Chiron Beta Prime

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Chiron Beta Prime
ReleaseThing a Week Two
Release date02-17-2006
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"Chiron Beta Prime" is a song on Jonathan Coulton's fifth album, Thing a Week Two. It tells the story of Christmastime on a planet where all humans have been enslaved by uncaring and violent robots.


"Chiron Beta Prime" was originally written around Christmastime 2005 at the request of a friend of Jonathan's who wanted a "Christmas song with a futuristic theme" to send out on a CD as a holiday card. It was later released as the twenty-first Thing a Week on February 17th, 2006.

Live performance[edit]

"Chiron Beta Prime" is performed somewhat regularly at Jonathan Coulton concerts. If performing with Paul and Storm, they will usually join Jonathan by doing backup vocals for the chorus. Also, Jonathan occasionally selects a member of the audience (or sometimes a "guest star") to do the "MESSAGE REDACTED" line. In more recent shows, that person is also given the opportunity to vocalize the keyboard solo (made famous by fan Andy Bates) and join in on the third chorus.


  • The phrase "soylent green" in the song refers to a Charlton Heston movie of the same name where in the dark, dystopian future, an overcrowded population eats processed food wafers that are secretly made from dead people.
  • The message is a coded cry for help because other cries for help get redacted. The Robots do not recognize the Soylent Green reference and let it slip through.



"Chiron Beta Prime" is available for purchase in the Jonathan Coulton MP3 Store as an individual track, as part of Thing a Week II, or as part of JoCo Looks Back. Of course this song is also included as part of the "Everything" playlist.

Downloadable FLAC versions of the above are available in the Jonathan Coulton FLAC Store.

You can also download "Chiron Beta Prime" for Rock Band from the Rock Band Network store.


"Thing a Week II" is available for purchase as a CD here.

Other versions[edit]

A karaoke version of "Chiron Beta Prime" is available on the Jonathan Coulton Karaoke Store.

There is an alternate (possibly original) version brought to the attention of the JoCo community by a plucky little fan named Frumpy Jones. The forum thread can be found here, and the alternate(Original) version can be downloaded here


Thing-a-Week Two
1. Flickr · 2. Resolutions · 3. You Could Be Her · 4. I Will · 5. Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance · 6. So Far So Good · 7. Curl · 8. Chiron Beta Prime · 9. Take Care of Me · 10. A Talk with George · 11. Don't Talk to Strangers · 12. Stroller Town · 13. Re: Your Brains
JoCo Looks Back
1. Code Monkey · 2. Ikea · 3. I Feel Fantastic · 4. Mandelbrot Set · 5. Tom Cruise Crazy · 6. Shop Vac · 7. Chiron Beta Prime · 8. I'm Your Moon · 9. My Monkey · 10. Skullcrusher Mountain · 11. I Crush Everything · 12. When You Go · 13. A Talk with George · 14. You Ruined Everything · 15. Creepy Doll · 16. Mr. Fancy Pants · 17. Baby Got Back · 18. First of May · 19. Re: Your Brains · 20. The Future Soon
Best. Concert. Ever.
1. The Future Soon · 2. Ikea · 3. Shop Vac · 4. I'm Your Moon · 5. Baby Got Back · 6. Kenesaw Mountain Landis · 7. Chiron Beta Prime · 8. Tom Cruise Crazy · 9. Code Monkey · 10. Creepy Doll · 11. Still Alive · 12. Mr. Fancy Pants · 13. I Crush Everything · 14. Skullcrusher Mountain · 15. Mandelbrot Set · 16. You Ruined Everything · 17. Re: Your Brains · 18. A Talk with George · 19. I Feel Fantastic · 20. First of May