Home Songs Speeches Programs


By Andrew Eigel

Human progress, from stone tools to space colonies

We often blend the end of this into the beginning of Five Thousand Years.

Sometimes the final verse is altered to “Tools make the tools” and “Drones track the herd”, on the logic that colonizing other worlds will involve solving ancient challenges again, but not reverting to ancient limitations. We can expect future history to rhyme, but not to outright repeat itself. The 2020 version has this change.

NYC2016 performane is on Youtube

This song is available for sale via bandcamp in all three albums.

A Bayesian Choir Performance of this song is on Youtube.

A recording of this from the 2020 North American Distributed Chorus is available.

edit description


Hands chip the flint, light the fire, skin the kill
Feet move the tribe track the herd with a will
Human-kind struggles, on the edge of histo ry
Time to settle down, time to grow, time to breed..
... (skip)
Plow tills the soil, plants the seed, pray for rain
Scythe reaps the wheat, to the mill, to grind the grain
Towns.. and.. cities spread to empire over - night
Hands keep building as we chant the ancient rite...
... (skip)
Coal heats the steam, push the piston, turns the wheel
Cogs spin the wool, drives the horses made of steel
Lightning harnessed does our will and lights the dark
Keep rising higher, set our goal, hit the mark...
... (skip)

Crawl.. out.. of... the mud.
On... go... ing... but slow.
For the path... that is easy
Ain't the one... that... makes us grow
(skip) (skip)
Light push the sails, read the data, cities glow
Hands type the keys, tap the screen, out we go!
Our voices carry round the world and into space
Send us out to colonize another place.
Hands, make the tools, light fire, plant the grain
Feet, track the herd. Build a world. Begin again...
(transition directly into 5000 years)


Raw Git Folder