Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson
sbisson

Entry 3000: A melancholy child of the space race.

I have a secret obsession that many of you already know about - because many of you share it.

I collect songs about Apollo and the moon landings. Sometimes they appear at just the right moment. We were driving through the high desert plains of Utah last weekend, through red rocks and green trees, and I was reminded of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars books, watching plants struglge to grow in thin air and dry red soils, as ice pellets fell from a cold blue sky. I found myself thinking that I'd never see that fantastic landscape for real, that as wonderful as robots on Mars were, there's nothing that beats the images of people walking on a new world - exploring that old high frontier.

The high plains were once that frontier, and it seems we have turned our back on the new one...

Then this song came up on the old iPod shuffle, an apt piece of poetry from the Bard of Barking:

When I was young I told my mum
I'm going to walk on the Moon someday
Armstrong and Aldrin spoke to me
From Houston and Cape Kennedy
And I watched the Eagle landing
On a night when the Moon was full
And as it tugged at the tides, I knew deep inside
I too could feel its pull

I lay in my bed and dreamed I walked
On the Sea of Tranquillity
I knew that someday soon we'd all sail to the moon
On the high tide of technology
But the dreams have all been taken
And the window seats taken too
And 2001 has almost come and gone
What am I supposed to do?

Now that the space race is over
It's been and it's gone and I'll never get to the moon
Because the space race is over
And I can't help but feel we've all grown up too soon

Now my dreams have all been shattered
And my wings are tattered too
And I can still fly but not half as high
As once I wanted to

Now that the space race is over
It's been and it's gone and I'll never get to the moon
Because the space race is over
And I can't help but feel we've all grown up too soon

My son and I stand beneath the great night sky
And gaze up in wonder
I tell him the tale of Apollo And he says
"Why did they ever go?"
It may look like some empty gesture
To go all that way just to come back
But don't offer me a place out in cyberspace
Cos where in the hell's that at?

Now that the space race is over
It's been and it's gone and I'll never get out of my room
Because the space race is over
And I can't help but feel we're all just going nowhere

At his best (and this is one of his best), Billy Bragg can capture a complex feeling in just a few words. You can find a live version of the song here.

I guess I'll still keep dreaming...

3,000 entries and still going strong!
Tags: billy bragg, meta, music, space, travels
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