May 14, 2010 • alan

I don’t normally post song lyrics to my blog. But today is a pretty special day for me, and I think Rush captured the spirit pretty well with their song “Countdown”, from their Signals album, which was released in 1982.


by Rush

from “Signals”, 1982

Lit up with anticipation

We arrive at the launching site

The sky is still dark, nearing dawn

On the Florida coastline

Circling choppers slash the night

With roving searchlight beams

This magic day when super-science

Mingles with the bright stuff of dreams

Floodlit in the hazy distance

The star of this unearthly show

Venting vapours, like the breath

Of a sleeping white dragon

Crackling speakers, voices tense

Resume the final count

All systems check, T minus nine

As the sun and the drama start to mount

The air is charged — a humid, motionless mass

The crowds and the cameras,

The cars full of spectators pass

Excitement so thick, you could cut it with a knife

Technology high, on the leading edge of life


The earth beneath us starts to tremble

With the spreading of a low black cloud

A thunderous roar shakes the air

Like the whole world exploding

Scorching blast of golden fire

As it slowly leaves the ground

It tears away with a mighty force

The air is shattered by the awesome sound


Like a pillar of cloud, the smoke lingers

High in the air

In fascination

With the eyes of the world, we stare.