"Laika" as written by and Gareth Michael Liddiard Fiona Lee Kitchin....
and all the dim companions of
the old white dwarf
watch him throwing sugar
on an old blackboard
he says "you can't stay in the classroom
'til the end of God
now Laika's in the backseat
of a lunokhod

she was the first to leave home
in a very long time
but vanished with her tail on fire

she was born under a foundry
in it's black air duct
then cast adrift as though
she were a speck of dust
snubbed by walls of mantle
and their bolted core
then fired into a canyon
of polite applause

through half a pound of sugar
on an old blackboard

and this grain is our sun
high on a field of maize
blazing like a hawk
high on it's stilty gaze

the wind blows and the corn leans
laying Laika bare
she don't see it coming
and she's got nowhere
one day they'll build her statue
put it in the yard
to show to all the children
and the palace guard

and one day all you children
will be white dwarves too
you'll cave under yourselves
and become cruel cruel cruel.


Lyrics submitted by tarnopol

Laika song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentFrom Fasterlouder article:-

    "Laika was a dog, the first animal in space that we know of. She was a stray, so no one knows where she came from. The Russians picked her up off the street, stuck her in a rock, and fired her into space. There was no plan to return her to earth – they just left her out there, and she died. They lied about that. It was only after Gorbachev started perestroika or Glasnost or whatever it was, the freedom of information thing, that they revealed they were just going to kill her anyway. She became a national hero. It’s not a very nice way to treat the first thing in outer space.

    “Half a pound of sugar”, and the, “Watch him throw sugar on an old blackboard” line are a metaphor for the milky way, the stars in the sky. “Dim companions of the old white dwarf” – the dim companions are the old stars in the sky which are halfway dead, they have these things that float around, like a teacher has pupils who are a bit dim, inexperienced. The whole thing idea struck me: The planet and the solar system somehow came about, and it all led up to ejecting a dog from the planet from which it was born. I mean, as far as being rejected goes, Laika copped the biggest. She was homeless, nothing went very well for her. The whole existence of this planet basically conspired against her, you know what I mean? That’s weird."
    pud354on October 09, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOn the first few listens to this stunning song I thought that the opening about "all the dim companions of the old white dwarf" could also have referred to a Soviet rocket scientist in his white coat surrounded by members of the Party preparing to ruthlessly shoot a dog into space in the name of teaching the rest of the world that they could shoot a dog into space.

    This kind of "because we can" behaviour requires a special kind of cruelty, completely ignoring the value of the dog's life. Children love the story of Laika, the Dog Who Went Into Space but the reality of her miserable situation would horrify them (also referred to in the movie 'My Life As A Dog' by Lasse Hallström). So in the statue, she becomes a hero to children for being an awe inspiring brave dog and a hero to the Kremlin guards for being a dick-waving demonstration of national superiority. Cynically, you could say the child's wonder transforming (or collapsing) into the adult's bluster could be summed up with

    and one day all you children
    will be white dwarves too
    you'll cave under yourselves
    and become cruel cruel cruel.
    Dingo16on October 23, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is a requiem for us all. Those of us that remain on this earth are destined to be consumed when the sun expands in its red giant phase then left as cinders orbiting a white dwarf. We sent up a dog named Laika to die alone in orbit from heat exhaustion but what have we collectively done to ourselves? Our climate control units (our biosphere) like the one on Laika's lunohkod have been ravaged leaving us on an uncontrollable spiral into extinction. Perhaps monuments to our existence will be recognisable in however many hundreds of million years that it takes for intelligence to evolve again, though even the hoover and three gorges dam would be lucky to remain in any recognisable form. The hivemind truly is a dim companion to our old white dwarf.
    crimsonpalisadeon July 20, 2016   Link

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