Mothers of Invention

Inspired by coders of ENIAC, and the first lady of computers, Ada Lovelace, this song (from our third musical Xerox PARC) is ode to early women programmers. Nicoletta Nomicou on keyboard, drums, and vocals (with friend). Music & Lyrics by Terry Crystal.

 

You were there at the beginning
Before it all began
Not allowed in university
Denied the opportunity
You paid a steep price
but you persevered
The mothers of invention

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Oh, the women who came before
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The women who came before
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The women who came before!

Didn’t always get the recognition
Didn’t get the credit you deserved
You’re the ones passed over for the raises
the praises you earned

Didn’t always get appreciation
Didn’t get the thanks that you were due
Didn’t get the understanding, respect that is true
But there’s something to be said for the joy of creation
There is something to be said for the gladness that we share
There is rapture in the chase
Satisfaction in the race
We’ve got the numbers

You are mothers of invention
You were more than a flash from the past
Was a labor of love
Was a gift from above
We’ve got your number

Oh, the women who came before
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The women who came before
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The women who came before

You were always good at calculations
Girls who had an aptitude for math
Saw that there was poetry in numbers
The wonder of that
You exceeded all your limitations
No denomination proved too vast
Showed us you were nimble with the symbols
And caused quite a splash

There is something to be said for the variables of numbers
There is something to be said for the sum of the parts
There is rapture in the chase
Satisfaction that we face
We’ve got the numbers

Did you think the machine works on its own
No! We’re the ones who issue its commands
Writing symbolic language
We are coders

Oh, the women who came before
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The women who came before
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The women who came before

Bet you didn’t know you laid the groundwork
Didn’t know your efforts paved the way
For the ones now standing on your shoulders
Give thanks every day
Didn’t know you laid out the foundation
We have much that we are grateful for
To the ones who built the framework
These women of your

We are mothers of invention
We derive our roots from the past
If the algorithm fits
We are chomping at the bit
We’ve got the numbers

We think you’re number one.

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