Song of the Day: Space Oddity by David Bowie

planet_earth_hires_by_ixrevivalxi-d8npfdl.jpg

Space Oddity” is a song written and performed by David Bowie and released as a music single in 1969. It is about the launch of Major Tom, a fictional astronaut; its title alludes to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The lyrics have also been seen to lampoon the failed British space programme. The song appears on the album David Bowie (also known as Space Oddity).

Lyrics:

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you

(spoken)
Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Liftoff

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare

“This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much she knows”

Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you….

“Here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.”

The song was awarded the 1969 Ivor Novello Award, together with Peter Sarstedt’s “Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?”. “Space Oddity” became so well known that Bowie’s second album, originally released as David Bowie in the UK (like his first album), was renamed after the track for its 1972 reissue by RCA Records, and has since become known by this name. It was used by U2 during their 360° Tour (2009-2011). It was played over the public address system preceding the band’s arrival on stage. In 2013, the song gained renewed popularity in the USA after it was covered by astronaut Chris Hadfield, who performed the song while aboard the International Space Station.

Bowie would later revisit his Major Tom character in the songs “Ashes to Ashes” and “Hallo Spaceboy”. German singer Peter Schilling’s 1983 hit “Major Tom (Coming Home)” is written as a retelling of the song.

The revised version recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.

In May 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, commander of Expedition 35 to the International Space Station, recorded a video of the song on the space station which went viral and generated a great deal of media exposure. The lyrics were somewhat altered; the ending was replaced with Major Tom getting his orders to land and doing so safely. Hadfield announced the video on his Twitter account, writing, “With deference to the genius of David Bowie, here’s Space Oddity, recorded on Station. A last glimpse of the World.” Bowie was also thanked in the ending credits. This was the first music video ever shot in space. Bowie responded to the video, tweeting back to Hadfield, “Hallo Spaceboy”. The video has had over 20,000,000 views on YouTube. The performance was the subject of a piece by Glenn Fleishmanin The Economist on 22 May 2013 analyzing the legal implications of publicly performing a copyrighted work of music while in earth orbit.

David Bowie

Born David Robert Jones
(8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016)
Brixton, London, England
Nationality British
Occupation Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, actor
Years active 1962–present
Spouse(s) Angie Bowie (m. 1970–1980,
divorced)
Iman (m. 1992)
Children Duncan Jones (born 1971)
Alexandria “Lexi” Zahra Jones (born 2000)
Musical career
Genres Rock, glam rock, art rock, pop
Instruments Vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica, stylophone, saxophone, viola, cello, koto, drums, percussions, mouth-harp, piano, kalimba, organ
Labels Deram, RCA, Virgin, EMI, ISO,Columbia, BMG, Pye, Vocalion
Associated acts The Riot Squad, Arnold Corns,Tin Machine, the Hype, the Lower Third, the Konrads, the Buzz, Manish Boys
Website davidbowie.com

image by IxrevivalxI

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3 Responses to Song of the Day: Space Oddity by David Bowie

  1. I love David Bowie to bits. His music is an inspiration to me as poet as well as an inspiration to my band… thanks for the share!

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on wolfshadowwhispers and commented:
    I did a David Bowie song of the day post a few days ago but I want to share this song posted on the dancing nest’s blog as well because they did a very nice song of the day article!

    Like

  3. testakleez66 says:

    Very cool article! Thanks!

    Like

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