Galaxy Song

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Original UK single.

Galaxy Song is a song composed by John Du Prez with lyrics written by Eric Idle and Prez and featured in the Monty Python film Monty Python's the Meaning of Life released on 1983-03-31. The song was later released as a single on 1983-06-27 with Every Sperm Is Sacred as the B-side and as track B6 on the film's soundtrack. On the album recording, Idle sings vocals, but the instrumentalists are not listed.

The song describes various astronomical details including the speed and position of the Earth and Milky Way galaxy in relation to each other and the universe while incorporating an easy listening style. The song has been covered by various artists including Stephen Hawking.

Although some liberties were surely taken with the numbers in the song to fit the meter, they are generally accurate, although several were corrected in the Stephen Hawking cover. Song with a similar style include Yakko's Universe and Scale of the Universe.

Personal

I first heard this song around 1998 when my girlfriend and I first watched the film during a Monty Python binge. Initially I found the song pretty silly thanks to the acting, animation, and sound effects, but, as I listened to the lyrics more closely later on, I found them to be remarkably profound. Now, when I hear the song, it helps remind me of the scope of our universe, and our place in it.

Lyrics

Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown,
And things seem hard or tough,
And people are stupid, obnoxious, or daft,
And you feel that you've had quite enough.

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving,
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 whiz.
As fast as it can go, 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,
'Cuz there's bugger all down here on Earth.

Media

Covers

Videos

Excerpt from the film.
Live in O2 Arena, 2014 - With Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking.

Links

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