Our top 10 songs about science!

Collectively written by everyone on the Warp Drive Tutors team! With our mini reviews…

#10 “The Elements”, Tom Leherer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcS3NOQnsQM Can you say enunciation? Fun song though if it were written now he would need to add 4 more elements, Nihonium, Moscovium, Tennesine, and Oganesson. Not sure how he would fit those in, but I have every confidence in his ability to do so.

#9 “I am a paleontologist”, They Might be Giants

http://tmbw.net/wiki/Lyrics:I_Am_A_Paleontologist, featuring the lyrics:

It’s like pieces of a puzzle

That I love to try and solve

It’s so fun to think about

How a species has evolved

And without regard to the (very) clever wordplay here, they really sum up the essence if why science is fun :”It’s like pieces of a puzzle”.

#8 “I think I’m a clone now” Weird Al Yankovic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d-aWMQuoS4 The title speaks for itself.

#7 “Why Does the Sun Shine?” They Might Be Giants

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23e-SnQvCaA A second entry from TMBG that clearly demonstrates they paid attention during the nuclear energy/elementary particles unit of physics class.

#6 “NaCl”, Kate McGarrigle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpTzawl3OmI. Kate McGarrigle, who studied engineering at McGill (of what type I was unable to determine), writes: “It’s fun to ionize”, and goes from there.

#5 “I wanna be like Madam Curie”, Renee & Jeremy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctDi6qXyfQs Professor Curie was the first woman professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel, and the first person to win two Nobels (Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911). This of course was at a time when, one might imagine, women had a bit of a tough road making a career in science.  A little known fact about the Curie family is that they have collectively won more Nobel Prizes (five) than any other family in history: two for Professor Curie, one for her husband Pierre (co-winner, with her, of the 1903 Physics Nobel), one for their daughter Irene Joliet-Curie in Chemistry in 1935, and one for Henry Labouisse, the husband of their second daughter, who as director of UNICEF accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 on behalf of that organization.

#4 “The Science Love Song” Mitch Moffit and Greg Brown

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pocNl2YhZdM Any love song with a reference to zinc finger nucleases gets my vote.

#3 “Monty Python Galaxy song”, Eric Idle / Trevor Jones

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxLGUKRNHXM So much astrophysics to learn from a Monty Python song. Who would have guessed?

#2 “Space Oddity” David Bowie, covered by astronaut Chris Hadfield, on the International Space Station.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo The only way to possibly top David Bowie for overall coolness is to sing his hit about Major Tom from space. Which is exactly what astronaut Chris Hadfield does, singing Space Oddity from the International Space Station. This was in 2013, I believe.

#1 “Year of 39”, Queen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE8kGMfXaFU which is their song about the twin hypothesis and space-time travel. Why would Queen write a song about space-time travel? Well for those who may not know, Queen’s guitarist Brian May was a PhD student in astrophysics when he dropped out of his graduate program at Imperial College London to play guitar with Queen (if you are going to drop out of graduate school to go play your guitar, that would be the way to do it). He returned in 2006 and finished his PhD in 2007; his PhD thesis was titled “A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud”

Honorable Mention “New Math” Tom Lehrer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6OaYPVueW4 Another one from Mr. Lehrer. And while this was written in 1965, it has most assuredly withstood the test of time. Parents will relate.


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