By Julie Walsh and Barry Sheils. Runner-up in the History of Science Songs Competition!
Tune - Yankee Doodle Dandy
In days gone by man stood in all his narcissistic glory,
Then he was dealt three wounding blows by scientific theory.
The first came with Copernicus,
The second from our mate Darwin,
Then came Freud’s Unconsciousness,
To stick the final nail in.
In the sixteenth century, just with his naked eye,
Nicolas Copernicus did turn towards the sky, (he)
considered the Celestial Spheres; their majesty, their wonder,
But what he saw revealed for sure old Aristotle’s blunder.
Copernicus did knock us from
The top of the cosmic hierarchy
In fact the earth goes round the sun
Charles Darwin saw inheritance, variation and selection,
As making up the golden rule of species adaptation.
In 1859 he wrote the Origin of the Species,
Man’s descent from animals was the underlying thesis.
All life shares a common source
Mankind is no exception
Since Darwin we cannot divorce
Ourselves from natural selection
Finally Freud came along and undermined man’s ego,
He took it on himself to prove the force of our libido.
He looked into our dreams and saw our unconscious desires,
He laid us down upon his couch and showed that we are liars
Now we’ve seen the fall of man
Into his modern paralysis
Science brings its own demands
(Thank God) for psychoanalysis!