Lab Tracks

Lab Track: Infinite Monkey Cage Theme

One of the great things about going to conventions, besides getting to see all the wonderful people I get to see, is the bounty of new ideas and recommendations and inspiration those people give me. One such recommendation came from Labber Ryan, who told me about a science podcast from the BBC known as The Infinite Monkey Cage. I subscribed, started listening, and have since recommended it to everyone within earshot.

Here’s the gist of the show: every week, particle physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince host a panel of scientists and other experts to talk about the show’s theme, which ranges from broad topics such as quantum physics and philosophy to head-scratching questions such as “Does science need war?” or “What is death?” These are pretty heavy topics, but the show manages to tackle them with the kind of wit and comedy that the British wield so well. If you’re not already listening to this podcast, go download it now. You won’t regret it.

The show has been on since 2009, but only recently got a theme song. And of course, who else could write it but the brilliant Eric Idle. Idle already adapted Monty Python’s The Galaxy Song for Brian Cox’s nature series Wonders of Life, so clearly there’s some sort of BFF relationship here that instills me with supreme jealousy and makes me want to figure out a way to crash one of their cocktail parties and get in on that.

One last thing: Jeff Lynne of ELO fame plays every single instrument on this tune, the monster. Now, without further ado, I give you the theme song to The Infinite Monkey Cage. Enjoy!

Infinite Monkey Cage Theme Song
Eric Idle

I find quantum mechanics confusing today
Now science is all the rage
The hadron collider is banging away
Trying to guess our age

A particle here
A particle there
In this weird quantum world
Bits can be anywhere
Which might just explain why I’m losing my hair
In The Infinite Monkey Cage

T’other day I heard Mrs. Schrödinger say
I’m going to put out the cat
Mrs. Heidinger said, woo, it might be quite dead
I’m most certain if you should do that

Unless you’ve got that Robin Ince
And Professor Cox
I’d leave that poor pussy
Alone in its box
That cat may be as dead as a rat, you can wage
In The Infinite Monkey Cage

Scientists say all the world’s just a stage
That science is passing through
There may be an infinite number of mes
And an infinite number of you (God help us)

Over in CERN, they are trying to learn
What can the dark matter be
Who gives a fig if a pig can do trig
In The Infinite Monkey Cage

There’s many a superpositional thing
Is blowing my mind today
The multiverse seems to be
Made out of string
That’s what the particle physicists say

If infinite monkeys type every day
They may accidentally write Hamlet the play
But they’d probably just shit on it and throw it away
In The Infinite Monkey Cage
That naughty monkey
In The Infinite Monkey Cage
Without your trousers
In The Infinite Monkey Cage

This has been another installment of Monday Lab Tracks. Send us your musical recommendations through our contact link at the top of the page, and tell us what you think of the song in the comments below!

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.

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