Song — 1000 A.D.

June 23rd, 2008

Recently I lost an hour reading a comment thread that started as follows:

“I wanted to ask for survival tips in case I am unexpectedly transported to a random location in Europe (say for instance current France/Benelux/Germany) in the year 1000 AD (plus or minus 200 years). I assume that such transportation would leave me with what I am wearing, what I know, and nothing else. Any advice would help.”

The suggestions ranged from funny to serious, and ludicrous to ludicrouser. Nonetheless, I spent the next two days worried that I wasn’t prepared for this eventuality. (Yes, I know there’s something wrong with me.) After perusing many of the suggestions on the original thread on Marginal Revolution as well as the side thread on, I realized the only way to deal with this was to put this collective intelligence to music.

This song was kind of accidental. I have several others in the works, but this just sort of popped up on the piano as we were about to leave the house. I jotted it down quickly (correct… I’m unable to memorize 4 chords) and I kept obsessing about this thread so the only logical conclusion was to put the music and topic together.

I did my best to capture as many of the best comments as possible but 3:26 isn’t a huge canvas. I’m particularly sad that I never figured out a way to mention how bad the people must have smelled, or my plan to get rich selling soap.

1000 A.D.


24 Responses to “Song — 1000 A.D.”

  1. Avital Says:

    Very cute! You are getting closer and closer to Jonathan Coulton. I love that people actually do worry about this kind of thing though :)

  2. Leslie Irish Evans Says:

    Ha! I like it. :-)

  3. hillel Says:

    Glad you liked it. As for the comparison, it wasn’t my (conscious) intention, but I’ll take the compliment. :)

  4. Stephen Glauser Says:

    Quite funny. Good stuff.

  5. Leo Kennis Says:

    Wow…I really like your voice, and a great arrangement too! :D

    Are you playing all the instruments, or are their other musicians/computer synthesizers involved?

  6. Jenny Says:

    very pro! impressive :)

  7. hillel Says:

    Thanks for the nice words.

    @Leo: This one happens to be all me. I do most things on the other tracks, but have friends who pitch in periodically. I try to note who does what in the post for each song.

  8. darkstar Says:


    Caught your song from the thread posted on MetaFilter; it’s going into my iTunes.

    See you in the 11th Century! :)

  9. chagall Says:

    I’m putting the song on repeat since this morning at work. Somebody should post the lyrics and link them to the original comments. :D

  10. Sugar Fix » Blog Archive » Lyrics — 1000 A.D. Says:

    [...] 1000 A.D.# [...]

  11. hillel Says:

    @chagall: I’ve posted the lyrics here. Feel free to post a link to them as you see fit. :)

    And thanks for listening all day.

  12. Song — 1000 A.D. : clusterflock Says:

    [...] threads alone are worth their weight in gold, but a young man with the voice of an angel came along and set the whole thing to song. But father, I don’t want large tracts of land. I did my best to capture as many of the best [...]

  13. Knox Says:

    Ha! This is great–a really clever idea that holds up as a legitimate pop song. I like the harmony over the chorus. And the keyboard solo! But the lyrics of course are particularly impressive, as you pull in all the bits from the thread. Well done!

  14. zoe Says:

    This is completely hilarious and amazing. We should be friends.

  15. Hyper Gumbo » Blog Archive » 1000 AD: The Musical Says:

    [...] amusing song about survival, should one wake up one day in 1000 [...]

  16. don Says:

    Very well done. Now start a thread on surviving being sent to 3000 AD and do a song on that =p

  17. hillel Says:

    @don: you start the thread, I’ll write the song.

  18. Jeff Says:

    wow! sweet! you rock!

    You know writing about people’s favorite threads would be cute. Got any songs about lolcats?

  19. bob Says:

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t stop thinking about those things. I’m actually thinking about getting my teeth capped with gold crowns just in case.

  20. hillel Says:

    @Jeff: Yeah… I seem to have found my niche – writing soundtracks to interesting threads. Who knew threads needed musical accompaniment? ;)

    This is not the first song I’ve written focused on a specific thread – here’s the first.

  21. Sugar Fix » Blog Archive » Hi there new Sugar Fix fans :) Says:

    [...] 1000 A.D.# [...]

  22. Jamming in 1000 A.D. « Robot Pirate Ninja Says:

    [...] if you are really up for it, here’s a free MP3,  1000 A.D. on the same [...]

  23. Sugar Fix » Blog Archive » Blog Post Songwriting Challenge Says:

    [...] (mp3) 1000 A.D. [...]

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