it's all about,
But they can join The SETI League. We're here to help you out.
I'm telling you that no one has to do the job alone,
When making SETI stations from the junk behind your home.

We're five years old and growing. Would you like to know the score?
A thousand members now in fifty countries, maybe more.
Grass roots and international, because so many care.
I'm proud to say we've now six dozen stations on the air!


Our members write the software. It's the fastest we can get,
All clever code for hacking the Galactic Internet.
We put it out as shareware. From Aruba to Zagreb
Our stations are downloading it directly off the Web.

Technology is grand, but still the skeptics often ask
How what we've cobbled up can be sufficient to the task.
It may not be today, but Gordon Moore has made it clear
That raw computer power seems to double every year.


It's hard to know what any individual may see.
We need coordination, and we get it all for free:
A modem and a phone line and a local ISP
Mean we can share our data files, and you can work with me.

Someday soon a hobbyist is going to get the call
That proves to us that life on Earth is not unique at all.
Until that day, we need you to participate, so come
And make a SETI station from the junk behind your home.


Performed by Dr. SETI ® on the CD "Sing More Songs of SETI" Sing More Songs of SETI CD

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