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29 Reasons

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "29 Ways" (written by Willie Dixon and performed by Marc Cohn).


Context

This song presents a summary of reasons why skeletal muscles are interesting and important from a biological perspective. The lyrics are based on Chapter 1 of my doctoral dissertation, "An analysis of metabolic fluxes in contracting skeletal muscle."


Lyrics

I got 29 reasons why muscles are not a bore.
I got 29 reasons why muscles are not a bore.
When applying for grants,
I can find about two or three more.

If you check out a standard lass,
Muscles are a third of her body mass.
I got 29 reasons why muscles are not a bore.
When applying for grants,
I can find about two or three more.

From cooking your food to sweeping the floor,
Muscles do a really wide range of chores.
You could be out shopping or starting to groove,
But muscles are behind your every move.
I got 29 reasons why muscles are not a bore.
When applying for grants,
I can find about two or three more.

When a muscle is used at a sporting event,
Its fluxes rise 5000 percent!
And if you're getting fit or you have a disease,
Muscle adaptation can be quantified with ease.
I got 29 reasons why muscles are not a bore.
When applying for grants,
I can find about two or three more.


Other Files

MP3 (by Science Groove)

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) The song claims that a muscle's fluxes can rise 5000 percent during exercise. This would be equivalent to the new flux being how many times that of the old flux?

(2) What specific metabolic flux is most likely to rise by this much?

(3) When a person gets fit, what sorts of muscle adaptations can be "quantified with ease"?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)