The Rock and Roll Deconstruction Daddio [No.1]

In Richie Dowling on January 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm

By Richie Dowling


Europe: The Final Countdown

Just in case some of the “crusty oldsters” aren’t down with their shit here’s a link to the video so they’ll know what we jive-talkers are digging:-

We’ll take things on a verse by verse basis.

First verse:-

We’re leaving together,
But still its farewell
And maybe we’ll come back,
To Earth, who can tell?
I guess there is no one to blame
We’re leaving ground
Will things ever be the same again?

Right. So the narrator is leaving from somewhere with someone else. A pilgrimage, perhaps? Ring any bells, Chaucer fans? They’re going together. And yet, the narrator introduces an element of uncertainty–“still it’s farewell”. How can it be farewell if they’re leaving together? Then we get the answer–they’re leaving the planet. Of course! It’s the “Final Countdown” remember? The narrator is in a rocketship awaiting the blast-off moment! How exciting!

So, where are they going? We don’t know yet, and we don’t even know if they’re coming back! The narrator says there is no-one to blame, but therefore something IS wrong. Perhaps the Earth has been so poisoned by Mankind’s pollution that it can no longer support life? The last line of the verse is clearly a reference to Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers–things can never be the same again, because Time (Another reference to the Final Countdown) goes in one direction only. Phew! All this in one verse. But it gets better. . .

Second Verse:-

We’re heading for Venus and still we stand tall
Cause maybe they’ve seen us and welcome us all
With so many light years to go and things to be found
I’m sure that we’ll all miss her so.

Destination Venus: And yes, they will stand tall because the gravitational pull on that planet is roughly 90% that of Earth. They will all feel lighter and taller! The downside is that the surface temperature of Venus is hot enough to melt lead! Better dress lightly, lads!

Now, “maybe they’ve seen us” introduces a certain element of paranoia. Are the Venusians watching what we’re doing? If so, why didn’t they help? Ironically, global warming suggests that living conditions on Earth may soon match those of Venus! Perhaps the Venusians were thinking we were improving the planet. Nevertheless the narrator is confident of a good welcome by their new Venusian overlords–obviously refugees from Earth can never hope for an equal place in Venusian society.

There’s even more bad news. They have lightyears to go! Clearly they are heading in the WRONG direction–Venus varies in distance from the Earth but even at its furthest Venus is a mere 261 million km away! In comparison, one lightyear is equal to ten trillion kilometres. The navigator on this trip is SERIOUSLY incompetent.  

Still, the narrator ends on a bitter-sweet note. There are still things to be found. (In reality only a few atoms of hydrogen per cubic centimetre in outer space.) And he’s sure we’ll all miss “her” so.

Wait a second. The narrator has played a cruel trick on us–and his beloved. She’s not going with him! He left her behind! What a scoundrel! As the Final Countdown was echoing around the take-off area he presumably pushed his beloved out of the spacecraft and closed the door! Perhaps there would not be enough oxygen to support them both, but if the damned navigator had been doing his job properly, they wouldn’t be travelling light years in the wrong direction and they would have had enough air to easily get to Venus, and back!

So, armed with this insight, I’m sure you’ll agree this song will never be the same again.

  1. That venus section is fucking brilliant, man.

    Light years to go – going in the wrong direction…

    you have to turn this into a series. You just have to.


  2. I’d just managed to wrestle this song out of my head after two months of torment, only to come here and have it indelibly installed again — I hate you for that. However, I like you for making me laugh quite hard.

  3. Thanks, cats. I’m now in fat city, and a series of these epistles would be, like, made in the shade!

    You guys are the most!

  4. Oh, and please post any requests.

  5. ‘The Other Side’ by the Chilis, please.

  6. I take it you mean the popular beat combo The Red Hot Chilli Peppers? The ones whose manager seems to have taken the shirts off their backs? I shall have a listen.

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