The Phantom of the Qualia
Lyrics for a Musical Philosophical Parody
(The following is “mashup” parody of [and tribute to!] “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Music of the Night” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera and the debate over the ontological status of qualia in the philosophy of mind. Thanks also to Peter Hollens and his wife Evynne Hollens for their Phantom of the Opera Medley on YouTube, which is what inspired this post.)
In sleep she sang to me, in dreams she came.
Her voice; it calls to me, and speaks my name;
and in this labyrinth, where brains are blind,
The Phantom of the Qualia is here, and soothes my mind.
Qualia, qualia, defy some’s comprehension,
but qualia, qualia are the stuff of intellection!
Quite magically the senses, they break the mind’s defenses,
enthralling us in taste and sound and sight,
the power of this “phantom of the night”!
Let this Phantom lead your journey to a strange possible world
Leave all thoughts of the one you think is real!
Let her song guide you where you wish to be…
Only then will you belong to she!
She has called you,
to the seat of sweet qualia’s throne,
to this kingdom where all must pay homage to qualia, qualia;
you have come here, with one purpose and one alone
Since the moment you first heard her sing,
you have needed her with you to serve you, to sing;
about qualia, qualia!