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RNA Clover

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "Crimson and Clover" (written and performed by Tommy James and The Shondells).


Context

Transfer RNAs, or tRNAs, are relatively short RNA molecules that base-pair with themselves, forming cloverleaf shapes. They bring amino acids to ribosomes, where these amino acids are linked together (as specified by the usually-much-longer messenger RNA molecules) to form proteins.


Lyrics

Ah, amino acids come over,
But they need a chauffeur:
RNA clover.

Ah, some RNAís longer,
Like a line of a conga,
But this one is closer
To the leaves of a clover.

Yeah, translationís a sweet thing
Requiring three things:
A ribosome and these things:
RNA message, and RNA clover.

RNA clover, bring amino acids over.
RNA clover, bring amino acids over.
RNA clover, bring amino acids over.
RNA clover, over and over...


Other Files

MP3 (demo, backed by The Karaoke Channel)

music video


Study Questions

(1) In the context of biology, what is translation?

(2) In what sense is "RNA clover" (tRNA) a "chauffeur" of amino acids?

(3) How exactly do "RNA message" (mRNA) and "RNA clover" (tRNA) work together?

(4) Why is tRNA said to have a cloverleaf shape? Do tRNA molecules inside the cell really resemble clovers in their 3D shape?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)