The Sodium Jeer
by Greg Crowther
Na Na Na Na Na Na!
Sodium can't get in!
Written for BIOL 220 at the University of Washington, this mini-song is sung from the perspective of a cell "taunting" the sodium ions outside it. It is designed to help students remember that sodium is more concentrated outside the cell, whereas potassium is more concentrated in the cell. Since Na is the chemical abbreviation for sodium, the jeering "Na Na Na Na Na Na" is used as a mnemonic device.
If covering the so-called "funny current" that depolarizes cardiac pacemaker cells, the lyrics can be changed to "Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! Sodium CAN get in!" In this case, "Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha" is a mnemonic device representing the funny current.