Songs You May Have Missed #705

Stephen Moore: “Marvin” (1981)

For those not familiar with Douglas Adams’ HItchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, some explaining is in order on this one.

In the fictional book series, radio drama, TV series and movie, Marvin is a robot starship crew member who has been programmed with a human personality.

Unfortunately, Marvin is chronically depressed and bored with the mundane tasks he’s routinely asked to perform. Marvin claims to be 50,000 times more intelligient than a human, yet, as his song laments, “they make me pick the paper off the floor”.

Stephen Moore, who voiced Marvin in the British radio and TV series, released the single “Marvin” in 1981, and it reached number 52 in the British pop charts.

Aside from play on the Dr. Demento show, the song had basically zero exposure in America. And that’s exactly where I came across it, around 1985, and recorded it to a long lost cassette from the boombox beside my bed.

I'm just a robot and I know my place 
A metal servant to the human race 
I work my can off trying to satisfy 
I know they'll disconnect me by and by. 

Chip on my shoulder made of silicon 
My printed circuit's like a lexicon 
Ten billion logic functions, maybe more 
They make me pick the paper off the floor. 

Solitary solenoid 
Terminally paranoid 

Know what makes me really mad 
They clean me with a Brillo Pad 
A carwash wouldn't be so bad 
Life! Don't talk to me about life. 

I'm so depressed I could expectorate 
My moving parts are in a solid state 
I want to rust in peace, switch off and lie 
In that great junk yard in the sky. 

Solitary solenoid 
Terminally paranoid 

Nothing left to be enjoyed 
Every diode rheumatoid 

Outer alloy Inner void 

Happiness has been destroyed.

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