Thursday, 15 March 2018

My Top Ten Professor Stephen Hawking Songs

We lost a true genius yesterday. And I don't mean Jim Bowen. (Still, RIP, Jim. Any other day, I might have done a Bullseye Top Ten.)

I don't pretend to understand most of what Professor Stephen Hawkings wrote... but I'm glad he was writing it. Here are ten songs to mark his passing...

Special mentions to MC Hawking, Pink Floyd's Talkin' Hawkin' and Carl Sagan featuring Stephen Hawkings - A Glorious Dawn.

10. Barenaked Ladies - A History Of Everything

The theme tune to the sitcom The Big Bang Theory seems an appropriate track to begin with... especially since Stephen Hawking was a guest star on that show.

Our whole universe was in a hot, dense state
Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started, wait
The earth began to cool, the autotrophs began to drool
Neanderthals developed tools
We built a wall (we built the pyramids)
Math, science, history, unraveling the mysteries
That all started with the big bang! Hey!

9. Yes - Real Love

Pretentious, portentous prog has never seemed so appropriate...

Get the fire, as the flame it burns,
Get the wind as it slowly turns.
Get the earth...
Get the sky...

Far away, in the depths of Hawking's mind
To the animal, primalistic grind,
You bring me reason, a simple fact of life.

8. Misty's Big Adventure - Black Hole

Excuse the ropey live version on youtube: I had to find room for this despite that.

7. Weezer - Da Vinci

Forget A Brief History of Time - if you get a mention in a Weezer song, you'll live forever!

Even Da Vinci couldn't paint you
Stephen Hawking can't explain you
Rosetta Stone could not translate you
I'm at a loss for words...

6. Chris Bell - I Am The Cosmos

Let's face it: he was the cosmos.

5. Manic Street Preachers - Me & Stephen Hawking

Personally, I think this is as close as the Manics ever got to writing a nonsense song. Professor Hawking was renowned for his sense of humour though, so he'd probably appreciate that.

Overjoyed, me and Stephen Hawking, we laugh
We missed the sex revolution
When we failed the physical

4. Muse - Supermassive Black Hole

Probably my favourite Muse song... and there aren't many.

3. Cake - Frank Sinatra

This Cake classic begins with a reference to Cosmic Background Radiation...

We know of an ancient radiation
That haunts dismembered constellations

...wherein, according to New Scientist, Stephen Hawking's initials can be found... along with a phoenix, a donkey, a parrot and a deer.

Whether you believe that or not, the radiation emitted by black holes has apparently been christened Hawking Radiation.

2. Radiohead - Fitter, Happier

For a time, some people believed that the robotic vocals on this track from OK Computer(scientifically proven to be Radiohead's best album) were delivered by Stephen Hawking himself. Others believed it was just Thom Yorke speaking through a voice synthesizer to make him sound a little warmer and more human than usual. Turns out the former is closer to the truth: the vocals were actually delivered by Fred Cooper, the man who gave voice to Apple's voice synthesizing programme... the one that became most famous as the voice of Professor Hawking.

1. Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun

The first song that occurred to me when I thought about doing this Top Ten is probably the one that has least to do with Professor Stephen Hawking... but it's still a tremendous noise.

Provide A Brief History of Your Suggestions in the comments, please.


  1. Surely room for a Hawkwind number? "Quark, Strangeness and Charm" springs to mind. And the band's name is remarkably similar to that of Mr Hawking.

    1. Gram beat me to the punch. A splendid suggestion Sir!

  2. I suppose Einstein A Go-Go by Landscape is too... Einsteiny.

    Intergalactic by The Beastie Boys.

    Feeling Gravity's Pull by REM.

    All a bit tenuous, and no match for the Radiohead and Muse tracks here.

  3. My musical taste leads me to your No. 6 being No. 1... a mere quibble. You've done it again, Rol.

  4. Well done as ever. Poor old Jim Bowen though - The bad timing of his demise meant he missed out on a Top 10.


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