Mothership Connection (Star Child)

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"Star Child"
Single by Parliament
from the album Mothership Connection
A-side "Star Child"
B-side "Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication"
Released August 1976
Format 7" 45 rpm vinyl single
Recorded 1975
Genre P-Funk
Length 6:11 (album version)/3:08 (7" edit)
Label Casablanca 864
Songwriter(s) George Clinton/Bootsy Collins/Bernie Worrell
Producer(s) George Clinton

"Mothership Connection (Star Child)" is a funk song by Parliament. It was the third and last single released from the group's 1975 album Mothership Connection. The song introduces George Clinton's messianic alien alter ego Star Child for the first time (see P-Funk mythology).

The lyrics "Swing down, sweet chariot, stop and let me ride" quote the traditional spiritual "Swing Down, Chariot",[1] first popularized in the 1940s by The Golden Gate Quartet and later recorded by Elvis Presley among others (and not the better-known spiritual "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot").

The track "Let Me Ride" on the Dr. Dre album The Chronic is heavily based on samples from this song.

In 1998, Scott Grooves produced a remix version of this song under the title Mothership Reconnection, followed by yet another remix by Daft Punk. The music video for the Daft Punk version hinted at the modernizing of the song by showing characters inspired by Clinton's Star Child mythology re-made in the visual style of the 1982 movie Tron.[2]

The song is featured in the enhanced editions soundtrack of the video game Grand Theft Auto V, appearing on the fictional in-game radio station Space 103.2 FM.

Alternate titles[edit]

The song was titled simply "Star Child" on its single release, while the radio promo version was titled "Star Child (Mothership Connection)." This version uses the same track from Mothership Connection but fades out at 3:08. It is included as a bonus track on the Mothership Connection CD.

On the album Live: P-Funk Earth Tour the song is split into two tracks, "Mothership Connection (Star Child)" and "Swing Down, Sweet Chariot."

Cover versions[edit]

In 1990, bassist Stanley Clarke and keyboardist George Duke released an album entitled "3," which contained a cover of this song.[3][4]