Columbia Tribute

  1. Heya Folks,
    As I was driving to the gym a few hours ago, I popped in a CD I hadn't listened to in ages and I heard a song I'd forgotten about. It was written as a tribute to the first shuttle launch back in '81, the first launch of Columbia in fact. I thought I'd share it with you...

    "Countdown" by Rush (from the album "Signals")

    Lit up with anticipation
    We arrive at the launching site
    The sky is still dark, nearing dawn
    On the Florida coastline

    Circling choppers slash the night
    With roving searchlight beams
    This magic day when super-science
    Mingles with the bright stuff of dreams

    Floodlit in the hazy distance
    The star of this unearthly show
    Venting vapours, like the breath
    Of a sleeping white dragon

    Crackling speakers, voices tense
    Resume the final count
    All systems check, T minus nine
    As the sun and the drama start to mount

    The air is charged
    A humid, motionless mass
    The crowds and the cameras,
    The cars full of spectators pass
    Excitement so thick you could cut it with a knife
    Technology...high, on the leading edge of life

    The earth beneath us starts to tremble
    With the spreading of a low black cloud
    A thunderous roar shakes the air
    Like the whole world exploding

    Scorching blast of golden fire
    As it slowly leaves the ground
    Tears away with a mighty force
    The air is shattered by the awesome sound

    Like a pillar of cloud
    The smoke lingers high in the air
    In fascination
    With the eyes of the world
    We stare...
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   Mkue
    I've never heard of that song, now I will have to listen to it.

    Thanks ! I like the lyrics.

    mkue
  4. by   vettech
    Originally posted by mkue
    I've never heard of that song, now I will have to listen to it.

    Thanks ! I like the lyrics.

    mkue
    The kinda surreal thing about it is that I live less than a mile from Ellington Field where the astronauts practice their flying (you've seen them in their skinny jets (T-38's) I'm sure). So close, in fact, that, on their landing approach, they rattle the windows of the gym. The road that accesses the airfield is the same road I drive to go to the gym. I think I may have picked the CD because of that without realizing it.

    If you listen to the song (check your favorite P2P client), the band included radio chatter from the launch into the song. Its always been a fave of mine on the album. Its my understanding that they were present at the launch.

    I had a friend in HS that was quite the artist. He took the stanza "Venting vapours, like the breath Of a sleeping white dragon" and drew a picture based on it... the gasses venting from the shuttle forming a wispy dragon arouund it as it sat on the pad. I still see it in my mind's eye whenever I see the shuttle on the pad.

    This side of the city has had quite a time of late - the psycho mom was here, the dentist who drove over her hubby in a fit of jealous rage is on this side of town, NASA is here. Not a happy place to be the past few years...

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