'X-files' fans band together to solve 25-year-old mystery behind iconic episode's music
The truth was out there.
As any “X-Files” will tell you, mystery is a major part of the show’s intrigue. After all, Agent Mulder and Scully dealt with some new kind of paranormal phenomenon every episode.
But it’s usually not a mystery centered around the show itself.
That is, unless we’re talking about a catchy country song that appears during the 5th episode of season 6, titled “Dreamland II,” which premiered in 1998. During the episode, Mulder gets body-swapped with an Area 51 employee at a dive bar, where the song plays in the background.
It was a song “so good” that Lauren Ancona tried to use her Shazam app to find its title. Only nothing came up. So then she tried to look up the lyrics. Still nothing. Finally she decided to look up the episode itself.
That’s when she realizes she was stumbling upon a decades long puzzle that even the most high tier “X-Files” aficionado couldn’t solve.
Sharing this saga onto X, Ancona wrote, “apparently I’m not the only one that was like ‘dang that’s a good song’ because it’s mentioned on the IMDB page that nobody can find this silly song.”
just had the weirdest experience— auntie cistamine (@laurenancona) December 5, 2023
was watching an X-files episode & there’s this country song playing in the background of the bar they’re in
& it’s so good it jars me out of my idle multitasking to Shazam it
Underneath her post she pasted a screenshot of a review where another person sought out this “lost song.” That was 25 years ago.
It didn’t take long for Ancona’s quest to blow up online. Tons of “X-Files” fans tried to sleuth their way towards answers with information provided by the episode’s end credits. They even tracked down a call sheet for the episode, a document which lists every single person behind a production for the episode that week.
Here's a snippet of the episode in question, for reference:
Still, no real answers were found until the thread was eventually seen by a composer named Rob Cairns, who did in fact know the co-writer of the tune—Dan Marfisi.
Marfisi shared with NPR that Cairns reached out to him and said. "He said, 'You might want to check out this Twitter thread, and if you jump in, you will be a hero,'"
"So I went and got my cape, and I logged on, and it was a party,” he quipped.
And now, finally, here’s the answer to this decades old riddle.
The song, written by Marfisi and Emmy winning Glenn Jordan, was titled "Staring at the Stars." And the reason why no one could find it was because Marfisi and Jordan wrote the song specifically for that scene.
"We had a directive to write something that would fit both an alien and a human being," Marfisi told NPR. "And we kind of looked up in the sky and said, what's up there besides aliens? And we found stars ... that was our brainstorming session." The song was then produced in around four hours.
And now, thanks to the collective efforts of fans, combined with the power of the internet, all have this newly recorded version of the song to enjoy.
The “X-files” always taught us that the truth is out there. Guess that wisdom still holds up.