|Queen guitarist Brian May|
Like others my age, I am quite familiar with Queen's music though I never was their biggest fan. As I listened to this little gem of a tune, I realized that the lyrics were of a topic quite unlike any other song I've ever heard by anyone. A bit of research confirmed what I thought the lyrics meant. I also learned that the song's writer and singer, Brian May, is, in addition to being Queen's lead guitarist, also a PhD astrophysicist.
The song, '39, deals with time dilation - the theory that a traveler in space, going near the speed of light, will experience the passage of time much more slowly than a stationary person.
The song is the story of twenty space travelers leaving Earth (in 2039?) seeking a new home for civilization. They return exactly one later in their time, one century in Earth's time (2139?) (For so many years have gone, though I'm older but a year) and the Earth is old and gray. His daughter has grown old and died but he tries to see her through his granddaughter (Your mother's eyes, from your eyes, cry to me).
Quite a unique and haunting song. This is miles - or should I say light-years - away from We will, we will rock you. Maybe Brian May will record a song about Long-Delayed Echoes.....