Dan came down to Brighton for a visit, so naturally a bunch of us ended up singing in a karaoke pod together.
I think Brian Eno is on to something; getting together with a group of friends to holler your lungs out is quite life-affirming. Of course Dan had to ruin it all by being really, really good. The bastard.
There was a preponderance of songs with “love” in the title because Andy insisted that every instance of that word be substituted for “lunch”: Addicted to Lunch, It Must Be Lunch and, best of all, Tainted Lunch—dedicated to Paul who couldn’t be with us due to probable food poisoning.
One of the non-lunch related songs that somebody queued up was The Final Countdown by Europe. This is a crap karaoke song for two reasons:
- it’s crap and
- the catchiest part of the song is the bit where no-one is singing.
However, it is one of the few songs written about generation starships leaving a dying Earth. The only other such song I can think of offhand is After The Goldrush by Neil Young:
flying mother nature’s silver seed to a new home in the sun …and let us hope that this is the last time that Neil Young and Europe are ever mentioned together in any kind of context.
Something bothered me about the lyrics of The Final Countdown that confronted me on the karaoke screen. Presumably the interstellar ark is heading out of the solar system and yet the narrator tells us this about the plotted course:
We’re heading for Venus.
Really? Surely that’s in the completely wrong direction—towards the sun. But then I realised that, although it remains unsaid in the song, the craft is probably going to carry out a gravitational slingshot manoeuvre around our star.
Knowing that, I can rest easy …or at least, I would be able to rest easy if I didn’t have that damn song stuck in my head.