EXTRA **** Spaceman
The Apple Seed - Radio Archive, Episode 1289
- Apr 9, 2020 2:00 am
- 9:52 mins
As you may know, in these days of social distancing – we’re producing the Apple Seed these days from a couple of home studios – like you, we’ve been self-isolating, and, like you, looking for ways to reach out to our fellow humans. Sam took to posting to social media a little song every day. These aren’t studio recordings, and you’ll be able to tell – they’re made with an iPad. But we do hope that you enjoy them. Today’s tune is called “Spaceman.” Here’s what Sam says about it: “it was written after I heard a radio interview with Jerry Linenger, an American Astronaut who spent some months aboard the Russian space station MIR back in 1997. The radio interview was in 1999, about his book, Off the Planet, about his adventures in outer space, which included the worst fire ever dealt with in an orbiting spacecraft to date. I wrote the song before I knew much about Jerry Linenger, but I’ve since learned more – I’ve even spoke with him on the Apple Seed, and got some of his story. I learned that battling that fire along with the two cosmonauts with whom he lived on that station, and thinking his life had come to an end, he realized that he hadn’t had time to communicate to his son, John, who was just a toddler back then and back on earth, all the things he knew and loved and believed, and he resolved that on each day left to him in outer space, he’d write a letter to his son. He did that, on a laptop computer, and transmitted the letter to mission control in Moscow, and finally to his family’s home in the United States. Little John is a grownup now, and has those letters, written to him from outer space by his father. We have them too, incidentally. They were all published in a book called Letters From MIR. This song was written before I knew most of that. It’s mostly about how being in outer space must be an incredible adventure, and also must be incredibly lonely.” Here are the lyrics, in case you’d like to read along: A hundred days in outer space, I sail the starry sea In my thousand-dollar PJS, with my black-and-white TV Baby no one speaks my language, and I cannot drink their tea And the air all smells of cosmonauts; it's near too much for me But I watch my baby planet hanging blue inside its bubble full of air And I turn there in the silence and my mind can see you turning, turning there Now the sunrise on the Rockies I could cover with a dime And the pyramids of Egypt passed me for the thousandth time 18,000 miles an hour, up the universe we climb And I do my bit for science while my spirit burns and burns I'm riding in a Winnebago and there aren't any doors And I paste and paste the ceiling I assume you paste the floors This has changed me for forever i'm a far far better man But I wake up from my sleeping and I cannot find your hand 'Cause i'm a spaceman Baby when this trip is over and it will be over soon I'll breathe air I didn't make and I will gaze up at the moon I will walk up on the grass is I will eat soup from a spoon And I will not float away when you reach out for me So reach out for me Galaxies are not enough without a hand to hold Let me know i'm not alone warm me up from orbit's cold Did I mention that it's changed me i'm a far far better man But my bones are tired of weightlessness so ground me if you can 'Cause i'm a spaceman We’d love to know what you’re up to, how you’ve passed the time in an era of isolation. Did you recite Shakespeare monologues? Sing broadway show tunes? Tell family stories? Let us know, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to hear from you, especially now.