In Brief

Stephen Hawking covers Monty Python Galaxy Song

Hawking explains how the universe works in Python song and gets to run over Brian Cox

Professor Stephen Hawking has covered Monty Python's famous Galaxy Song on a recording released this week on digital download and video. A vinyl version of the song, originally from the 1983 movie Monty Python's the Meaning of Life, will also be released this weekend as part of Record Store Day 2015. 

The famous physicist, 73, who suffers from neurodegenerative disease ALS, performs the track in his distinctive computer-voice.

"At first glance, collaboration between Stephen Hawking and Monty Python might seem unusual," says Alex Chancey on the Daily Beast. But the Galaxy Song is essentially a science lesson about the universe, so "it makes perfect sense for Hawking to cover it".

This was a mash-up waiting to happen, says Rishi Iyengar on Time. "When you have an awesome song about our galaxy, who better to sing it than the world's most famous physicist and cosmologist?"

The music video for the song features an appearance from by well-known television physicist Brian Cox, who Hawking runs over with his wheelchair before whizzing off into outer space.

The clip has delighted fans and critics. "Stephen Hawking sings Monty Python's Galaxy song! Watch & be amazed!" enthused celebrity commentator Perez Hilton on Twitter. Film critic Harry Knowles tweeted: "Stephen Hawking doing Monty Python's Galaxy Song fills me with glee."

The video also shows footage of the Python comedy team, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Eric Idle from when the group performed together for the first time in decades at London's O2 Arena last year.

The team have also released a novelty online game in which players are invited to "destroy all Monty Python asteroids before they collide with Stephen Hawking".

The Galaxy Song is not Hawking's first musical gig. The world famous scientist appears on Pink Floyd's latest album Endless River, where his synthesized voice is used on the track Talkin' Hawkin'. 

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