I’m watching history happen, right in front of my eyes.
It’s 12:30 Eastern Time on Monday, May 6.
On my computer screen, I’m watching a live satellite feed from space.
An astronaut is singing and playing guitar. He’s singing a song he wrote (with Canadian songwriter Ed Robertson from the band the Barenaked Ladies) called I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing)?
But the really exciting part is something I can’t see. Hundreds of thousands of children in Canada and throughout the world are also singing, right at this moment, singing the very same song.
It’s part of Music Monday, which is an annual event in Canada that began in 2005. Each year, a song is chosen and school children across the country learn it so they can sing it at the same time on the same day.
What’s so moving is the incredible, beautiful power of the event. Just thinking of all of those children watching Commander Chris Hadfield, as he floats in the space station, so high above the Earth—and they’re all singing the same song:
So sing your song, I’m listening,
Out where stars are glistening,
I can hear your voices bouncing off the moon.
If you could see our nation, from the International Space Station
You’d know why I want to get back soon.
It’s a song that talks about how nations around the world have set aside any differences they may have, and come together so we can all learn through space exploration. It talks about how borders aren’t visible from space. And how “that ball of blue houses everybody anybody ever knew.”
That day, on Music Monday, we were all just Earthlings, living together on our planet, with hundreds of thousands of beautiful voices bouncing off the moon.
Chris Hadfield left Earth on Dec. 19. He’s scheduled to return to the planet next Monday, May 13.
It’s been an incredible journey—for us all.
Here is the Youtube video (22:53) of Hadfield singing the song, as well as a brief Q&A afterwards.
And right at the very end, he floats upside-down with his guitar–just for fun.
Take a look at TKN’s past articles about Chris Hadfield.
Commander Hadfield’s Son, Evan, Helps Bring Space To Earth
Dragon Brings Fresh Supplies To International Space Station
Astronaut Chris Hadfield Debuts Song From Space
Hadfield Brings Space Life Down To Earth
Canadian Astronaut To Take Charge Of Space Station
By Jonathan Tilly
Chris Hadfield’s song, “I.S.S.” tells that the nations on Earth don’t have borders when viewed from space. He makes this point to describe the similiraties of all humankind. If you were an astronaut in space, what images would you share in your song? What would the message of these images be?
Reading Prompt: Text Forms
This article is labelled as a “column.” How is a “column” different from a “news article”? Why do you think this piece was written as a column rather than a news story?
Identify and describe the characteristics of a variety of text forms, with a focus on literary texts such as a fable or adventure story (OME, Reading: 2.1).
Analyse a variety of text forms and explain how their particular characteristics help communicate meaning, with a focus on literary texts such as short stories (OME, Reading: 2.1).
Analyse a variety of text forms and explain how their particular characteristics help communicate meaning, with a focus on literary texts such as a novel (OME, Reading: 2.1).
Language Feature: Metaphor
A metaphor is a literary tool (device) that an author uses in order to make a comparison. Unlike a similie, where the author uses words such as “like” or “as,” a metaphor compares the subject to something else by saying it is that something else . For example, Hadfield is using a metaphor when he calls the Earth a “ball of blue” because he isn’t saying it’s “like a ball of blue” (similie); he is saying the world is a “ball of blue” (metaphor).
Why does he refer to the Earth that way? How else could Earth be described?