Countdown
by Rush

Album: Signals (1982)
Charted: 36
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  • (Coming on forty-five minute point in our countdown
    Everything going smoothly
    T-minus 45 minutes and counting
    Coming up on t-minus 40 minutes
    T-minus 40 minutes and counting
    This is shuttle launch control)

    Lit up with anticipation
    We arrive at the launching site
    The sky is still dark, nearing dawn
    On the Florida coastline

    Circling choppers slash the night
    With roving searchlight beams
    This magic day when super-science
    Mingles with the bright stuff of dreams

    (We had a AEO abort, go for test
    Tester says they are go for launch
    At the present time we know of no major problems
    As we enter final hold)

    Floodlit in the hazy distance
    The star of this unearthly show
    Venting vapors, like the breath
    Of a sleeping white dragon

    Crackling speakers, voices tense
    Resume the final count
    All systems check, T-minus-nine
    As the sun and the drama start to mount

    The air is charged, a humid, motionless mass
    The crowds and the cameras
    The cars full of spectators pass
    Excitement so thick, you could cut it with a knife
    Technology high, on the leading edge of life

    (T-minus twenty-seven seconds
    We applaud for redundant sequencers start
    T-minus twenty seconds and counting
    T-minus fifteen, fourteen, thirteen
    Minus ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four
    We have locked the main engine start, we have)

    The earth beneath us starts to tremble
    With the spreading of a low black cloud
    A thunderous roar shakes the air
    Like the whole world exploding

    Scorching blast of golden fire
    As it slowly leaves the ground
    It tears away with a mighty force
    The air is shattered by that awesome sound

    (T-plus thirty seconds, plus thirty-five
    Columbia, Houston you are go at forty)

    Excitement so thick, you could cut it with a knife
    Technology high, on the leading edge of life
    Like a pillar of cloud, the smoke lingers high in the air
    In fascination with the eyes of the world we stare

    (Columbia is now turning towards
    Precise window in space for main engine cutoff
    One, two minute and forty seconds
    Columbia now thirty-nine nautical miles altitude
    Forty-two nautical miles downrange
    Columbia you're looking a little hot
    And all your calls will be a little early
    Young and Crippen really moving out now
    Velocity now reading just sixty-two hundred feet per second
    What a view, what a view
    Glad you are enjoying it
    G800 to LOS
    Columbia Houston, ah we have forty seconds to LOS
    You're looking good burning over the hill
    We'll see you in Madrid
    And we enjoyed the music Bob, thank you
    Ah, we enjoyed, we just wanted to share some with you Writer/s: Alex Zivojinovich, Gary Lee Weinrib, Neil Elwood Peart
    Publisher: OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 12

  • Mark from Syracuse,nyApril 2, 1982 Syracuse Carrier Dome ... My first Rush show. John Butcher Axis opened for them. I was on the floor in like the third section back. Not great visibility for a 13 year old kid of average height.. I was so amazed with the sound. When they played "Countdown" it was so amazing with the back projector of the space shuttle with Young and Crippen being launched in to space. As that ship took off I struggled to hear the song because the audience irrupted in to loud cheering as the shuttle left the ground. It was deafening. I saw a few in the audience with tears in their eyes. So powerful. Music and imagery. I get chills thinking about it to this day. I saw them numerous times since and never took a Rush show for granted.
  • Alejandro Obregon from México CityThis song makes me remember when i was studying engineering, i dreamed about being an astronaut, one of my favorite songs ever, thank you Rush for the inspiration.
  • Gabe From Chicago from Chicago, IlI think the argument could be made that "Passage to Bangkok" is, pretty much about drugs. The point about Rush's lyrics remains however. Good list.

  • Rob from Los Osos, Cathe Shuttle was actually launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It landed at Edwards AFB in California
  • Dougee from San Bernardino, CaWhen I was a teenager one of my biggest dreams was to witness a Shuttle launch. Now, almost 30 years later, I haven't yet (live on the opposite coast, darn it) but this song's vivid imagery makes me feel almost like I was an eyewitness. "This day when super science mingles with the bright stuff of dreams..."
  • John from Asheville, NcI think the song's dated, but that's just what happens when you document "a moment." However, I think the band definitely made sure the song was atmospheric...and the NASA dialogue is a strong part of this experience. As a song it's just ok....as a project and an historical reflection it's pretty special. I like it more than most fans I know...LOL.
  • Warner from Stanley, KsSo what was the music that was played for the astronauts that is referred to in this song?
  • Don from Franklin, MaThis song is always tinged with a little sadness for me, because its the Columbia, and I still remember quite clearly that sad morning when I woke my wife up saying 'the Columbia has burned up in reentry.'
    Obviously not the same crew, but its still somewhat haunting to hear the chatter between the Columbia and Houston.
  • Brad from Chicago, IlDescribes perfectly the experience of being close-up and at hand of THE first "space shuttle" launch. "Lit up with anticipation the star of this unearthly show, venting vapours like the breath of a sleeping white dragon"...HOLY CRAP!!!! What a word-smith!!!
  • Jesse from L.a., Ca Geddy's keyboard part in this song is terrific! Love this song. It gives me chills.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesOriginally a No.41 hit in the UK in September 1982 as a double A-Side with the live version of "New World Man", the single was re-issued and peaked at No. 36 in April 1983, becoming Rush' fifth and last UK Top 40 hit.
  • Patrick from Boston, MaThis song gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. What a fantastic tribute to this achievment.
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