"Me and Stephen Hawking" as written by James Bradfield, Richard Edwards, Nicholas Jones and Sean Moore....
Herman the Bull and Tracey the sheep
Transgenic milk containing human protein
Their bacteria cheaper than baby food
Attention today
Today it's a cow, tomorrow it's you

African Punch and Judy show at half the price
A hundred thousand watch Giant Haystacks in a Bombay fight

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

Herman the Bull and Tracey the sheep
Transgenic milk containing human protein
Their bacteria cheaper than baby food
Attention today
Today it's a cow, tomorrow it's you

African Punch and Judy show at half the price
A hundred thousand watch Giant Haystacks in a Bombay fight

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


Lyrics submitted by deltasunlight

"Me and Stephen Hawking" as written by Nicholas Jones James Bradfield

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Me and Stephen Hawking song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment"We missed the sex revolution
    When we failed the physical"


    What awesome lyrics...!!
    Chrisbrfcon May 17, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationHerman the Bull and Tracy the sheep were early genetically modified (or 'transgenic') animals, produced by experiments in the early 1990s to manipulate milk production. Normal animal milk is not suitable for very young human children due it missing certain key proteins that a human mother's milk contains. By giving them certain human genes, scientists were able to breed animals whose milk (or the milk of his female offspring, in Herman's case) also contained the required proteins. The idea is that these animals can be industrially farmed, and their milk can be sold for children in developing countries instead of more expensive food supplements. The "African Punch and Judy show" and reference to Bombay is presumably about the exploitative relationship rich countries have with more poorer ones.

    "Today it's a cow, tomorrow it's you" is a warning that genetic modification will not stop at altering animals, and will eventually be used on humans. The "me and Stephen Hawking" chorus also relates to this. Despite the flippant tone, I think what he's pointing out is that Stephen Hawking, as a carrier of a (possibly) genetically inherited disease, might have been aborted prior to his birth had genetic screening revealed him as a carrier of familial neuromuscular dystrophy, thus robbing science of one of its greatest minds. The "sex revolution" he envisages therefore, is not a positive scenario, but one in which controlled reproduction becomes the norm, and those considered genetically inferior, such as Hawking or himself, are eliminated from the population. Eugenics is a theme he returns to in Virginia State Epileptic Colony.
    JonRon June 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat the hell does that line actually mean?
    ShakerMaker1994on May 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove this song.

    Think it must be about the fact that we've got all this cross-breed testing and everything... and you kinda think what the hell is the point? Can't we leave things as we are? Why must we, as humans interfere with every natural thing on this planet...

    Very catchy song.
    Owen999on May 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is decrying the future" cloning, engineered food, were both hot topics in the mid-90s. People freaked out when faced with the moral question of how cloning humans will be handled. "Today it's a cow, tomorrow it's you."

    "African Punch and Judy show at half the price"

    I think refers to the capitalist phenomenon of outsourcing labor to countries that could get it cheaper. This was just beginning when Richey wrote this around mid to late 1994. So it is impressive he was on to it this early. And hopefully this won't start any Tupac-like rumors that he's still out there writing new songs. It just shows how frightening his intellect was. (Yeah, I believe he's dead personally.)

    "A hundred thousand watch Giant Haystacks in a Bombay fight."

    Giant Haystacks was a famous British professional wrestler, an icon of working class England. Having him "in a Bombay fight" might refer to the fight the working class UK will have with India over outsourced labor jobs. Not in a racist way, since Richey was hardly a BNP-sympathizer, but in the way that's there's only so many factory jobs to go around and if another country can do them cheaper, very few corporations care if they're taking them away from the west.

    "Me and Stephen Hawking, we laugh
    We missed the sex revolution
    When we failed the physical."

    Such a great line. And it's shocking the same guy who wrote the pitch-black outlook of The Holy Bible came up with it a year or so later. It's probably just a punchline. But if you want to look deeper at it, maybe it is saying Hawking, due to his physical handicap is really just an (incredible) brain without much of a outer body. And Richey probably saw him as a much more dignified human being for it. If you read Richey's interviews, he really saw himself as anti-sexual, so I guess he identified with that. Oddly.
    MBlackon June 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah its defiantly an un-paranoid view of what human genetic engineering could actually mean in the future, or have meant for Hawking in utero had the technology been developed long ago. The song has an undercurrent of a familiar Manics target - fascism. Whereas Hitler for example wanted to create a pure race through genocide, genetically altering human's pre-birth to "eradicate flaws" is hardly a long stretch from nazi-ism. I think they are spot on too.
    lateleighon March 24, 2011   Link

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