- the Biological Version
Written for the BBC series Wonders of Life
Just remember you’re a tiny little person on a planet
In a universe expanding and immense
That life began evolving and dissolving and resolving
In the deep primordial oceans by the hydrothermal vents
Our earth which had its birth almost five billion years ago
From out of a collapsing cloud of gas
Grew life which was quite new
And eventually led to you
In only three point five billion years or less.
Deoxyribonucleic acid helps us replicate
And randomly mutate from day to day.
We left the seas and climbed the trees
And our biologies
Continued to evolve through DNA.
We’re 98.9 per cent the same as chimpanzees
Whose trees we left three million years ago
To wander swapping genes out of Africa which means
We’re related to everyone we know.
Life is quite strange
Life is quite weird,
Life is really quite odd
Life from a star is far more bizarre,
Than an old bearded man they call God
So gaze at the sky, and start asking why
You’re even here on this ball
For though life is fraught
The odds are so short
You’re lucky to be here at all…
Standing on a planet which is spinning round a star
One of just a billion trillion suns
In a Universe that’s ninety billion light years side to side
Wondering where the heck it all came from.
You’ve a tiny little blink of life to try and understand
What on earth is really going on
In biology and chemistry
Which made you you and made me me
But don’t ask me I only wrote the song.
Lyrics by Eric Idle
Music by John Du Prez
(with a little fact checking from Professor Brian Cox)
Eric Idle writes about the genesis of this song on Nerdist