Can any one person be described by a single song? I suppose if that song were written about you, perhaps, but I’m sure no one will find it difficult to believe that there have been no songs written about me. It has to be pretty amusing to go through the various responses Day 15 and see what songs people have chosen to describe themselves. Because that’s what it is we are doing here: choosing the song that bests describes us. And for most of us, the person choosing the song is far too biased to make a decent choice.
With that caveat in mind, the song that I think describes me is:
Far Away Places performed by Bing Crosby.
My guess is that the majority of people actually reading this have ever heard this song, but the challenge is to choose a song that describes me, not necessarily a popular song that describes me. And yet this song was quite popular in its time, as any song that Bing chose to sing was. Those who haven’t heard the song before might wonder how a song titled “Far Away Places” describes me. Well, the opening verse of the song goes:
Far away places, with strange sounding names, far away over the sea.
Those far away places, with the strange sounding names, are calling, calling me.
I makes me think of myself when I was about six or seven and first looking up at the stars and just beginning to get the slightest impression of just how far away they are. It was something that started me on my twin loves of science and science fiction. Science fiction, of course, lets us imagine what all those far away places might be like. Science teaches us how to get there. And then there is this:
Going to China, or maybe Siam, I wanna see for myself,
Those far away places, I’ve been reading about
In a book, that I took, from the shelf.
I feel like I’ve been to many, many far away places, some upon which I never actually set foot. When I was about the same as, six or seven, my mother told me that in books, you could sit and read and be transported to different places and times, just as if you were really there. Because of that I’ve been to Mount Rushmore. I’ve listened to John Handcock make a speech in Philadelphia. I’ve stood at the far end of the galaxy and to its chaotic center. I’ve fought with ancient Roman soldiers and sat with Plato and Socrates. I’ve been to the beginning of time and the end of it. I’ve been to places that never were and places that might someday be.
And all of it, because those far away places with the strange sounding names are always calling, calling me.