On February 4th, 2008, NASA will transmit the Beatles tune “Across the Universe” to the star Polaris, 431 lights years distant, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the song’s recording and to celebrate NASA’s 50th anniversary. NASA’s Deep Space Network, an array of large antennas used to communicate with spacecraft beyond low Earth orbit, will beam the song out at 6:00 p.m. CST (7:00 p.m. EST). This observation has the full support of Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono and the Apple record label. The lyrics are printed below.

The song, “Across the Universe” was recorded forty years ago on February 4, 1968 by the Beatles. John Lennon wrote the song in 1967 after hearing his wife-at-the-time Cynthia, carrying on about some meaningless subject. After she went to sleep, Lennon went downstairs and created the song, then went to bed. The song was influenced by the Beatles interest in TM, or transcendental meditation. This is where the words “Jai guru deva om” in the song were inspired. It loosely means “greetings to the guru” followed by the meditative “om”. In a 1979 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Lennon said “Across the Universe” was the best, pure poetry he had ever written. The song was recorded February 4, 1968 while the Beatles were in the EMI studios at Abbey Road between February 3rd and February 11th. “Lady Madonna” was also recorded during this time. The song “Across the Universe” appears on the Beatles “Let It Be” album released May 8th, 1970.

Words are flying out like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy are drifting thorough my open mind
Possessing and caressing me

Jai guru deva om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes
That call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box
they tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe

Jai guru deva om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter shades of life are ringing through my open ears
exciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai guru deva om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Jai guru deva
Jai guru deva

See the NASA news release concerning this event here.

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