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John Bartus: Music

Dawn's Early Light

(John Bartus)
May 22, 2002
John Bartus
During the 1960s, our family lived in Merritt Island, Florida -- right across the river from Cape Canaveral. We could see, hear, and feel the rockets as they climed toward the heavens. My father was an engineer in the Apollo space program, and I grew up wanting to be an astronaut more than just about anything else. Although everyone wants to be younger, there are times I wish I could have been a bit older, to experience the Cape as an adult during its heyday. What a ride it must have been! This song is about all that, as well as a tribute to what my father and all who worked in the space program were able to accomplish. This song is also dedicated to the astronauts and cosmonauts who gave their lives in service to this higher goal.
Dawn's Early Light
Words and music by John Bartus

When I was young, I used to watch the ships sail to the sky
Celestial navigators, who weren't afraid to die
My dreams rode high on sails of fire / I knew one day I would fly much higher
In dreams of a child...
Our house would shake like thunder as the sailors left the ground
We'd run outside to see them off, we'd feel the mighty sound
And each time they took off again / I knew one day I would fly with them
And feel anticipation of the fiery ride to come...
Hear the time as they count down the seconds one by one...
Know exhilaration perched atop a rising sun...

Chorus: Riding high into the sky on pillars made of light
See the world fall far below us on our maiden flight
See the stars in daytime, see the sun at night... by dawn's early light...

Floating high above the Earth, or walking on the moon
I'd sail the endless sea of stars and never leave my room
I watched the missions on TV / Imagining that it was me
In dreams of a child...
My father built the sailing ships that took them into space
Did he know what I'd have left behind just to take their place?
I figured one day, if he cared / He'd find a way to get me there
To feel anticipation of the fiery ride to come...
Hear the time as they count down the seconds one by one...
Know exhilaration perched atop a rising sun...

Repeat Chorus

Seems I've gotten older now as time keeps marching on
I've seen some dreams disintegrate, while others carry on
The chill of January skies / When seven hopes began to rise
They felt anticipation of the fiery ride to come...
They heard the time as we counted down the seconds one by one...
They knew exhilaration perched atop a rising sun...

Repeat Chorus

1994 by John Bartus