While many find the experience of using X now deeply unpleasant, it can still produce some magical, informative threads. Over the last couple of days, one such thread unfolded after user @laurenancona said she was trying to find a song from an X-Files episode.
“Just had the weirdest experience,” she wrote on Monday. “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.”
In the extensive thread, Lauren says the song app Shazam couldn’t identify the song, and Googling the lyrics didn’t lead to anything.
More X users joined in the song hunt with tips or leads. Even people who were involved in picking and/or composing music for The X-Files jumped in.
Someone found the cue sheet for the episode, and someone else claimed that Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, also an X-Files writer, might have been responsible.
After a day of guesses and theories, Jonathan Leahy, a music supervisor for film and TV, found the answer. The featured song is “Staring at the Stars” by Dan Marfisi and Glenn Jordan.
Marfisi joined the X thread Tuesday evening to say he’s been in contact with Jordan, and they’re looking for a copy of the song on CD backup.
Marfisi tells the Daily Dot that when they were freelancers, he and Jordan “wrote quite a few songs together back then and would license them into shows,” including The X-Files.
“We got a call from the production company asking for a country song, which could be about an alien or a human,” Marfisi explains. “And they wanted it fast. So we wrote and recorded ‘Staring at the Stars’ in a few hours. Boom, out the door. Glenn sang lead vox, played most of the guitars, and JayDee Maness from the Byrds cut the pedal steel.”
Although people have been trying to find their song for decades, Marfisi says this X thread is the first thing that alerted him of the search.
“What is delightfully fascinating to us,” he says, “is that this has been an online mystery for so long and we knew nothing of it.”
“The internet tracked down the writers of a song from a 1998 X Files episode that people have apparently been trying to figure out SINCE 1998,” wrote Gina Ippolito, “and this is the only thing the internet should ever be used for, because it’s glorious.”
“This feels like an X-file,” said @rosecityrick.
Even weirder, “Dreamland II” aired on Dec. 6, 1998, nearly 25 years to the day this mystery was solved.