The Space Force finally has an official song, three years after becoming the sixth service branch of the U.S. military.
Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond unveiled the song — titled “Semper Supra” after the service’s motto, which means “Always Above” in Latin — last Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference, describing it as “something we can be proud of.”
It’s been hard for many people to take Space Force seriously, with its ill-defined mission, seemingly redundant with the Air Force’s Space Command, founded 36 years ago. It’s been the subject of derision almost from its very beginning, with Netflix making a comedy series about it that ran two seasons.
The Navy has “Anchors Aweigh.” TheU. S. Army has “The Caissons go Rolling Along.” The USMC has the “Marines’ Hymn.” The Coast Guard has “Semper Paratus.” The US Air Force has “Wild Blue Yonder.” Now the Space Force has “Semper Supra,” a rollicking anthem worthy to be sung alongside the songs of the other military branches. Or so they hoped.
Senior Airman Jamie Teachenor — an Air Force veteran and former member of the Air Force Band in Colorado Springs, Colorado, who has had songs recorded by many mainstream country music artists such as Luke Bryan, Trace Adkins and Montgomery Gentry — said he texted Raymond and Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force Roger Towberman that he wanted to be involved in crafting the song. The senior leaders took him up on the offer.
Teachenor did what he thought was his best effort on the lyrics, Sean Nelson set them to music, and then the whole thing went to committee for approval. Songwriting by committee never goes well, and had the Space Force just given the job to somebody who knew how write soaring inspiring music, it might not have been subjected to so much public mockery. On the other hand, the lyrics are pretty cringeworthy too. Teachenor may not have done them any favors.
From a public relations standpoint, public reaction to the song has not been all that positive. As one website dedicated to covering America’s armed forces put it: “It’s not a banger.” Others have described the lyrics as a kind of “a verbal word salad version of a bad Air Force painting”.
We’re the mighty watchful eye,
Guardians beyond the blue.
The invisible front line,
Warfighters brave and true.
Boldly reaching into space,
There’s no limit to our sky.
Standing guard both night and day
We’re the Space Force from on high!”
Space Force has its own official song now. I guess that means we’re supposed to start taking it seriously. They may not have a clear mission that everybody understands; they may not be doing much that anybody can point to and say, “oh, now I get it” — but by God, they have a song.
As they’re the first formal branch of anybody’s military that deals expressly with concerns of outer space, they’re the vanguard. Of course nobody gets it right now. Here’s hoping they find their way.
For sheet music requests, please visit: www.music.af.mil/space-force-song/.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.
To me, the lyrics sound more like something I would expect in 1942 than in 2022.