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Ashokan Goodbye

Ashokan Goodbye

To the tune of “Ashokan Farewell”

When my lands begins to burn and my seas begin to boil

And my skies they turn crimson with fire and flame

Oh back to my land of Ashoka I'll come crawlin'

Just to see my old homeworld once more again

For rolling hills of blue and cool clear waters

And trees grown strong with age

For homes of cut stone and halls of mighty timber

And soil so old its grown wise and sage

I'll greet the people that I knew as if I knew them still

And I'll go to Makiran's for drink and friend

And we'll talk about the days of golden yonder yore

Even as those days now draw to an end

You know that roaring wide river now dry, cracked and gone

And the elms now turned to ash

And the shires of Kelm with crops burning away

Let's talk of what they were before that mighty flash

Remember poor Patty Su and grumpy farmer Kessan

And Jonah, remember his smile?

Yes I know that they’re gone and the bodies buried deep

But they'll rise to meet us in a short while

Oh I know that they'll cry and they will not understand

Why go to a world to die?

But a sky without Ashoka is a sky that ain't worth seein'

And instead of "oh well" I'd rather say "goodbye"

But a sky without Ashoka is a sky that ain't worth seein'

And instead of "oh well" I'd rather say "goodbye"

So I feel like I have to give an explanation for this one. A few nights ago, I was listening to the song "Ashokan Farewell" (better known as "the song that plays in the background of Ken Burns' Civil War"), and after learning the title of the song, a strange story and set of lyrics formed in my head. The idea became so fascinating to me that I felt like I had to write it down and post it.

The story behind the song takes place in a universe where interstellar space travel is common. News begins to spread about how the sun of the picturesque planet of Ashoka has gone supernova and soon the planet will begin to burn away under the extreme heat of the engorged star. But for some reason, the people still living on the planet have refused to evacuate. In fact, many Ashokans are now traveling back to their homeworld to be on it when it goes. This song was found in the hotel room of a famous Ashokan musician who is believed to have gone back to the planet and is one of the few artifacts left behind by the now mostly-extinct Ashokan people.

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