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  Jimmy Buffett's "The Rocket That Grandpa Rode"

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Author Topic:   Jimmy Buffett's "The Rocket That Grandpa Rode"
Gonzo
Member

Posts: 405
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 08-20-2013 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Parrotheads unite!

Jimmy Buffett just released a new album (today, Aug. 20) called "Songs From St. Somewhere". On that album is a song called, "The Rocket That Grandpa Rode". I don't have the lyrics to post (yet), but it's all about the space race and particularly Apollo 11. He even thanks Neil Armstrong.

Some reviews are saying it's tacky, but hey, it is Jimmy Buffett and some of his stuff is just tacky (in a good way). To me (I'll admit it, I'm a Parrothead), it's a great song and one of my faves on the CD.

In any event, check it out!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27566
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-20-2013 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since I needed a break from transcribing interviews for upcoming articles, and I couldn't find it elsewhere online, I decided to transcribe the lyrics. See below.

Without having seen the liner notes for the album or any comments from Buffett, I am still fairly certain, based on the lyrics alone, that this song was inspired by Buffett having witnessed the launch of STS-135 from the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center.

Buffett was a VIP guest of NASA that day, and the song's mention of "going to watch the shuttle fly away — last day" and being on the bus out to the launch seems to be describing his experience seeing the Saturn V on display (a rocket he mistakenly refers to as Atlas and Apollo 11, but close enough).

There's an old gypsy moth,
made of glue and cloth,
that lands in a horse-filled field.
An unusual event,
for those Palomino gents,
who just stare at their future revealed.

Why, oh why, did he fly out of Ohio,
before we knew the genes held the code?
But takin' to wing,
is a haunting, taunting thing,
just like that rocket Grandpa rode.

It was a rocket that Grandpa rode,
It sounds like braggin', but it's true,
I'm not trying to bedtime you.
Shot up into space and he said 'Look out down below!'
Got to love that rocket that Grandpa rode.

And the kids turned into flying machines,
with their arms opened wide like wings.
But one solitary boy, knows the plane is not a toy,
I'm talking about,
the man on the moon.

I still remember July '69,
we all got to stay home from school.
In stark black and white,
we followed the flight,
and the whole world was in that capsule.

Oh, on the rocket that Grandpa rode,
It sounds like braggin', but it's true,
I'm not trying to bedtime you.
Oh, what a flight you better look out down below!
Yeah, that's the rocket that Grandpa rode.

Space men and women on this bus,
An old beast driver I don't trust,
we're going to watch the shuttle fly away — last day.
And for some kids behind my seat,
there is a very special treat,
more than just history on parade.

Giant nozzles, bolts and beams,
they called her Atlas by all mean,
blood, sweat and tears were her payload.
She was a stairway to heaven,
Ole' Apollo 11,
the rocketship their Grandpa drove.

Yeah, on the rocket that Grandpa rode,
Sounds like braggin', but it's true,
I'm not trying to bedtime you.
Rising up from that lagoon we beat those Commies to the moon!
Yeah, on the rocket their Grandpa rode.
Yeah, on the rocket their Grandpa drove.

Thank you Neil. Thank you NASA.
Thank you Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Scotty,
Lieutenant Uhura, Chekov.
Yeah, the rocket that Grandpa rode.

ejectr
Member

Posts: 1495
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 08-21-2013 06:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With his love for flying his seaplane, I'm not surprised he wrote this.

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1598
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 08-21-2013 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it's a fine tribute whatever the artist intended.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27566
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-26-2013 07:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Jimmy Buffett sings about 'that rocket' Neil Armstrong rode

In "The Rocket That Grandpa Rode," a song off Jimmy Buffett's first new album in four years, the "man from Margaritaville" sings about the man on the moon.

"And the kids turned into flying machines with their arms opened wide like wings, but one solitary boy knows the plane is not a toy, I'm talking about the man on the moon," croons Buffett in the twelfth track from "Songs From St. Somewhere," the singer's 27th studio album, which was released last week.

Buffett is "talking" about Neil Armstrong, the moonwalker who died one year ago Sunday (Aug. 25). As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong took "one small step" to make "a giant leap for mankind" on July 20, 1969.

But it wasn't the astronaut's passing that apparently led to Buffet's song. As the lyrics to "The Rocket That Grandpa Rode" hint, inspiration came from a trip the musician took a year earlier, in July 2011...

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 405
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 08-26-2013 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert, for the excellent write-up and the story behind the inspiration for the lyrics. A fitting tribute indeed. I'm also glad to see JB commemorated Neil's passing at the concert by making the dedication. Neil Armstrong was a true pioneer and inspiration for us all.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27566
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-26-2013 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jimmy Buffett recounts meeting Rick Armstrong and dedicates "The Rocket That Grandpa Rode" to the late astronaut Alan "Dex" Poindexter in this clip from Radio Magaritaville on Sirius XM.

GoesTo11
Member

Posts: 1045
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 08-26-2013 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the write-up, Robert.

I'm not a Parrothead and I don't own a single Buffet album...but if placed under oath I'd be legally obligated to recount, to the best of my hazy memory, a number of adventures and misadventures to which Buffet's music was a good chunk of the soundtrack

Anyway, very cool to read about his encounter with Armstrong's family and the inspiration for the song.

All times are CT (US)

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