Check out songs by everyone from Train (blech) to David Bowie (yay!).
Astronaut Harrison Sheldon — the pint-sized, photogenic focus of new book Small Steps are Giant Leaps — got us thinking about space, which made us think of songs about space, which got us thinking about making a list of songs about space. So here we are.
Train: “Drops of Jupiter”
If courts could prosecute bands for crimes against humanity, Train would get life without parole for this tune, which rhymes “checks out Mozart while she does Tae Bo” with “reminds me that there's room to grow.”
Monster Magnet: “Space Lord”
This nonsensical 1998 Soundgarden knockoff won't make you nostalgic for goatees and detuned guitars.
The Killers: “Spaceman”
In the same way the Killers' Brandon Flowers doesn't know whether we are human or dancer (see “Human”), in this song he can't seem to decide whether he was abducted by aliens or if he just dreamt the whole thing.
Strand of Oaks: “Spacestations”
The version of this song from the 2012 album Dark Shores is fine, but find the version Strand of Oaks recorded for Weathervane Music's “Shaking Through” series for the fully realized vision of a man stranded on a space station.
Kanye West: “Spaceship”
“I wish I could buy me a spaceship and fly past the sky,” goes the hook on this track from The College Dropout, which feels more like R. Kelly's “Space Jam” theme song until you pair it with Kanye's tales of being racially profiled at the Gap.
Taylor Swift: “Blank Space”
Space isn't always about stars and planets. Sometimes it's an empty spot on Taytay's “long list of ex-lovers” (or, as many misheard it, “lonely Starbucks lovers”).
Mary Lynn: “Space”
Speaking of Taylor Swift, her selfie buddy Mary Lynn's 2016 album My Animal features this standout track, which finds the singer confessing, “I don't even know what it means to human” and using space as a means to explore feelings of alienation.
GZA: “The Spark”
Recorded at the behest of NASA in honor of its Juno Mission, this track by Wu-Tang's GZA boasts astrological rhymes like, “One billionth the size the point of a pen / Microscopic but on a macro level within.”
Elton John: “Rocket Man”
Probably the first song that popped into your head when you heard the phrase “songs about space,” this 1972 tune addresses the age-old question of whether Mars is an acceptable planet for child-rearing.
R.E.M.: “Man on the Moon”
I guess at this point it's safe to say Donald Trump isn't Andy Kaufman in disguise. But it's still therapeutic to listen to this song and pretend it was all a big joke.
A Tribe Called Quest: “Space Program”
This leadoff track from Tribe's newest record — simultaneously a comeback, swan song and tribute — is full of biting political and social commentary about minorities getting left behind on Earth (“Imagine if this shit was really talkin' about space, dude,” Q-Tip raps).
Radiohead: “Subterranean Homesick Alien”
While we could have opted for The Bends standout “Black Star,” this one does more justice to the space theme as Thom Yorke stares at aliens hovering above and longs to be taken aboard their beautiful ship.
David Bowie: “Space Oddity”
No one embodied a not-from-this-planet aura better than the Thin White Duke, and this 1969 song about fictional astronaut Major Tom is Bowie at his spaciest.