SciFi SongFest, Songs 58-59

I’ll let you figure out what these two songs have in common:

58. David Bowie, “Supermen” (1970):

Another version:

59. Laurie Anderson, “O Superman” (1981):

I was first introduced to this latter song, and to Laurie Anderson’s work generally, by the psychologist Michael Commons when I was working as his research assistant at the DARE Institute in Cambridge MA during my freshman year of college.

The line “When love is gone there’s always justice / when justice is gone there’s always force” is a paraphrase of a passage from Laozi’s Daodejing, while the line “Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” is a variation on the unofficial motto of the u.s. postal service, borrowed in turn from Herodotus’s description of the mail service of the Persian Empire.

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