'Jewel in the Night': Video & Lyrics of 1st Original Song in Space

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield plays Christmas carols in space.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield strums a guitar while playing Christmas carols and gazing at Earth from the International Space Station in December 2012. (Image credit: Chris Hadfield/Canadian Space Agency)

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has recorded the first original song on the International Space Station, a folk tune about space exploration, the Christmas season and goodwill to people on and off the Earth.

Hadfield, who arrived at the space station on Dec. 21, just four days before the Christmas holiday, recorded the song on Dec. 23 and posted it online on Christmas Eve via YouTube and Twitter. Hadfield is a flight engineer with the station's current Expedition 34 crew and will command the outpost's Expedition 35 crew in early 2013. The Canadian Space Agency astronaut will be the first Canadian space station commander when he takes charge.

Check out Hadfield's song in the video here and then read the full lyrics below:

Jewel in the Night

By Chris Hadfield, Astronaut, Canadian Space Agency

So bright,
Jewel in the Night,
There in my window below.

So bright,
Dark as the night,
with all of our cities aglow.

It's long been our way,
To honor this day,
And offer goodwill to men.

And though,
Where ever we go,
It's come round to Christmas again.

So far,
Shines ever star,
There without limit to see.

So grand,
Faraway land,
Beckoning, calling to me.

And let it be shown,
Wherever we go,
In all of the wonders above.

With all that we bring,
There's no finer thing,
Than this message, this promise of love.

Love for the families that gather below,
Love for the stranger that you'll never know,
For those who are with you,
who wander above.

So bright,
 Jewel in the Night,
There lies the cradle we knew.

Home of,
All that we love,
And all of our memories too.

It shall be our way to wander away,
to take with us all that we know,

And never cease,
This message of peace,
From Bethlehem so long ago.

You can see (and hear) more about how Hadfield prepared himself for playing the guitar in space  here:

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.