According to the post on YouTube this song was written by Douglas Adams while he was in school and published in the school magazine. I didn't love the song myself but as a previously unpublished Douglas Adam's piece it is at least worth looking at.
1952 - 2001
If you simply go by enjoyment per book written Douglas Adams is my favorite science ficiton author and likely my favorite author. Saddly, he didn't produce as many books as I would have liked but what he did create was brilliant.
I don't actually know what The South Bank Show is, but I really enjoyed this interview and if they regularly use this format I may be interested in seeing more. Douglas Adams is great as always of course covering nearly everything he had ever written about including rhinoceros nostrils. Well worth watching if you're a fan.
One of the things that I like about Douglas Adams characters is that they have an element of truth to them while at the same time being so far on the edge that they are absurd. Almost none of them capture that odd tension of absurdity and realality than Zaphod Beeblebrox. Even his appearance covers that range being a human looking character, but also completly absurd.
"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun."
Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.
Looking up into the night sky is looking into infinity — distance is incomprehensible and therefore meaningless.
The chances of finding out what's really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied
"In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch-Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover."
"A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough"
"I'd far rather be happy than right any day"
"The Answer to the Great Question... Of Life, the Universe and Everything... Is... Forty-two,' said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm."
Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.
".. on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons."
"Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?"
"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."
"He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it."
"If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now."
"This must be Thursday,' said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. 'I never could get the hang of Thursdays."
"This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy."
"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea."
"There's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out."
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri."
"The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick."
"All through my life I've had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no one would tell me what it was."
"No," said the old man, "that's just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that."
"Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what's so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be."
"Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation."
"And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, one girl sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything. "
"Ford carried on counting quietly. This is about the most aggressive thing you can do to a computer, the equivalent of going up to a human being and saying "Blood...blood...blood...blood..."
"Arthur Dent: "What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"
Ford Prefect "Ask a glass of water!"
"The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the 'Star Spangled Banner', but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish."
"Who is this god person anyway?"
"One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright?"
I really liked the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie, but if there was one part of it that felt the most like the books to me it was probably this. It was fun, smart, funny and reminded us that perhaps were not as smart as we think we are. All things that we all need more of our lives.