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30 September 2010 @ 12:26 am
The Far Call: LJ Karaoke  
It's late, and we're in the hotel bar. Maybe it's the starport hotel, or maybe it's just this year's convention. It doesn't matter. It's late, and maybe we've been drinking a bit too much, but someone starts singing, and, by the last three verses, we're all singing along.

All of us who know the lyrics, anyway, and what philistine doesn't know at least the chorus of "The Green Hills of Earth", by Rhysling, Blind Singer of the Spaceways?

The arching sky is calling
Spacemen back to their trade.
"ALL HANDS! STAND BY! FREE FALLING!"
And the lights below us fade.

Out ride the sons of Terra,
Far drives the thundering jet,
Up leaps a race of Earthmen,
Out, far, and onward yet ---

We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.


Poll #1625842 The Green Hills of Earth

What tune are we singing?

Amazing Grace
1(6.2%)
The Ballad of Gilligan's Island
5(31.2%)
The House of the Rising Sun
1(6.2%)
Ghost Riders in the Sky
0(0.0%)
Semper Paratus
0(0.0%)
Greensleeves
1(6.2%)
O Little Town of Bethlehem
1(6.2%)
Other (Add Below!)
7(43.8%)

None of the Above!




... can anyone think of something a little more hard rock that uses the Common Meter?


And here's the X Minus 1 radio adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's biography of Rhysling.
 
 
 
Your Obedient Serpent: facepalmathelind on September 30th, 2010 07:35 am (UTC)
paka, I'm gonna have to call you on that. I know the Marine's hymn uses the Common Meter, but for the life of me, I just can't sing "The Green Hills of Earth" to it.

Edit: araquan, that's even worse. I'm going to make you guys record yourselves singing these lyrics to those tunes if you want to convince me they're even a candidate.

(To be honest, I can't quite make "Greensleeves" or "Ghost Riders in the Sky" work, either.)

Edited at 2010-09-30 07:59 am (UTC)
Araquan Skytracer: Express shuttlearaquan on September 30th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
*bows* My work here is done.
Paka: pied crowpaka on September 30th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
Without access to sophisticated recording equipment, my only remaining option is to wander into the middle of your shop during open hours. Look what you're making me do, man.
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on September 30th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
... oh gods, not on Thursday or Friday. Those are our busy nights.
KehzaFox: Potatoes on firekfops on September 30th, 2010 11:25 am (UTC)
Yah, you could defnitely sing that to "Piano Man". I can feel it in my bones.
Your Obedient Serpent: Sci Fiathelind on September 30th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
... I think you're right. Oh jeez.

Edit:

CONFIRMED



Edited at 2010-09-30 04:03 pm (UTC)
Tubetoob on September 30th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
Piano Man is dactylic tetrameter.

The above is a modified iambic trimeter.

You CAN sing it to Piano Man, but you have to elide a lot of beats.

*poetry geek*

I believe, noble lizard, that at least knowing that proves me not a Philistine, despite the fact that I've never before heard or seen the chorus to the above filky thing.
Tubetoob on September 30th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
(dactylic tetrameter demonstration)
(he says)
BILL I be LIEVE this is KILL ling me BEAT (as the)
SMILE ran a WAY from his FACE beat beat BEAT (but I'm)
SURE that i COULD be a MOV ie star BEAT beat if
I could get OUT of this PLACE beat beat BEAT beat beat

So there's a lot of beats elided there even in the original song, but music does that. On the other hand, look what you have to do to make a verse of the Heinlein song fit the meter:

(out)
RIDE beat the SONS beat of TER ra, beat BEAT beat far
DRIVES beat the THUN der ing JET beat beat BEAT beat up
LEAPS beat a RACE beat of EARTH men, beat BEAT beat out
FAR beat and ON beat ward YET beat beat BEAT beat beat

There's an elided beat in every foot and entire foot elided at the end of each line. That signifies your feet are one syllable too long and your lines are one foot too long. Hence iambic trimeter.
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on September 30th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I noticed that you had to kinda Procrustate it into "Piano Man", but, alas, I didn't have the technical terminology.

I also have kind of a tin ear. La la la.

Personally, I think it fits the most smoothly into "Gilligan", "Amazing Grace", "House of the Rising Sun", and, um, "Semper Paratus", though good luck finding anyone (else) who can sing that last.

Of them all, I still like "House of the Rising Sun" the best.

... if I were more even the slightest bit musical, I'd do a version of Green Hills where every single verse is sung to a different Common Meter song.
Kreggankreggan on October 19th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
"Working Class Man" (The Australian national anthem is in common meter, and has been done to this tune - there's a video on youtube. :>)
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on October 19th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
Link! Link! I've been trying to find a decent Green Hills video for a month now!

... sorry, I got that all sideways.

Edited at 2010-10-19 10:08 pm (UTC)
ebony14 on October 2nd, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
"The Yellow Rose of Texas" of course. If it's good enough for Emily Dickinson, it's good enough for Rhysling.