Rock-it science: Winning parodies
Our parody contest for Week 1235 asked for songs related to science and technology. It was a deliberately broad category, embracing everything from gene splicing to tweets, and both the informational and the political.
In reading the hundreds of songs submitted, the Empress discovered that a bunch of profs out there enjoy writing parodies for other scientists or their college students, since dozens of the songs had such catchy lyrics as “Competing inhibition keeps the substrates from the active site/ They raise Km, but leave Vmax and shirk” (from a parody of “Close to You”). For our more nerdically inclined readers, the E links to some of these Chem Lab Rock parodies in this week’s Style Conversational at wapo.st/ conv1239. 4th place Heat It (To “Beat It”) They tell me that it’s getting warm around here, The polar ice is shrinking, gonna disappear. The carbon that we use will trap air around the sphere And heat it, yes, heat it, We better act, we better do what we can, Don’t wanna swell the seas, don’t wanna lose Japan, The Earth is in a bind, and stuff’s gonna hit the fan And heat it. If you wanna survive, don’t heat it (heat it), Do I have to go and repeat it? If we don’t stop, we’ll be in a plight, It really matters who’s wrong and right, Don’t heat it! (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.) 3rd place The Cabinet Is Bare (to “Wonderful World”) Don’t believe in prehistory; poohpooh paleontology. Don’t know what evolution’s for; Grandpappy rode on a dinosaur. But I’m solidly pro-GOP; I gave ’em 2 million, maybe 3 So now I’m gonna run DOE. Don’t know much about fossil fuel; made me rich, so I think it’s cool. Just can’t understand climate shift; my diploma was Daddy’s gift. If the Earth goes kaput one day, I’ll be raptured up anyway, So now I’m gonna lead EPA. Oh, I don’t claim to be an A student; never tried to be, ’Cause all that I’ve needed for qualifications is the Right ideology. Got a D in biology; then flunked organic chemistry. Don’t know squat about the human bod; just leave everything up to God. But we’ve got the best résumé — greasing palms is our big forte — And now we’re dumbing down U.S.A. (Nan Reiner, Boca Raton, Fla.) 2nd place and the facecovering chicken hat: The Beauty of Drug Patents (to “Be Our Guest”) We “invest”! We “invest”! ’Cause our game plan is the best! We make plays for medications Where the prices are depressed! We know lives are at stake, But what profits we can make! So who cares about the karma? Don’t believe me? Ask Big Pharma! Do we gouge? Maybe so! But we’re raking in the dough! If the patent system’s broken, who’d have guessed? So chill and don’t be jelly Of ol’ Martin Shkreli, Be impressed! He’s been blessed! We “invest”! (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.) And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial: Come Together Spermatozo-on, he come swimming real speedy In some gooey liquid, got plans, yes indeedy. He is sure one motile guy, Got to reach that ovum with an X or a Y. Egg hated ovary, found it quite dystopian, Burst loose from her prison, toward the tube fallopian. She say, “Male gamete, I surmise: We’ll become a zygote if we just fraternize.” Come together right now, Fertilize! (Hildy Zampella, Falls Church, Va.) If you already have a porkpie hat: Imperial Scion Valerie Holt in this week’s second prize. Good in theory: Honorable mentions Galileo! (To “Oklahoma!”) Galileo said, “I have big news for everyone. Take a look with me and you will see That the Earth revolves around the sun!” “Galileo!” cried a much-infuriated pope. “Your apostate views are just fake news. You cannot believe your telescope! “The text of the Testament proves That the Earth that God made never moves. “Now you must say, ‘Abrenunto!’ Renounce your views today. Get on your knees and pray to the Lord, Galileo. Galileo, obey!” (Barbara Sarshik, McLean, Va.) My Biome To “My Sharona” Ooh, my little germy one, my squirmy one, Thanks for giving all of your slime, my biome. Ooh, at making me digest, you are the best, Got my vital signs on the climb, my biome. Haute cuisine or slop, you don’t stop; salad, soup or nuts; Casserole or chop, sauce on top — ’cause you have real guts. Pie, rye, chai, mai-tai, go! M-m-m-microbiome. (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.) Facial-Recognition Payments (To ’“I’ve Just Seen a Face”) I’ll pay with my face For what I buy in every place And breathe a sigh Once this technology Can scan my mug and know it’s me Somehow mmm-mmm-mmmm’mmm-mmm Facial recognition would For sure promote the common good, And we won’t carry cash, IDs, Or credit cards on shopping sprees Oh wow dee-dee-dee-dee’n-dee All in, yes I am all in! Let’s start installin’ These systems now. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.) And last: To “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” I’m a pray-ing ma-an-tis, I am Pray-ing ma-an-tis I am, I am I got married to the widow next door; She’s been married seven times before And every one was a [CRUNCH!] (Marni Penning Coleman, Falls Church, Va.) There were far too many excellent song parodies this week even to get ink online. See about a dozen more honorable mentions — covering everything from vaccines to the physics of Max Scherzer’s arm — in the online Invite at wapo.st/invite1239. Plus all week, the Empress will post other ink-worthy parodies on the Style Invitational Devotees page on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. Still running — deadline Monday night, Aug. 7: our contest for D-EF phrases. See wapo.st/ invite1238.