Monday Melody: Major Tom (Peter Schilling)

I’ve posted about this song before, but oh, drat–I can’t find the post now.

Oh, there it is–playing Peekaboo down there in the “Related” posts.  Oh well.

Anywho…this one-hit Europop wonder by German musician Peter Schilling–intended as a sort of “answer” to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” never became that popular in the United States when it was released in 1983 but it did get a little airplay here, especially on the dance circuit, and remains one of my favorite 1980s tunes.

The beautiful, haunting chorus still gives me chills every time.   Does “coming home” mean coming home to earth…or “coming home” to the afterlife?  I think it’s most likely the latter.

Standing there alone
The ship is waiting
All systems are go
Are you sure?

Control is not convinced
But the computer
Has the evidence
“no need to abort”
The countdown starts

Watching in a trance
The crew is certain
Nothing left to chance
All is working
Trying to relax
Up in the capsule
“send me up a drink”
Jokes Major Tom
The count goes on

4, 3, 2, 1…
Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating weightless
Calling calling home…

Second stage is cut
We’re now in orbit
Stabilizers up
Running perfect
Starting to collect
Requested data
“What will it effect
When all is done”
Thinks Major Tom

Back at ground control
There is a problem
Go to rockets full
Not responding
“hello Major Tom
Are you receiving
Turn the thrusters on
We’re standing by”
There’s no reply

4, 3, 2, 1…
Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating weightless
Calling calling home…

Across the stratosphere
A final message
“give my wife my love”
Then nothing more

Far beneath the ship
The world is mourning
They don’t realize
He’s alive
No one understands
But Major Tom sees
Now the life commands
This is my home
I’m coming home

Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating weightless
Coming home
Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating weightless
Coming home
Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating weightless
Coming coming home…
Home…..(x8)

 

 

Wow. I really am old.

Have you ever been hit by an intense blast of nostalgia that almost knocks the wind out of you?

On the radio today I heard this Europop song for the first time since late 1983/early 1984 and was overcome by that sweet sadness that comes from realizing just how many years have elapsed. I was very young then; now I’m bordering on old. Wiser and more stable but more cautious and world-weary. I had no children; now I have adult children. I worried less, acted out more. I’m happier today than I was then, or at least more content. But I can’t help wishing I could go back sometimes, if only to do everything over the way it should have been done.

This song haunts me. I remembered it immediately but never knew who did it. I typed the lyrics in my browser and was able to find out who the artist was. We have the miracle of the Internet now; in 1983 doing such a thing would have seemed like science fiction.

Anyway, it’s a very cool tune. Enjoy!