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Which song version?

  1. 12 Billion

  2. 13.7 Billion

  1. Jun 23, 2008 #1


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    Which version of this Katie Melua song lyrics do you like better? The astronomically correct version for the original?
    Nine Million Bicycles

    Naturally, you have to assume she's referring to time and not distance or the last line wouldn't fit. :uhh: At least I hope.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2008 #2
    I had to go with the 12, it just sounds better in the song.
  4. Jun 23, 2008 #3


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    I think picking some wrong number to plug in is just lazy song writing. And, actually, Simon's version is no better since they actually must be talking about distance since light years is a measure of distance, not time - or else she should have deleted the word "light" as well. It was still fun to listen to her try to squeeze all those syllables into the song and still try to maintain the tune. :rofl:

    Not only that, there's 10 million bicycles in Beijing and the world's population is closer to 7 billion than 6 billion (about 6.7 billion). Those numbers could partially be explained by the passage of time since the song was written, but it's harder to explain away 1.7 billion years or 80 billion light-years.

    Numbers in songs usually don't work very well. Even Three Dog Night seemed a little uncertain about which number was the loneliest number and they didn't count any higher than two:

    "Two can be as bad as one
    It's the loneliest number since the number one"

    and then in the next verse:

    "One is the loneliest number, worse than two"
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