Lab Tracks

Lab Track: The Galaxy Song

In honor of Ryan’s post today about Professor Brian Cox’s new series on BBC, and because watching that video last night put this song in my head for the next 12 hours, I give you the song that that video’s biology-centric theme song was based on — same singer (and lyricist) and all.

I don’t need to introduce it much more than that, since if you haven’t seen Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, you probably aren’t one of our readers (but seriously, if you haven’t, you need to drop what you’re doing and watch it). I give you Monty Pythonite Eric Idle singing The Galaxy Song. Possible NSFW in the middle when a futuristic grid lady gives birth to the universe.

The Galaxy Song
Eric Idle

Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That’s orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it’s reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the ‘Milky Way’.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It’s a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it’s just three thousand light years wide.
We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go ’round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that’s the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space,
‘Cause there’s bugger-all down here on Earth.

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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One Comment

  1. Funny story: I recently watched this movie again, and decided to print out the lyrics of this song to put on my wall behind my desk. (It’s got a bunch of inspirational/pleasant things up there to help me feel better.)

    Looking at the first line of the song makes it play in my head, start to finish. I watched this movie a LOOOOT when I was younger. Imagine a seven-year-old singing “Every Sperm Is Sacred”. I’m sure it was hilarious.

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