Don’t Panic
by Robert Wynne and Jeffrey Williams
Music: “Pink Houses” by John Mellencamp
© 1999

Well there’s an ad man in his bathrobe
Living in his dreary world
They built a new bypass right up to his front door
And you know he’s not feeling so good
Then his old friend, down from Guilford
Says “Arthur, there’s no where to hide,
Let’s go have ourselves a couple of drinks at the pub and talk
and then we’ll catch a ride

Come roam the Galaxy along with me
Come roam the Galaxy, its something to see, Arthur
Come roam the Galaxy, be lonely and free
The Guide says Don’t Panic, Arthur, come roam with me!

Well there’s a Vogon, he’s a captain
Writing down his Vogon poetry
He’s got greasy skin, never smiles
And you know — he doesn’t like strangers
So he threw them in the airlock
Said they would never grow old
Kinda cold and lonely floating round in outerspace
But then came the Heart of Gold

(chorus)

There’s a strange man, on Magrathea, building a brand new planet, oh
He signed his name into a giant glacial mass
and he says he made the fjords in Oslo
And there’s robots, and there’s white mice
But they ain’t no big deal
Cause there’s crazy guards baby
And they will shoot, and shoot, and shoot to kill

(chorus)

 

The creative process is a funny thing. I was driving home from work late one night when John Mellancamp’s “Pink Houses” came on the radio. When I heard the line about the black man with “an interstate running through his front yard”, I thought of poor Arthur Dent in the Hitchhiker’s series, and this song came out. The scansion’s a bit odd in the chorus, but it works the way I do it.