September 30th, 2010

hope, science, green hills of earth

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.
AAAAAA, angry

Abuses of the Common Meter

Last night's poll about "The Green Hills of Earth" inspired a wave of "Other" responses, all listing a different song in the Common Meter.

Some of them work for me; some of them don't. (The Yellow Rose of Texas? Seriously??)

But one thing's for sure: after a while of trying to sing these lyrics to all these different tunes, the tunes all start to run together in your head ...