Alexander Courage, Composer, Dead at Age 88

While he did do other work, Alexander (Sandy) Courage is famous for one thing. And let’s face it, all we need to hear are those three notes and we can see the Enterprise clearly in our mind’s eye.

Mr. Courage, who has been in failing health since 2005, was responsible for the theme from the original Star Trek. Thankfully, the network never opted to use Gene Roddenberry’s lyrics.

4 replies on “Alexander Courage, Composer, Dead at Age 88”

  1. Other Works…
    Ha, he’s sure not remembered for his work on the Lost In Space ep "The Great Vegetable Rebellion", that’s for sure. Even ***I*** thought that one was stupid at the time, and my standards weren’t exactly what you could call "discerning" back then…

    Out of curiosity, what Roddenberry lyrics are you referring to? There was a poem at the beginning of the old 1968 "The Making of Star Trek" paperback in vogue back then which I read about a zillion times. I always thought of this as ST:TOS’s "lyrics". I can see these would be hard lines to sing to any theme song, much less the one that Courage did, but I alweays thought of these words as actually quite haunting and appropriate…and still do.

    Perhaps that’s just further proof that my standards STILL can’t be called "discerning"….

    • Re: Other Works…
      Three notes to recognize the theme? I played "Name That Tune" at a bar one time and got it in one.

      Anyway. The lyrics you link to at are the same I’ve seen before:

      The rim of the star-light
      My love
      Is wand’ring in star-flight
      I know
      He’ll find in star-clustered reaches
      Strange love a star woman teaches.
      I know
      His journey ends never
      His star trek
      Will go on forever.
      But tell him
      While he wanders his starry sea
      Remember, remember me.

      But please, you’ve GOT to be kidding that you find them haunting and appropriate… "Strange love a star woman teaches"? C’mon.

      • Re: Other Works…
        Gene never intended the lyrics to be used. Bob Justman’s book clarified all that, Gene just wrote the lyrics to get half the royalties for the theme when the show aired.

      • Re: Other Works…

        "Strange love a star woman teaches"? C’mon.

        OK, definitely the low note given the intro of green belly-dancing Orion female slaves in the TOS pilot.

        However, you’ve got to admit there is something weird that (some) humans are not just willing but indeed actively desiring to live for years in a tiny tin can just to go hurling thru a vaccuum – whether to Mars, Alpha Centauri or someplace we haven’t even heard of yet. To me, such acceptance and even desire for lengthy confinement and isolation by astronauts is the "strange love" taught by the "star woman" of incredible distances in space – an even more expanded version of what sailors have faced for millenia on Earth’s oceans, where both the ocean and ships are frequently thought of as "she".

        To me, the line is a metaphor; I thought so as a kid then and also as an adult now. Contest: try to think of a replacement six words to express this concept…

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