Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Chris De Burgh: A Spaceman Came Travelling



Chris de Burgh sings “A Spaceman Came Travelling,” which is the fifth track on his his second album, Spanish Train and Other Stories, released in 1975. The song is a conflation of the alien-visitation narrative and the Christian nativity narrative, which show the power of myths on our collective consciousness. Whether or not such myths are true are not as important as the message they contain. I find the words of this song, its rhythm and hope comforting, as I do the memories it conveys.

The song will begin once again....

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A Spaceman Came Travelling
By Chris de Burgh

A spaceman came traveling on his ship from afar
’Twas light years of time since his mission did start
And over a village he halted his craft
And it hung in the sky like a star, just like a star

He followed a light and came down to a shed
Where a mother and child were lying there on a bed
A bright light of silver shone round his head
And he had the face of an angel and they were afraid

Then the stranger spoke, he said, “Do not fear
I come from a planet a long way from here
And I bring a message for mankind to hear”
And suddenly the sweetest music filled the air

And it went la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la, la la la la la la la la la
Peace and goodwill to all men and love for the child
La la la la la la la la la, la la la la la la la, la la la la la la la la la, oh

This lovely music went trembling through the ground
And many were awakened on hearing that sound
And travelers on the road
The village they found by the light of that ship in the sky
Which shone all around

And just before dawn at the paling of the sky
The stranger returned and said, “Now I must fly
When two thousand years of your time has gone by
This song will begin once again to a baby’s cry”

And it goes la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la, la la la la la la la la la
Peace and goodwill to all men and love for the child
And I hear la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la, la la la la la la la la la
This song will begin once again to a baby’s cry

Oh the whole world is waiting, waiting to hear the song again
There are thousands standing on the edge of the world
And a star is moving somewhere, the time is nearly here
This song will begin once again to a baby’s cry