Recently, while perusing ATL’s own Criminal Records, I happened upon a curious 7” emblazoned with “Carl Sagan: A Glorious Dawn.” Since I’ve always been prone to geeking out over life-affirming contextualizations of astrophysics (and since one of the store clerks assured me, quite emphatically, that it was “amazing, the best record of the year”), I immediately snagged it. And you know what? He’s definitely right about the amazing part. It’s a three-and-a-half minute song culled from auto-tuned clips of Sagan’s Cosmos TV series, a MIDI-fied backing track, and a guest verse from—get ready for this one—Stephen Hawking. Here are my favorite verses from this little gem:
1. “The sky calls to us / if we do not destroy ourselves / we will one day venture to the stars”
2. “The cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant truths / of exquisite interrelationships / of the awesome machinery of nature”
3. “How lucky we are to live in this time / the first moment in human history / when we are in fact visiting other worlds”
4. “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch / you must first invent the universe”
5. “A still more glorious dawn awaits / not a sunrise, but a galaxy-rise / a morning filled with 400 billion suns / the rising of the milky way”
6. “The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean / recently we’ve waded a little way out / and the water seems inviting”
If you’re interested in buying the 7” recording of this awesome, awesome track, the vinyl can be purchased here, through Jack White’s own Third Man Records.