“Our Babies Will Never Grow Up To Be Astronauts,” Abe Partridge
Partner the drunken musings of Tom Waits with John Prine’s dark humor and a South Alabamian‘s world view and you’ve got the music of Mobile-based country singer Abe Partridge. At first, “Our Babies Will Never Grow Up To Be Astronauts” just checks off the first two boxes, with Partridge sounding like a haggard barfly with an affinity for Prine’s “Space Monkey.” Yet as the narrator places astronauts at the peak of career success and parental distress, a possible and logical meaning for this song becomes clear. Since opening its doors in 1960, the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville has been a dream job for Alabama residents hoping their smart and successful kids wouldn’t move too far away from home. In short, Junior may be Southern by the grace of God, but he’ll never make that NASA money.