January 15, 2011
For a while now I have been meaning to blog about a band whose last album was dedicated to songs about different areas of science. I know, I know, it sounds pretty terrible, but They Might Be Giants really hit the nail on the head if you ask me. (By the end of this post, I challenge you to stop the lyrics ‘The sun is a mass of incandescent gas’ from pin-balling around your head).
The album, titled ‘Here comes the science’ includes such songs as ‘Speed and Velocity’, ‘Solid liquid gas’ and ‘Why does the sun shine?’ and they music isn’t half bad either. What finally pushed me to post this was a reminder in a Science-Online 2011 chatroom today about Tom Lehrer’s famous ‘The elements’ song, a groundbreaker in packaging science up for the masses (simply putting the name of every element of the periodic table to a relatively catchy tune). Here’s ‘The Elements’ if you’re unfamilair with it –
That’s the reason for deciding to finally blog about them. Now for the reason I’d always been holding back; it’s difficult to get music, in any easily accessible format, into a blog post so here are a few ways for you to listen:
Now, whilst the science isn’t always accurate and the music is, on the odd occasion, a little irritating; their effort to educate is commendable and the lyrics are nothing short of genius. The fact that they follow up the song ‘Why does the sun shine?’ with ‘Why does the sun really shine?’ reflects the familiar feeling of learning one thing and being satisfied, only to find later that you had only scratched the surface. That the deeper and deeper you study, the more detail there is to find. No one will ever know everything about science, and that is an idea that I, personally, am comfortable with.
That fact accepted – I will, however, endeavour to fill my future children’s neuro-plastic little brains with such catchy nuggets of information as these. Can’t hurt to start them young.
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