The Lonesome Friends of Science

Album: The Tree of Forgiveness (2018)

Songfacts®:

  • This song has two inspirations: the Vulcan, which is the largest cast iron statue in the world, and the demotion of Pluto to a minor planet. John Prine explained to The Sun: "I've always been kind of fascinated by the Vulcan in Birmingham, Alabama, and have tried to write a song about it for years. When I heard about how Pluto was demoted from a planet to a star (sic) I knew I wanted to write about it. I think the two stories compliment each other."

    The Vulcan is the largest cast iron statue in the world, reflecting the iron and steel industry. Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and smithery, was a popular namesake for iron foundries during the Industrial Revolution.

    Pluto was originally considered to be the ninth planet from the Sun, but the International Astronomical Union came up with a new definition for planets in 2006 that excluded Pluto after many other similar icy objects were found, including Chiron and Eris.
  • The colorful, animated video contains scenes relating to Prine's lyrics. The clip was created by Tiago Majuelos, who is a Barcelona-based graphic designer.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Crystal WatersSongwriter Interviews

Waters tells the "Gypsy Woman" story, shares some of her songwriting insights, and explains how Dennis Rodman ended up on one of her songs.

James Bond Theme SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the 007 theme songs?

Tom Waits Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Pool balls, magpies and thorns without roses - how well do you know your Tom Waits lyrics?

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Real or Spinal TapMusic Quiz

They sang about pink torpedoes and rocking you tonight tonight, but some real lyrics are just as ridiculous. See if you can tell which lyrics are real and which are Spinal Tap in this lyrics quiz.