Whether the famed British comedy troupe was singing about cross-dressing lumberjacks, the religious significance of ejaculation or a knight fleeing from battle, Monty Python‘s music makes you just want to sway and sing along even all these years later. A perfect example is “Galaxy Song,” the Python’s infinitely catchy ode to the joys of space. Written by Eric Idle and John Du Prez and introduced to the world 1983’s The Meaning of Life, “Galaxy Song” explores both the metaphysics and astrophysics of humanity’s place among the stars:
Now the sun, and you and me, and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In the outer spiral arm, at 40,000 miles an hour
Of a galaxy we call the Milky Way
While scientists have debated the validity of Idle’s calculations, the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking hiself covered the song in 2015. And now “Galaxy Song” has earned a place in the folk cannon via a new cover by the mother/daughter duo of Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy on their album Anchor. The record includes versions of traditional fare such as “The Elfin Knight,” “Scarborough Fair,” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” alongside newer songs that sound like traditional fare, such KT Tunstall’s “Shanty of the Whale.” But “Galaxy Song” stands out.
Carthy, the younger of the two singers, takes lead vocal duties, keeping the lively spirit of the original largely intact. She sings to a snappy player-piano style accompaniment and blends in numerous sound effects and whistles while taking us on a tour of the “amazing and expanding universe.” Who knew physics could be so much fun?
Click here to listen to more Monty Python covers.