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Have Yourself a Healthy Little Kidney

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane).


Context

This is a semi-whimsical, semi-serious song about what it might be like to receive, as a Christmas present, a new kidney. It is sung from the perspective of a health-care provider who is addressing the transplant recipient.


Lyrics

Have yourself a healthy little kidney;
Let your blood be clean.
From now on, it won’t be filtered by machine!
Have yourself a healthy little kidney;
Whisk that waste away.
GFR may be 90,000 mils per day!

Here we are, in the abdomen,
Where the gift goes in, down low.
Blood gets rerouted there and back;
To the iliac it flows.

Through the years, you’ll stay immunotolerant,
If the drugs allow.
Steroids keep the lymphocytes in check somehow.
So have yourself a healthy little kidney now!


Other Files

music video


Lesson Plan

Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.

An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using the audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, or (B) designing kinesthetic movements ("dance moves") to embody it. The latter activity should begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.


Study Questions

(1) What is meant by the line, "From now on, it won't be filtered by machine!"?

(2) What does GFR stand for? What is the GFR mentioned in the song when converted to the more customary units of milliliters per minute?

(3) Is a new kidney put into a space left by the removal of an old, failing kidney, or elsewhere?

(4) What general class of steroids are used for immunosuppresion?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)