Miguel Arango, a local musician and flautist, has written a composition truly for the stars. This FIU alumnus and his brother Federico have created an anthem for the Space Force initiative proposed by President Donald Trump. The Arangos hope their song will become the official anthem of this proposed new branch of the U.S military.
It’s a longshot, but the brothers believe they have a fighting chance.
On June 18, 2018, President Trump announced his plan to create Space Force, a new branch of the military designed to protect American interests in outer space. While many criticized the idea for potentially militarizing the cosmos or for just being a diversion from the President’s many political problems, Miguel says it “blew my mind…The future is here; we are living through epic times… and the idea of Americans going back into space really inspired me.”
Creating the song was not Miguel’s idea though. It was Federico’s. He explained: “Weeks after Space Force was announced, the President received a lot of criticism from the media, saying that it was ridiculous, a joke, and a waste of time to the American public. To me, it’s not a joke or a fantasy…Space Force is a step in the right direction.”
So Federico pitched Miguel. “They have a uniform, they are working on a logo, but they don’t have a song. We can do that song.”
When asked by a reporter how he thought of the melody, Miguel left his seat to pick up an acoustic guitar, then began to play a couple of riffs. “I tried looking for a melody that sounded like a military march, while in the shower I remembered a song I made when I was 15 with the line, ‘the future of our country lies in our determination.’”
He continued. “From there, I began thinking about important moments that happened in space, like the Apollo 11 moon landing to the Mars Rover… I then had to think what was beyond space and remembered the Buzz Lightyear quote ‘to infinity and beyond!”
After this Eureka moment, Miguel ran to his brother, yelling “I have the song!” Beginning the brothers’ journey in making the Space Force anthem.
The Arango brothers have already submitted their composition to the Library of Congress for copyright and are in the process of recording a preliminary version with their choir, Voices of Freedom. This choir is comprised of a diverse group of high school and college students who volunteer to sing for veterans and give back to the community. (Editor’s Note: the writer of this story is a volunteer member of the choir.)
Their goal is not only to create the Space Force anthem, but to start a nonprofit that will raise money to provide transportation for the choir, arrange for events to perform and promote the project, and create a music video.
The brothers are not the first to produce a space force anthem. Consider Home on Planet Earth (United States Space Force Anthem) which was written and composed by Matt Greminger. Posted on YouTube, it asks viewers to “get the attention of the White House.” Its space-like theme is reminiscent of Star Wars or 2001: A Space Odyssey.
While some are serious with space force anthems, some comedians made Anthems with the intention to satirize the idea of militarized space.
Last year, the late night host Samantha Bee placed her own spin on the idea of space force on her show, Full Frontal with what she called “the official Space Force anthem.” Among its zany lyrics, which were sung by people in sunglasses and silver suits: “Space force, space force, we ride into battle on a space horse…I guess we’ll fight Elon Musk in space …This is a bad idea, of course.”
In March 2018, the The Gregory Brothers, a comedic musical quartet, made a Youtube video that shows images of Trump and includes a modulated speech by the President that includes, ”Space, space is a war-fighting domain just like the land air and sea,” It also shows images of the 1978 TV show Space Force.
The brothers were more serious. A 30-second clip of their song provided to the South Florida Media Network includes an orchestral arrangement that includes, “To the Moon, to Mars, into space, far beyond! The future of our country lies in the stars… We fight, we are, the United States Space Force.”
As far as politics, neither one will divulge to which party he belongs. Federico, though, says he is a firm supporter of American values and the nation’s military, “I honor the men and women who continue to fight and give their lives for our country,” Miguel stated. “We want this anthem to be … a rallying cry of the American ideals of unity, liberty and freedom.”
The future of Space Force is unclear. Congress has yet to vote, but states are vying to become its home base. Florida Governor Ron De Santis recently tweeted that the service should be based here.
USSPACECOM belongs in Florida. @LtGovNunez and I remain confident of Florida’s unique qualifications. Our commercial space industry is flourishing and no other state hosts more Combatant Commands. https://t.co/YMBnw3J6AC
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 10, 2019
With the 2020 election coming up, Space Force could be a topic of debate. The brothers hope their names, and their song, will be associated with this discussion.
“We don’t want our anthem to stay in the past,” said Federico “…This song needs to sound like space, without being a corny sci-fi soundtrack…There needs to be a balance of the old and the new with blends of mystery and camaraderie.
The brothers hope their composition will accompany America’s entry into what Captain Kirk from Star Trek would call “space, the final frontier.”