THE Story in THE Song THE Carpenters Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft

A beautiful song asking aliens to come and help us out here on Earth.


Recorded in three memorable versions, first by Klaatu in 1976 and then covered more commercially in two versions by The Carpenters in 1977. With its subtitle ‘The Recognized Anthem Of World Contact Day, the song has probably the longest title of any single ever recorded, at eleven words).


Klaatu, (named after a character in the original film version of The Day The Earth Stood Still movie, released the song in a 3 minutes and twenty-three second version, which only reached number 62 in the US charts. It was not released as a single in the UK. Bizarrely, many thought that the Canadian band was The Beatles pretending to be a new band.


The covers came in a seven minutes and six seconds album version on the album, Passages and in unabridged three minutes and fifty-nine second version released as a single. The album version begins with a jokey prologue in which a radio DJ receives a listener’s call from a Dalek like entity requesting the record. The DJ claims to be called Mike Ledgerwood. He is actually Tony Peluso, a guitarist in The Carpenters.

The song has a wide-ranging orchestral backing, giving it a very classical majestic sweep compared to Klaatu’s quirky rock version.


The song is actually about humanity’s search for aliens and its chorus use of the title is a request that everyone thinks the line very hard to send a telepathic transmission into space to tell any passing aliens that we are friendly, and seek contact and guidance from them. The idea is based on a UFO cult practice; here given a call to make the telepathic thought wave carry from as many people as possible.

Many listeners wished to do it and attempts were made by some to organize a date and time to send the message out into the cosmos.

The song tells the aliens that we might not survive without their superior guidance and refers to them as ‘Interstellar policemen’ a direct reference to Klaatu’s role in he film. It begs the aliens to come in peace, hinting at a fear of attracting more hostile alien entities. It points out that many won’t believe in the aliens unless they are seen landing right here on Earth.

A lovely song, in all three versions, given tremendous power in Karen Carpenter’s take on the lyrics. A popular song for SF fans and UFO believers, as well as easy listening music fans.

The song on Youtube – Klaatu version

The Carpenters version -.