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Song Details
Duration: 4:01 
Release Date: 1983  (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Lyrics By: Schilling/Lodge (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Music By: Schilling/Lodge (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Produced By: Peter Schilling/Armin Sabol (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Released By: Elektra (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Published By: Songs of Peer Ltd. (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Licensing: ASCAP  #430342953 (Stavro Arrgolus) 
  • Whenever a musical style comes and goes, after a set number of years, it returns as nostalgia for a while and becomes popular again with people who were young at the time of the song and suddenly realize they're middle-aged and are wondering what the hell happened. This certainly now applies to New Wave and the popularity of this tune on the site is a prime example of this sort of thing going on. (Stavro Arrgolus)
  • Strangely, this is one of the most popular non-demented songs on our 'guests online' page as this is a site dedicated to novelty music. Hardly a day goes by without a few views of it. (Stavro Arrgolus)
  • In Peter Schilling's sequel to Bowie's "Space Oddity" Tom is presumed dead by people on earth, but in reality he has survived. It is revealed that Major Tom never intended to return to Earth, as he was actually an alien disguised as an Earthling astronaut. "Coming Home" means returning to space, not to Earth. In this song, the word "light" in "now the Light commands" is often heard or transcribed as "life", but the liner notes of the Error In The System LP (and the original German), though, confirm the word "light". The German version differs from the English rendition in that it is implied that rather than being caught in an accident, Major Tom ends his life willingly due to information available to him, but not to Mission Control. wikipedia...slightly edited (Stavro Arrgolus)
  • Song Lyrics:
    Standing there alone, the ship is waiting.
    All systems are go. Are you sure?

    Control is not convinced, but the computer
    has the evidence. No need to abort

    The countdown starts.

    Watching in a trance, the crew is certain
    Nothing left to chance. All is working.

    Trying to relax, up in the capsule.
    "Send me up a drink," jokes Major Tom.

    The count goes on.

    Earth below us, drifting falling,
    Floating weightless, calling, calling home...

    Second stage is cut, we're now in orbit.
    Stabilizers up, running perfect.

    Starting to collect, requested data.
    What will it affect, when all is done,

    thinks Major Tom?

    Back at ground control, there is a problem.
    Go to rockets full, not responding

    "Hello Major Tom, are you receiving?
    Turn the thrusters on, we're standing by"

    There's no reply.

    Earth below us, drifting falling,
    Floating weightless, calling, calling home...

    Across the stratosphere, a final message.
    "Give my wife my love," then nothing more.

    Far beneath the ship, the world is mourning.
    They don't realize he's alive.
    No one understands, but Major Tom sees.
    "Now the light commands
    This is my home. I'm coming home"

    Earth below us, drifting falling,
    Floating weightless, coming home
    Earth below us, drifting falling,
    Floating weightless, coming home
    Earth below us, drifting falling,
    Floating weightless, coming home
    Earth below us, drifting falling,
    Floating weightless, coming, coming home
    Current Rating 9.8 (3 votes)
    Played on 4 shows:
    01-16-16, #AOTA-16011605-24-12, #ISGD-12-21
    01-13-16, #ISGD-16-0405-14-06, #MMS-27
    = Show you can listen to online
    Messages about the song: "Major Tom (Coming Home)"
    Yalana   Offline  -  Member  -  04-07-10 10:09 AM  -  13 years ago
    I think that by some strange quirk of fate, all humans are "alien" to the rest of life on Earth, and that "seeking the light" (knowledge and awareness) is the only real "home" we can ever hope to have. Out into other eco-niches, and eventually: out into space ... it is all the same. Paraphrasing Pogo Opossum, "We have met the 'aliens', and they are 'us'."

    . ko ze'u jmive gi'e snada .
    Stavro Arrgolus   Offline  -  Editor, MP3  -  01-30-10 02:49 PM  -  13 years ago
    You're very welcome.

    And for my next magical trick, I'll contemplate the meanings of Nena's 'Leuchtturm'. Was it really about U-boats? Hmm....

    As of this moment, this song remains the #1 song page on the site. The search bots must be finding lots of keywords in it or something. I noticed the popularity of this page a couple of years ago. I was rather fond of this song in 1983-4 myself. It was one of the last great pop tunes before hair metal and rap sent it all to hell. It was around that time that the RIAA compartmentalized everything into categories and pop music as we knew it ceased to exist. But that's another thread.
    michan   Offline  -  Member  -  01-30-10 02:35 PM  -  13 years ago
    Thank you for your reply Stavro Arrgolus!
    You are 100% right... sometimes some things don't mean anything!!
    and also "yeah~right~" to the fact that schilling never heard bowie's space but it is good to know that schilling song is not related to drugged inspired david bowie, though i listen to his song just for fun.

    "it's a sign that it's at that point that he vanishes from corporeal existence and 'returns home' in one form or another."

    that is beautifully worded and it makes a lot of sense:-)
    I love that.

    I translated German version getting a help of "google translator" since my german is very bad though i lived there for 2
    well, first i was surprised the song doesn't even mention anything about "coming home". no calling home, nothing about home.
    Secondly, i felt bit more of where he stands clearer than english version. I can imagine him trying so long to make his dream come true but in the end he realized what's most important thing... his family...his wife.
    but i did not get the impression of Major Tom being Alien...?

    I have a friend in germany so I'm gonna ask her opinion next time.

    Thank you for sharing your opinion.
    It mean so much to me!!
    Stavro Arrgolus   Offline  -  Editor, MP3  -  01-27-10 06:55 PM  -  13 years ago
    George Carlin once said, "Some people think everything has to mean something- well, some things don't mean anything."

    Schilling claimed never to have heard the original 'Space Oddity' before writing this song. ...yeah, right. Germans had a thing for Bowie at that time after he had just spent all that time in Berlin with Brian Eno and Iggy Pop making the 'Berlin Trilogy' albums- "Low","Heroes" and "The Lodger". I'm sure this is far from the first homage to the Man Who Fell To Earth made in Germany.

    All that I've heard and read suggests that the original German version- takes the plot in a slightly different direction and that Major Tom is an alien who returns to space. "Now the light commands" can have any number of interpretations, but at the point all the echo is added to the line, "I'm coming home", to me, it's a sign that it's at that point that he vanishes from corporeal existence and 'returns home' in one form or another.

    It's a mistake to think Europeans aren't aware of America's social paranoias and pet peeves. Often, songs of this era were watered down with gentler lyrics so they could be played on U.S. radio and anything even remotely controversial was removed.

    Now, Bowie... that's something else entirely. The original song that 'Ashes to Ashes' and 'Major Tom (Coming Home)' were sequels to was written with Ziggy Stardust, astronauts and aliens in mind. Bowie's film (they weren't called 'videos' in those days) of 'Space Oddity' showed him playing a acoustic guitar dressed in an early Ziggy Stardust ensemble. It's easy to make the leap of believing both Ziggy and Tom were aliens. Reality = not aliens, but guys on "really hard drugs" having really far out trips.

    The sensible money suggests you listen to all 3 songs and draw your own conclusions. And remember- 'some things don't mean anything.'
    michan   Offline  -  Member  -  01-27-10 03:13 PM  -  13 years ago
    Is Major tom character really an alien??? What is this information based on? I was always wondering what "light commands" mean.... I assumed that "light" as the heaven or afterlife based on people supposedly see light when they die... "This is my home" is either pointing at "earth" or heaven, and "I'm coming home" means he is reincarnating or heaven as least that's what i thought! I hope major tom is not an alien. All the greatness of this song kinda gets ruined :-(
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