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Space Oddity
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Space Oddity





Ground Control to Major Tom (x2)
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on (ten, nine, eight, seven, six)
Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
(five, four, three) Check ignition1 and may God’s love be with you (two, one, liftoff)
This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare2
This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
For here am I sitting in a tin can3
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do
Though I’m past one hundred
thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much she knows
Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom? (x3)
Can you…
Here am I floating ‘round my tin can
Far above the moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do
Space Oddity, David Bowie, 1969.

1. when you turn on the engine
2. have the courage
3. metal container for beverages

David Bowie/YouTube

Ground control to Major Tom (x2)
Lock your Soyuz1 hatch and put your helmet on (ten, nine, eight, seven, six)
Ground control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on (five, four, three)
Detach from station and may God’s love be with you (two, one, liftoff)
This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
But it’s time to guide the capsule if you dare2
This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’ve left for ever more
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
For here am I sitting in a tin can3
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing left to do
Though I’ve flown one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And before too long I know it’s time to go
A commander comes down back to
Earth and rolls
Ground Control to Major Tom
The time is near, there is not too long
Can you hear me, Major Tom? (x3)
Can you…
Here am I floating in my tin can
Last glimpse4 of the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing left to do
Space Oddity, Chris Hadfield (astronaut), 2015.

1. have the courage
2. metal container for beverages
3. spacecraft designed for the Soviet Space Program
4. brief look

Rare Earth/YouTube
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Questions

a) Who are Ground Control and Major Tom? What happens to Major Tom?


b) Explain “the papers want to know whose shirts you wear” (l. 11-12).


c) Why are they both “floating in a most peculiar way” (l. 17)?


d) What is the difference between the two songs at this stage? Why?


e) How does the story end for each Major Tom? Why?


f) Why is Chris Hadfield’s version different from David Bowie’s version?
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