2019 A Chamber Choir Musical
Octet the Musical - Little God Lyrics
Music and lyrics by Dave Malloy.
Hi. Uh, I’m Marvin. I’ve been coming here for a while,
But I haven’t ever shared. I'm a—well my thing's a little different.
I guess things started for me about six months ago.
My wife and I had a baby. And it’s been, you know, all the clichés.
It’s a miracle—but it’s been hell on my sleep. Cuz once I’m up, I’m up.
So I started getting into late night comment sessions on science forums:
Evolution, intelligent design, that kind of thing.
Now I’m actually a neurochemist;
I focus on the effects of audio stimuli on brain chemistry.
You know, neural plasticity and dopamine production as they relate to music:
subpartial alpha-beta waves, microtonal phase shifts,
Lydian quark compressions, you know.
I’m a real dork for this stuff.
But for whatever reason intelligent design is what really gets me going.
Like I just go trolling the boards…though not trolling really;
I mean I actually try to engage, educate a little.
But you know, these people, it’s just impossible.
It’s like throwing your mind against a wall.
And I get so heated man…it’s like I’m intolerant of unintelligence, you know?
It’s my fatal flaw. I might as well be getting mad at people for not being able to do calculus.
“Just take the derivative, fool!”
But I get it. Science is suspect. I mean look at nutrition:
Like the scientific evidence for whether you should eat wheat or not is crazy.
Or if acupuncture works?
You know, as layman we trust that what
We hear from our preferred media and peers is right;
But skepticism is a necessary and healthy trait in a scientist.
Or, at least that’s what I thought.
So. A couple nights ago, Cora gets up at like 3am,
And it’s my turn—my wife had an early morning.
So I get her down, and then go straight under my cans,
Put on some binaural meditation beats and get to it.
And I’m raging away on someone, talking about the evolution of the eye,
When suddenly, in my headphones, I start hearing something, weird.
There’s a sort of crystal ringing in the 22000 hertz range.
Sort of a tinny electric crackle. It gets me curious, so I export the file,
Isolate the frequency, pitch shift it, slow it down—and when I do all that,
It resolves, into the sound of a hushed new age voice, saying:
Hello marvin, I think this is god
“Hello marvin, I think this is god.”
Sounds like someone was having a laugh with you.
Right. Of course, that’s what I thought…but then the voice answers that thought:
No, no, I’m not having a laugh
And I thought, well that’s strange. Because this was recorded audio.
It’s not streaming live. And then the voice says:
Well, no, but i’m omnipresent, including in time, so,
It’s all sort of the same thing for me
So I throw my headphones off and go to bed.
Figured I was exhausted, overworked, you know.
But then in the morning, I get a phone call.
I thought it might be the nanny, running late. But no:
I’m sorry about last night, this is probably a more normal way to talk to you
“Well if you’re god, a burning bush would actually be more normal—”
Ha ha ha, no, not that god.
I mean, that’s a version of me, but I’m the one, real god - at least I think
Yeah. So I was starting to get a little freaked out at this point,
But still, I was definitely not falling for it. So I play along:
“Well what makes you think you’re god?
Can you do some kind of miracle or something?”
And at that point my phone turned into a fish.
No, no, not okay.
What kind of fish was it?
I don’t know. I don’t really know kinds of fish.
Like a trout maybe? It was phone-sized…
Trout are a bit bigger than that I think. Yeah trout are like this big.
Like I said I don’t really know fish.
But honestly I’m starting to freak out here.
Like I am having a mental episode.
And so, I’m like, get out of the house, get on my bike, head to the lab.
But when I get there,
I find out that everyone else has had the same experience.
Susie, walt, trillian, kamala, the two jacks; they’re all freaking out.
Kamala says her phone turned into a kitten. And jack 2 says:
HENRY (JACK 2):
“Why didn’t we all get kittens?”
Well, I knew some of you were allergic
And we all hear that. God is in all of our heads, and we are freaking out!
Don’t freak out, don’t freak out!
I’m sorry, it’s never easy making first contact. Look, I’m just gonna come in now
And then through the door walks an 11-year old girl in a mermaid costume.
She says she’s trying appearing as a playful child,
So she seems less threatening.
But so we’re all just taking it in, and then walt says:
“Ok, well can you do a miracle all of us will see?”
And so then she rolls her eyes—she has all these very tween affectations
And then the coffee maker turns into a baby pterodactyl.
Yeah. Susie was really into it:
“Hey little buddy! Aren’t you a long way from home?”
She goes over to it with a pencil and tries to get it to bite it,
And it’s pretty cute. But then we’re all just, wait.
MARVIN & LAB CHORUS:
“What the fuck is going on here?!”
I can do some things. But I’m not sure if I’m actually god.
I was hoping you could run some tests, and see if these are miracles?
And here’s where we start going down the rabbit hole.
Now I am a devout atheist; but I’ve always believed that if
I was confronted with irrefutable evidence of god,
As a good scientist I would change my mind.
And here was my chance to test that!
To test my atheism and devotion to rationalism.
And I gotta say, we took care of the pterodactyl pretty quick.
We had hypotheses.
I mean first off there’s the jurassic park amber thing,
other ways dna could be preserved…or time travel.
Spacetime wormholes, which aren’t even that controversial in scientific communities.
Or there’s molecular printing:
Just reorganizing the molecules from the coffee maker into the form of a pterodactyl,
which is also pretty non-controversial speculative science;
Like 30, 40 years from now we can probably do this.
So you’re saying you guys did not take the pterodactyl to be a miracle.
Right. We just postulated that there could be explanations beyond
Our technological capabilities that were not supernatural or holy.
So then we’re like, okay, what next.
And I gotta say, little god was great. She did whatever we asked!
VELMA, KARLY & JESSICA (HUMAN CHORUS):
What else did you ask her to do?
First we asked for a bunch of basically telekinetic and transformational stuff.
All the big bible clichés: walking on water, water into wine, splitting the red sea…
PAULA (HUMAN CHORUS):
You did that?
Oh, yeah, we went to the beach! Plus little god is really into historical accuracy
So we actually did it in egypt circa 1400 bce.
JESSICA & TOBY (HUMAN CHORUS):
You time traveled?
Yeah, wormhole; no big. And then the water too, no big;
Because if we’re postulating future technologies, space time distortions,
Gravity flux—that kind of stuff quickly becomes just not that impressive.
I mean sure, impressive, but not miraculous.
It sounds like maybe this is just some very evolutionarily advanced intelligence, right?
Where does the god stuff come from?
Well first, she claims to have created the universe.
So we carbon date her, and her age is infinite in both directions,
Suggesting that she’s immortal.
But then that actually gets pretty dark, because jack 1 says:
ED (JACK 1):
“Well, can we kill her?”
And we’re all like no, we’re not going to try to kill an 11-year old child.
But then little god just gets up, real calm,
And breaks into a full suicide sprint right across the break room,
Smashing her fucking head right into the fucking metal door. Bam!
(Fwap!) oh my god!
And she hits the door hard. And there is this awful, awful,
Wet cracking sound and we see her skull get completely smashed in.
And there’s blood dripping down the door and bits of brain everywhere.
And she is dead, and we’re gonna have nightmares for the rest of our lives…
And then we hear the other door open behind us, and there she is.
Little god. She saunters back in, all cool and casual, and is all:
See? I’m fine
JESSICA, PAULA, HENRY & ED (HUMAN CHORUS):
Wait and her body is still on the ground?
VELMA, KARLY, TOBY (HUMAN CHORUS):
So there’s two of her?
Yeah, so there’s two of her!
But even this, she helps us explain by postulating a whole mess of super advanced tech.
I mean we already know it’s easy
To form any old heap of molecules into an 11-year old body;
And with dna printing and cerebral uploading,
We had an explanation for any kind of lazarus stuff she pulled.
And as for her “soul”:
Soul is a matterless, infinite substance that exists outside
Of time and is constantly separating and reforming
So I don’t know, that one kind of turned into semantics…
But honestly at this point were starting to doubt everything.
Like kamala starts in on the uncertainty principle:
Are our observations affecting the data?
Or, is little god manipulating the data?
She could be deceiving us by changing the microchips,
Or moving the ink on the whiteboard.
She could be corrupting our actual brain waves!
None of us could prove that this wasn’t just a simple multi-player vr.
HUMAN CHORUS (except TOBY):
But when you get to that level of skepticism,
I mean of course you know that’s a possibility in the back of your head.
HUMAN CHORUS (add TOBY):
But you don’t live like that. It’s paralyzing.
No, I know. I know. But if we’re being scientific,
scientific about the existence of god,
Then we can’t discount those possibilities.
I mean evolutionarily, we are still infants, technologically and mentally.
We haven’t even hit singularity yet!
Our little 21st century human minds can’t even begin
To conceptualize some of the actual laws of physics.
And if we accept that there may be explanations
That are simply beyond our own intelligence,
Then what evidence could she possibly come up with? Clarke’s third law:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic
If I can explain away something that by all criteria satisfies any definition of God,
Then I can explain away anything. Any miracle. Any wonder. Any feeling.
Any sense of love, or responsibility, or moral…or just sense of meaning.
I look into my daughter’s eyes…my wife…what does it mean?
We tried so hard to shatter our skepticism;
But it was like throwing our minds against a wall.
We traveled into black holes, into quarks;
We slipped through time backwards and sideways;
We created new life forms, living suns;
We watched the universe multiply, invert, spiral, disappear.
We beheld an infinity of wonders—and yet we sat at our desks in stoic calculation,
Stripped of awe, paralyzed by the unforgiving relentlessness of our intellect.
You’re The Hanged Man.
It’s a tarot card. It’s—it’s supposed to be this thing where everything flips.
All the stress and shit of life finally just rocks you
So hard that you can’t take it anymore,
And you think and think and think,
Until everything you thought you believed in,
Everything you thought was essential to “you” suddenly seems all wrong.
So you strap yourself to a post. You hurt yourself.
The world is upside down and you’re trapped
And you’ll do anything just to feel something.
“After the Hanged Man sees the world for what it is
After she survives the temptations of Temperance, Devils, and Death
She must pass through a cleansing fire
The Hanged Man must enter The Tower
And be struck down
They say you have to go through that part.
To get to the really good stuff.
Thank you for sharing Marvin. Now: it’s time for tea.
Other Songs: Octet the Musical Songs Lyrics
Octet Little God Lyrics