It’s a NASA tradition to begin the space shuttle crew’s wake period with a song, usually with lyrics having to do with space. To commemorate the winding down of the space shuttle program, NASA is conducting a Song Contest.
One can vote for one of the top 40 songs that have been used in previous shuttle missions, or else submit an original composition.
Two songs with the most votes from the top 40 list will be played during the STS-133 mission now scheduled for November. The original songs will be posted on Feb. 8, 2011, and the top two from that list will be played for STS 134 starting Feb. 26.
My one complaint is that the top 40 list is composed of a number of pedestrian pop songs, along with, of course, the theme music from Star Trek and Star Wars, and a number of oldies, like “Moon River,” sung by the incomparable Audrey Hepburn, and “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra.
Call me someone with eclectic music taste, but it seems to me that the contest should be open to existing compositions that have not yet been used to wake up astronauts. So, in that spirit, here are a few of my suggestions, in no order of importance:
“Carpet of the Sun” Renaissance
“Year of the Cat” Al Stewart
“Time Passages” Al Stewart
“Rising of the Moon” The Clancy Brothers
“Whisky in the Jar” The Clancy Brothers
“The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun” Celtic Woman
“Mo Ghile Mear” Celtic Woman
“Moonshadow” Cat Stevens
“Carefree Highway” Gordon Lightfoot
“Minstrel of the Dawn” Gordon Lightfoot
“The Theme from Battlestar Galactica (Original)”
“Brian Baru March” The Chieftains
“Ode to Joy” Ludwig von Beethoven
“O Fortuna” Carl Oriff
“The Blue Danube Waltz” Johan Strauss
“Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Allegro)” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
“Scheherazade (5/5)” Rimsky Korsakov
“Toccata and Fuge in D Minor” Johan Sebastian Bach
I have to admit that most of these pieces, even the dire one by Orloff or the creepy one by Bach, are ones that I would not mind waking up for. But astronauts orbiting the Earth at hundreds of miles distance may have different tastes. Nor is my list exclusive to the kind of “safe” selections that whomever at NASA chooses the wake up music seems to favor. Some of the pieces are quite obscure, but really would merit the extra publicity.
No doubt the gentle reader will have his or her own ideas, which is what the comments are for.
Space Rock, NASA