Lab Tracks

Lab Track: When You’re Traveling from Nantucket

I apologize ahead of time for what I’m about to do to your day. (Technically, it’s what Ryan is about to do. He suggested it.) Cancel your appointments and order dinner now, because these videos are going to suck the hours of your day away.

Remember the Animaniacs? Turns out they were educational! Who knew? If you search youtube, you’ll find tons of songs about the universe, the senses, the countries of the world — as I said, hours of entertainment. Here’s one that deals with a slightly more abstract subject: time. Enjoy!

When You’re Traveling from Nantucket
The Animaniacs

When you’re traveling from Nantucket
Through Chicago to Saint Paul
And you’re standing in an airport
And you look upon the wall
There’s a clock for every city
And a different time for all
From Asia through Malaysia to Peru.

Did you ever wonder why
That when it’s ten o’clock in Maine
At precisely the same moment
It is three a.m. in Spain?
When it’s breakfast time in Rome
They’re having lunch in the Ukraine
And it’s supper up in upper Katmandu.

If the Earth were spinning faster
As the sun is going past ‘er
Then a day would only be an hour long.
And school when they begin it
Would only last a minute
Before everybody has to run along.
All right!

If the Earth were the planet
That was closest to the sun
A year would be much shorter
And you’d have a lot of fun
‘Cause by the time you were in first grade
You’d be over twenty-one
And you’d live to be nine hundred three or four.

Time is relative, dependent
You can save it, you can spend it
Doing things you like to do or learning how.
You can’t see it, you can’t taste it
But you certainly can waste it
Which is really what we’re doing here right now.

The International Date Line’s
An imaginary cleft
Today is on the right side
And tomorrow’s on the left
So when you cross it do you then arrive
The day before you left?
That’s how it’d work; it’s quite berserk, you see.

So if you were born in China
While I’m born in Carolina
Well then you’re a day ahead of me, you see.
So the way I’ve got it reckoned
If we’re born in the same second
Then why should you be a day older than me?

But it really is no miracle
That difference in our birth
Because the world is spherical
That’s why around the Earth
There’s always different times for Moscow
London, Boston, and Fort Worth
And that’s the way it’s always gonna be.

So remember when you’re traveling
From Nantucket to Saint Paul
In that airport as you’re staring
At those clocks upon the wall
You should think about this song, my friend
And then you will recall
That it was mildly amusing
But then totally confusing
And we bet you wish we hadn’t sung at all!

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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  1. Just recently, Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche (who voiced Pinky and the Brain and the Animaniacs) were guests on The Nerdist podcast. Rob did the Nations of the World song from memory. It was absolutely joyful.

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