Years ago Phoebe asked me to write a song for her to perform at a sort of variety show that was held at Cake Shop. Phoebe often writes about historical figures, so I wrote a song that would (sort of) fit in her song catalog about Ada Lovelace.
Ada Lovelace was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programmes for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.
That’s from findindada.com, which is celebrating Ada Lovelace Day to encourage people to write (“blog”) about women in science and technology. As my contribution, I present this demo of my musical tribute to Ada:[audio:http://audio.dibson.net/singles/ada2-20100324.mp3]
Ada, they made you in the nineteenth century,
The only child Lord Byron bore legitimately.
Your mother was the parallelogram princess.
To keep herself sane she taught you math; she was obsessed.
Ada, they remade you in nineteen-seven-nine.
Department of Defense named you in four years time
After last century’s Countess of Lovelace,
And then they used your name to enter outer space.
But, Ada, you failed them when you tried to launch that ship.
And, Ada, they failed you when they bled you – you were sick,
But bleeding cannot cure you of uterine cancer.
And spaceships won’t fly when they’re filled with runtime errors.
So, Ada, we remember you by making up this language,
And continuing the works of folks like Charles Babbage.
And I always think of you when using my computer.