Following in Valentina's footsteps

Lyrics & tune Valerie Housden

 

 

Back in nineteen sixty-three

in Vostok six she flew.

Those few bright days in sunny June

when all spaceflight was new

gave us a goal we could aim for,

a promise is how it seemed,

and as we saw the tv pictures

so many of us dreamed:

 

Following in Valentina's footsteps,

flying out further and beyond,

playing our part for the future,

making the dream live on,

helping us push our horizons

out past Jupiter and Mars,

following in Valentina's footsteps

on that long road out to the stars.

 

The decade passed, then ten more years

from those heady days in June,

Soyuz and Apollo flew,

and men walked upon the moon,

the promise all but broken,

till Sally flew to even the score.

But politics still intervened,

Svetlana flew the year before.

 

Following in Valentina's footsteps

though as rivals they were then viewed,

they played their part for the future,

helping the dream come true.

The science of space station and shuttle

is breaking our Earthly prison bars.

They were following in Valentina's footsteps

on that long road out to the stars.

 

 

Seven stars burned far too bright

on that chilly winter's morn,

as from careless ambition

a great fireball was born.

The Teacher and the Specialist

died in that infernal rage.

But both Christa and Judy

wrote their names on history's page

 

(as they went)

following in Valentina's footsteps

though they left us rather soon

and millions mourned their passing -

from death none is immune.

Their names live on in glory,

though few may travel as far,

following in Valentina's footsteps

on that long road out to the stars.

 

Born in nineteen sixty-three

when Vostok six did fly,

the circle made another turn,

the hopeful reached to the sky

and answered Juno's summons,

though it meant a long exile.

Helen's no Barbarella,

but she left with a wave and a smile

 

(as she went)

following in Valentina's footsteps,

to Peace in peace she came.

The first of her countrymen -

we, who would do the same,

must fight to make it happen

and not simply dream from afar.

Then we'll follow in Valentina's footsteps

on that long road out to the stars.

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