lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: galileo

emily saliers quote from 1992-05: rites of passage, epic records press release:

"this is about reincarnation. it's meant to be light-hearted, like 'if this is really true, i've got a lot of baggage from my past lives!' "


1992-06-30: indigo girls find happiness off the charts, showbiz today:

scheerer: the video for 'galileo' poses the musical question, 'if you were in a plane crash in a past life, are you henceforth exempt?' that, and another song on the album, reflect emily's fear of flying.

ms. saliers: i thought i'd gotten it under control, just to the point where i had a little bit of sweat on palms, and that was it. but then, recently, i had a setback. there was like, this explosion in one of the engines on this plane i was on. and i was like, 'this is why i have this fear, because i'm going to die on an airplane, i know it!'


1992-07-10: songbirds, the charlotte observer:

because ray and saliers write separately, they talk about their lyrics when they start work on a record.

"(on galileo'), amy wanted to know how i felt about reincarnation and galileo," saliers said. "she wanted to know if i was making fun of it.

"we can't sing it if we disagree with it. i'm a much more tongue-in-cheek writer and she has to know where i'm coming from."


1992-10-14: cbs this morning:

"well, it's about reincarnation, plain and simple. but i thought about the whole notion of how, you know, each life you're supposed to learn something and get wiser. and then i thought about my own life. it's like forget it. it's never going to happen."

emily saliers quote from 1997-09: no boundaries - indigos girls cut loose, acoustic guitar:

"mary chapin carpenter taught me a couple of tunings, but i didn't start using them until 'galileo' (rites of passage (the tuning is d a d g b c, the same as for carpenter's 'the moon and st. christopher,' with a capo at the fifth fret))."


1997-xx-xx: scholastic song writing contest tape transcription

emily: i think its really important to not be so concerned with how you're writing what you're writing because the most important thing is just to be true to what you're really feeling and to express it the best that you can. i wrote galileo kind of playfully actually. galileo was an italian astronmer and discovered all these great thruths about the universe which the church actually made him recant because it went against their teachings. but just a few years ago they pardoned him, after he was long dead. so galileo sought the truth and i sort of looked at him as a wise figure. he became the pinicale of the song in a way. and it's about asking myself "when is my soul ever gonna get it right?" if reincarnation does exist then why isnt' the world perfect by now you know? or when is it ever gonna be? and so i was playing with some of those ideas and i just used galileo as someone i pictured and looked up at the stars and sought truth.


2000-10-03: retrospective liner notes:

"trying to make sense of reincarnation, in awe of galileo for his vision, feeling like a young soul, laughing about serious things."

emily saliers quote from 2012-08-27: q&a: emily saliers, theater jones performing arts news:

you have used symphonic instruments in a number of recordings, such as the intro to the song "virginia woolf." how did you decide which songs to arrange for orchestra?


the agency wanted "closer to fine" and "galileo" in there, a couple of well-known songs. if they hadn't asked for those, i wouldn't have chosen them because it's more fun to do the obscure songs.


2001-03: interview with amy ray, borders website chat:

least complicated: amy, do hits like "closer to fine" and "galileo" ever get old? do you still love playing them? how do you keep them fresh?

amy ray: i still love playing them. from time to time, if we feel tired of a song, we just won't play it that night. this ensures that we always can mean what we say.


2006-12-07: emily saliers of indigo girls, song facts:

songfacts: where does galileo fit in this whole thing?

emily: well, i was thinking about him because he came up with such great truths. he was like this pinnacle of light and truth, and the church made him recant. so i was thinking, he's a great role model for a truth seeker, and with reincarnation being a spiritual pursuit and its relationships to the church, i was just sort of lumping those things together. his name just popped in my head. i thought he was such a brave guy, and then to have to recant that, and then of course we all know what he discovered is true now, or as true as we can believe it to be. so he just became the focal point.

songfacts: and i take it you really do have motion sickness?

emily: not really. in a rocky boat i would, but i could travel in the car, backseat in a car. i can't read in a car, backseat. but the fear of motion was mostly about the fear of speed. like, i do not like flying, although i do it all the time. i'm used to it now. but there was a time when i hated it. and i don't like skiing, i don't like things that take me downhill fast. so that's what motion means.

songfacts: okay, so that's that motion.

emily: yeah. if reincarnation were true, then this guy who crashed his plane in the ocean a generation ago, or whatever, and came into my soul, that's why i have that, and i still have to work on that. that's what that was about.


2008-08-01: amy ray takes your questions,

q: your solo music is so different from the indigo girls' music - it's much harder-hitting. if that is your true style and love, are you at all weary of singing ig songs that don't at all jive with that style like "galileo" and "closer to fine"? - nina

ar: i don't get tired of "galileo" or "closer to fine," because whenever i play "closer to fine" i always think to myself, "wow, this is a great song." it's a very well-crafted folk song that means a lot.

there's something that i don't have in indigo girls - i can't put my finger on it-, but it's something i can't do, like with politics or a more radical queer approach, and certain loud kind of rock things that i just don't do with indigo girls. i think emily and i - we rock and we play some rocking songs at different times, but for me it's my passion in a different way. with indigo girls, it's a totally different feeling. creating harmonies with someone is very magical; there's really nothing like it. it's a whole other side of performing.


2020-01-31: artfully political: the indigo girls, the santa fe new mexican:

pasa: you have several truly iconic songs that enormous crowds of people sing along with at your concerts. do you know what your most requested song is? and is there a physical sensation at a concert when all those people are singing with you?

ray: "watershed" is very requested. "the wood song," "galileo," "power of two." people assume we're going to do "closer to fine," so they don't really request it. i don't even know how to describe it when crowds sing along. it's a physical thing because it's sound waves, and it's overwhelming. i love it. i couldn't do the songs over and over again if it was just us playing without that kind of participation and community vibe. it would be boring to me. for me, that makes it feel different all the time. you hear different things. some crowds have people singing harmonies and counter melodies. i always feel lucky.

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