AstronomyLab Tracks

Lab Track: Every Age

Today’s Lab Track comes via the suggestion of Skepchick writer Jamie Bernstein, and it’s sure to give you chills. (Hey, did you know chills are associated with dopamine activity in the brain’s reward system? I wrote about that a few years ago.) The video is also very timely, what with the Philae lander touching down on comet 67P last Wednesday and humanity going oh, yeah, we landed on a comet, NBD, we chased it down with a spacecraft the size of your bathroom for 10 years and then attempted to harpoon it like it was a whale, but when that didn’t work we landed anyway, have I mentioned it was NBD?

The track is a brand new one from José González, and though I originally chose it for the video — it’s from the perspective of a camera launched into space to orbit Earth, in collaboration with Eyes in Space — the song is quite appropriate as well. It’s austere and wistful, and it delves into our need to learn as much as we can to improve our lives. Hey, that’s what science does!

Every Age
José González

Every age has its turn
Every branch of the tree has to learn
Learn to grow find its way
Make the best of this short-lived stay

Take this seed, take this spade
Take this dream of a better day
Take your time, build a home
Build a place where we all can belong

Some things change, some remain
Some will pass us a notice by
What to focus on to improve upon
In the face of our ancient tribes

Feels so clear, feels so obvious
To each one of their own
But we all live together
Reaping what time and what we have sown

We don’t choose where we’re born
We don’t choose in what pocket or form
But we can learn to know
Ourselves on this glow in the void

Take this mind, take this pen
Take this dream of a better land
Take your time, build a home
Build a place where we all can belong

This has been another installment of Monday Lab Tracks. Send us your musical recommendations through our contact link at the top of the page, and tell us what you think of the song in the comments below!

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.

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