In the the original series from the 80's at the end they are singing a betelguzian death hymn. In the german version of episode 4 it is a bit better understandable. It seems like they are singing something like:

saklamoa astragad otrimantium brambriar
  • 3
    I don't think you'll get an answer, unless you happen to find someone who speaks Betelgeusian. Jan 10, 2016 at 13:58
  • 4
    It seems to me that what you need to be looking for is the script for that episode.
    – Martha
    Jan 10, 2016 at 16:08
  • 2
    Is your Babel Fish not working?
    – Burgi
    Jan 11, 2016 at 9:28

2 Answers 2


If you're looking for a word-for-word translation, I suspect you'll be out of luck unless you can actually find someone who speaks Betelgeusian (zero results found)

As far as the meaning of the song's, and possibly the song's lyrics, this is actually explained in the episode.

Arthur: What the hell are you doing?

Ford: This is an ancient Betelgeuse Death Anthem. It means "After this, things can only get better".

  • 4
    Considering that Betelgeusian is a language in which "Ix," translates to "boy who is not able satisfactorily to explain what a Hrung is, nor why it should choose to collapse on Betelgeuse Seven", a word-for-word translation might be too long for stackexchange anyway.
    – Philipp
    Jan 12, 2016 at 13:08

I found this fan-transcript for episode 4 here which seems to fit quite good:

Well it's really been nice running into you again, Zaphod.
Zaglabor astragard # Hootrimansion Bambriar
What the hell are you doing?! - A Betelgeuse death anthem. It means, "After this, things can only get better. "
Zaglabor astragard! # Hootrimansion Bambriar

In the german version it is slightly different:

Saklamoar astragard! # Otrimantion Brambriar
(with german pronountiation)

  • The LP version has different "lyrics" again. It was something like "Zaglabooor zril droolty gastro...gangrene grog bantry fox..."
    – alfvaen
    Dec 12, 2018 at 3:07

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