Big Blue Marble

by Teresa Jennings

Many of us still remember the first time we saw color photographs of Earth as viewed from space. There was one in particular taken in 1972 by astronauts on the spacecraft Apollo 17 that has become iconic in its representation of our planet. Truly, "big blue marble" is a perfect description of that view.

The song "Big Blue Marble" celebrates that famous perspective. Though there are some educational points made in the lyrics (colors, rotation), you don't have to make this scientific unless you want to. It's perfectly charming to just sing for no particular reason. But if you DO want to make it cross curricular, be sure to inform the classroom science teacher that you have this neat tune to share for reinforcement. Another obvious usage would be for Earth Day, which occurs on April 22.

A cute and bouncy tune with a triplet-based feel like this one is a natural for ukuleles, especially when only a few basic chords can work throughout. The opening rhythm repeats over and over so that players can focus more on chord changes once they have the rhythm learned. It does change at the bridge (bar 19), so they'll need to pay attention. Fortunately, it's an even easier rhythm there, so it should be easy to make the switch. There's one other tricky moment to watch for at the end. We even marked it with an asterisk so players wouldn't miss it.

If you prefer to use guitars instead of, or in addition to ukuleles, you can do that, too. The guitars can use 4-string chords to keep it simple. Both ukulele and guitar are optional, but we have included a part for them on page 30, complete with diagrams.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.