Pink Floyd: "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun"

On the way home tonight, the shuffle play offered up Pink Floyd's "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" from way back in 1968. As required by both state and federal law, I immediately turned it up all the way.

This reminded me of one of the most satisfying perquisites of being a high school drama teacher at a school with a bustling stagecraft program: having complete control over a full rock-concert-sized PA system.

I had this rig set up one day in the auditorium at Cypress Lake High in preparation for some show or another. Once something like this is set up, it's wrong to just let it sit idle, so I would "test" it by playing music. On this day, I had a few minutes after school had dismissed but before the crew arrived for whatever work we were going to do, and so I put on this song. It was a glorious thing to listen to at that volume in that deliciously dark auditorium.

So I'm sitting there in my usual fourth row center seat, enjoying the freaky middle section after the tympani attack where Rick Wright's synthesizer erupts in some sort of celestial supernova. From the darkness behind me, I heard the voice of a student who had apparently been enjoying the song with me without me realizing it.

As the starship hurled itself ever closer to the sun, I heard her cry out: "We are TOTALLY going to play this one again, right? RIGHT?"

And so we did.