The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Fossil-Maker’s Blues


Lyrics by Steven Brust, Music by Nate Bucklin

Demons and imps are all around
Screaming and chipping are the only sounds
I work so hard it gives me fits
Just to fool those stupid biologists.


It’s calcium and marrow and mix ’em fine
I’m on the job from nine to nine.
Oh lord, won’t somebody set me free
From the Devil’s fossil factory.

Add a little carbon and start the decay
Inject some mitochondrial DNA.
Gotta carve them bones so they look right
Then plant ’em in the strata in the dark of night.


Work all week for nineteen cents
Building evolutionary evidence.
You got no chance to organize
When the chairman of the board is the prince of lies




Author: skzb

I play the drum.


  1. Lovely.

    What ever happened to the dinosaurs?
    They turned to salt in Sodom and Gomorrah.
    So now we’ve got to fake their bones
    Fit ’em in by hand in a matrix of stone.

  2. Somehow, I want this to be to the tune of King of the Road, which almost works. 16 Tons almost works, too, and is kind of thematically appropriate.

  3. I eagerly await more verses. There must be more heretical things the devil has his minions working on. How about a big bang verse?

  4. Oh, VERY enjoyable. I’ve posted the link to the filk community on LiveJournal (Fossil-Maker’s Blues, Brust/Bucklin), with the YouTube video and the “found filk” tag.

  5. skzb

    Many thanks, thnidu; I was beginning to think I’d written that one into a hole and buried it. 🙂

  6. 🙂 ♫ Glad to share. 2 appreciative comments so far.

  7. Cross-posted on my own blog (Dreamwidth, LiveJournal).

    PS: Typo:
    • Them plant ‘em in the strata in the dark of night.
    → Then

  8. I have copies of “Backward Message” on tape and CD (actually I only listen to the copy I burned to my computer). Is this new song available for purchase too? I’d like to have a copy.

    I remember reading a story where some Arab sells a manuscript he found in a cave in Israel, an old manuscript that had Jesus being taken down from the cross “More dead than alive”. The final scene has Satan making up a whole set of jars of manuscripts and magically making them use up their carbon 14 to age them, and laughing and leaving.

  9. skzb

    It’s not for sale, nor is likely to be, but you are certainly welcome to download it.

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