Sunday, April 01, 2018

I'm all burned out about space junk

My Twitter colleague @misosusanowa alerted me to this Devo song from Q. Are we not men? A. We are Devo. It was written in 1976, and released in 1978, the same year that a USSR Kosmos satellite re-entered over the forests of northern Canada, spewing nuclear fuel as it broke up. One year later, of course, the re-entry of Skylab caused a global sensation.

Well, she was walking all alone
Down the street in the alley
Her name was Sally
I never touched her, she never saw it

When she was hit by space junk
When she was smashed by space junk
When she was killed by space junk

'In New York, Miami beach
Heavy metal fell in Cuba
Angola, Saudi Arabia
On Christmas eve', said NORAD

A Soviet Sputnik hit Africa
India, Venezuela, in Texas, Kansas
It's falling fast, Peru too
It keeps coming, it keeps coming, it keeps coming

And now I'm mad about - space junk
I'm all burned out about - space junk
Walk and talk about - space junk
It smashed my baby's head - space junk
And now my Sally's dead - space junk

It's not a happy song, it has to be said. However, space junk hardly ever hits people or property, so poor Sally was extremely unlucky. Or perhaps she was unlucky in her choice of boyfriend, as there is a subtle undertone of domestic violence. The Cold War on the home front. 


  1. Despair about falling "space junk" (including "atomic lasers falling from the sky") shows up in 1989's "Channel Z" by The B-52's. Probably a nod to Devo, but also informed by the fears of Reagan's "Star Wars" initiative and the thinning ozone layer. "Better put up my umbrella," the song advises.

  2. Thanks - I will have to look this up!