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ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Podcast


hosts: Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold
email: antic@ataripodcast.com
twitter: @AtariPodcast
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Jan 30, 2021

ANTIC Special Episode: My Atari by Suzanne Ciani
 
Over the years many of the people I've interviewed have generously sent me all different kinds of historical Atari material — including source code, schematics, documentation, books and articles, and design documents — and allowed me to share them. This is the first time someone has sent me a professionally produced song they created for Atari.

After I published my interview with Suzanne Ciani, she sent me an email: she had found an unpublished Atari spot in her archives. It's a tune titled "My Atari". She sent it to me and graciously allowed me to share it with you.

She wrote "I don't think it is a final. There are a bunch of mixes. Maybe you could shed some light on this as to whether it was ever used." Well, I'd certainly never heard it before, and don't think it was ever used. I suppose it might have been used internally by Atari, but it wasn't released to the public. Suzanne later said that she believes it was a demo for a campaign, but as far as she knows it was never used. She hasn't found records indicating what year the song was made. My guess is probably between 1981 and 1984.

Lyrics:
I've been to lots of places
There's more I wanna see
And being young is all that's stopping me

Beyond my time I know there's more
A whole world waiting to explore
But I can't seem to get past my back door

But when I sit
At my Atari
I know the world is mine
And the future is my time

When I sit
At my Atari
There's no mountain I can't climb
No adventure I can't find

I know the world is mine
When I sit behind
My Atari

I know the world is mine
I know the world is mine
My Atari
I know the world is mine
I know the world is mine

It's a rockin' tune with a powerful bassline that propels the song forward, but beyond that, the lyrics tell a poignant story of a person who feels ready to explore and conquer the world — but is still too young. Until their time comes, their Atari video game provides an exciting glimpse into a future of exploring the world for themselves. It strikes me sad, but hopeful.

Suzanne sent me several versions of the song, and there doesn't seem to be a definitive final version. Some have differences in length of a few seconds. My untrained ear can't tell any difference between some variations. One is significantly shorter, leaving out some lyrics. Others abruptly stop, due to technical issues during mixing or perhaps because they were meant as insertion edits.

You've heard one of the complete versions. For completionists and the curious, I'll play the other versions she sent me now. I've uploaded high-quality versions of all of these audio files to Internet Archive.

Thank you to Suzanne Ciani for taking the time to recover these files, and for sharing them with me and the world.

"My Atari" audio at Internet Archive

My interview with Suzanne: audio, YouTube, Internet Archive