Sci-Fi Song #25: The Ballad of Wilson Cole

Here's an acoustic version of my song: "The Ballad of Wilson Cole". The song was inspired by Mike Resnick's "Starship" series of books. The sheet music and lyrics for "The Ballad of Wilson Cole" appear in the appendix of Resnick's "Starship:Flagship". The song features five verses; one for each book in the series. Click here to read more about it.

This is a bare-bones version of the song; just acoustic guitar (in DADGAD tuning) and vocals. I intend to release a version of the song with a more fully orchestrated arrangement. Perhaps that will see the light of day in January or February. Completing my new NaNoWriMo and Holiday songs as well as releasing my Sci-Fi Songs album took up most of my time over the past two months.

Considering that this song is supposed to be a folk hero ballad, I think that the stripped down approach works pretty well.

I hope you enjoy it,

John Anealio

The Ballad of Wilson Cole
by John Anealio

Verse 1
In the time of the Galactic Era
In the year of 1966
Commander Cole had to wrestle control
from the Polonoi running the ship
and despite his four medals of courage
they court marshaled him anyway
the men of his crew came to his rescue
and embarked on their own deep in space

Yes they say Wilson Cole was a hero
and the captain of the Teddy R.
He kept up the fight and he did what was right
as he led his fleet through the stars

Verse 2
Then it came to 1967
after the ship's mutiny
they made a deal with David Copperfield
and they allied with the Valkyrie
And he didn't make much of a pirate
Wilson was an honest man
he went and retrieved a Tale of Two Cities
and decided that he'd change his plan


Verse 3
Then they became mercenaries
the year was 1968
Their destination was Singapore Station
so they met at the Platinum Duke's Place
Then they met the Teroni Jacovic
who became the ship's Third Officer
Cole marshaled One Thousand Ships against a lunatic
Csonti retreated then went berserk


Verse 4
The Navy murdered First Officer Forrice
at a brothel on Braccio II
Cole went and avenged the death of his best friend
killing the Endless Night and its crew
Then the Navy laid waste to the planet
and Wilson searched for volunteers
He gathered a fleet that would never retreat
as it defended the Inner Frontier


Verse 5
And then in 1970
Cole infiltrated Deluros VIII
He aimed his gun at the Admiral just as the sky filled
with enemies set to invade
Wilson Cole led the Theodore Roosevelt
and the ships of the Republican Fleet
The enemy was defeated and the Secretary ceded
Cole's mission was finally complete



  1. Sounds cool! Unfortunately I had to stop part way through the song, because I realized the final verse might well give away info on the fifth book, which I have yet to read! I look forward to hearing the rest in a few weeks, though.

  2. Thanks Christian. Yeah, it is a bit of a spoiler. I hope that you enjoy it when you finish the book.

  3. Ha, this is great! Excellent blog. Good luck with the song writing and playing. I occasionally put up a few songs on my blog, but not that often. I'm now following you.

  4. Thanks Logan. Glad you like it. We have similar tastes in music, particularly Nickel Creek and the Beatles. I checked out your blog. Great review of Warbreaker. If you like Brandon Sanderson, my song Sarene is based on his book Elantris.

  5. I am from germany and by the five books at once. Nice Song, like it.
    Greetings from Germany ;)

  6. Greetings from Poland! Just finished last book where i found info about your songs - geat work, keep it up!

  7. When I saw at the appendix of the book I just wanted to listen to the song, and I've to say I like it very much!! It's curious how in some moments looks like the author just took the proper names so you could do the perfect rhyme! :D
    Just one silly thing... In verse 5 it's not the Admiral, but the Secretary of the Republic Wilkie who is aimed :P. Anyway, GREAT SONG! ^^

    Cheers from Spain!