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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Across the universe 

NASA to launch Beatles song across the galaxy:
On Monday, NASA will broadcast the Beatles’ song “Across the Universe” across the galaxy to Polaris, the North Star.
This first-ever beaming of a radio song by the space agency directly into deep space is nostalgia-driven. It celebrates the 40th anniversary of the song, the 45th anniversary of NASA’s Deep Space Network, which communicates with its distant probes, and the 50th anniversary of NASA.




From YouTube "About This Video"
The Beatles - Across The Universe
Across the Universe" is a song by The Beatles that first appeared on a charity release in December 1969, and later, in modified form, on their final album, Let It Be. The song features John Lennon singing lead, who was also the primary composer (though, as with all Beatles songs written by either composer, the song is credited to Lennon/McCartney).
Composition
One night in 1967, the phrase "words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup" came to Lennon after hearing his then-wife Cynthia, according to Lennon, "going on and on about something". Later, after "she'd gone to sleep-- and I kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream", Lennon "went downstairs and it turned into sort of a cosmic song". He began to write the rest of the lyrics and when he was done, he went to bed and forgot about them.
In the morning, Lennon found the paper on which he had written the lyrics and brought them down to his piano, where he began to play chords, and find pitches to match the words.
The structure of the lyrics is straightforward: three repetitions of a unit consisting of a verse, the line "Jai guru deva om", and the line "Nothing's gonna change my world" repeated four times. The lyrics are highly image-based, with abstract concepts reified with phrases like thoughts "meandering", words "slithering", and undying love "shining". The title phrase "across the universe" appears at intervals to finish lines, although interestingly it never cadences, always appearing as a rising figure, melodically unresolved.
In his 1970 interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Lennon referred to the song as perhaps the best, most poetic lyric he ever wrote.
The recording and Version History:
In February 1968, The Beatles convened at the EMI Abbey Road studios to record a single for release during their absence on their forthcoming trip to India. Paul McCartney had written "Lady Madonna" and John "Across the Universe". Both tracks were recorded along with George's "The Inner Light" and Lennon's "Hey Bulldog" between the 3rd and 11th of February.
Whilst the basic track was successfully recorded on the 4 February, Lennon wasn't satisfied with the feel of the track. Several innovations were tried, including blowing through comb onto paper and humming to add texture to the track, and the addition of a pedal guitar and tambora.
The track was mixed to mono and put aside as the group had decided to release "Lady Madonna" and "The Inner Light" as the single.
During the February 1968 recording sessions, Spike Milligan dropped into the studio and on hearing the song suggested the track would be ideal for release on a charity album he was organising for the World Wildlife Fund. At some point in 1968 The Beatles agreed to this proposal, and track was mixed into stereo for the first time by George Martin. The original mix (mono and stereo) is 3:37. For the 'wildlife' album it was deemed appropriate to add sound effects of birds at the beginning and end of the track. After the effects were added the track was sped up; so that even with 20 seconds of effects the track is only 3:49. The song was first released in this version on the Regal Starline SRS 5013 album No One's Gonna Change Our World, in December 1969.
Though never satisfied with the recording, Lennon was still attached to the song, and played it during the Get Back/Let It Be album sessions of January 1969.
Lyrics:
Words are flowing out like
endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
are drifting thorough my open mind
Possessing and caressing me
Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Images of broken light which
dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a
restless wind inside a letter box
they tumble blindly as
they make their way across the universe
Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Sounds of laughter shades of life
are ringing through my open ears
inciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love which
shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe
Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Jai guru deva
Jai guru deva

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