August 27, 2014 9:44 am

More Songs about Stars and Galaxies

Commander Chris Hadfield singing David Bowie's "Space Oddity" aboard the International Space Station

Who can forget Commander Chris Hadfield singing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” aboard the International Space Station? (NOTE: Video no longer available. Image courtesy of YouTube.)

One of the most common categories of comments we get from our fans is about the music in our episodes. Usually, it’s positive, as in, “I can’t believe I just heard (insert song title or band name).” Sometimes, it’s negative, which usually is a comment that a particular song was too commercial.

But as I listened to this week’s upcoming Cosmic Queries episode with host Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Leighann Lord, I started trying to figure out what my favorite song about space and the cosmos is.

It’s not easy. Do you limit your choices to songs that are clearly about space and space exploration, such as David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (which came out just after the Apollo 11 moon landing although I didn’t hear it until I was much older) or are songs like Don McLean’s “Vincent” (Starry, Starry Night) or the Beatles’ “Across the Universe” acceptable?

And how can you pick just one? (You don’t have to, of course. But for me, I’m one of those list makers, purely as a form of masochistic intellectual exercise. 5 books I’d take with me if I were stranded on an island. Favorite science fiction movie. Favorite super hero, comic book category. Favorite super hero, movie category. If I could only eat one type of food for the rest of my life, what would it be? And so on, ad infinitum.)

In the end, for me, I settled for Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” which is the first space song I remember hearing, when I was about 10 or 11, and still resonates with me deeply.

What are your favorite space songs? Tell us in the comments below.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up.

–Jeffrey Simons


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