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I'm Clotting Factor VIII, I Am

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "I'm Henry VIII, I Am" (written by Fred Murray and R.P. Weston and performed by Herman's Hermits).


Context

This silly little song is devoted to one particular player in the cascade of reactions by which blood clots. Factor VIII was the eighth clotting factor to be discovered -- hence its name.


Lyrics

Iím clotting factor VIII, I am!
Clotting factor VIII I am, I am!
I got married to a partner in the blood;
We triggered factor X, as either pathway should,
And that and every other protease (protease)
Converted this river to a dam (to a dam)!
I was 8th in the order of discovery;
Clotting factor VIII I am!

(Second verse, much like the first!)

Iím clotting factor VIII, I am!
Clotting factor VIII I am, I am!
I got married to a partner in the blood;
We triggered factor X, as either pathway should.
Iím a protein made hepatically (hepatically),
Of molar mass 280 kilograms (kilograms)!
I was 8th in the order of discovery;
Clotting factor VIII I am!

Iím clotting factor VIII, I am!
Clotting factor VIII I am, I am!
I got married to a partner in the blood;
We triggered factor X, as either pathway should,
And that and every other protease (protease)
Converted this river to a dam (to a dam)!
I was 8th in the order of discovery;
Clotting factor VIII I am!

V-I-I-I!
Factor VIII (factor VIII)!
Factor VIII (factor VIII)!
Clotting factor VIII I am, I am;
Clotting factor VIII I am!


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 kind of a macromolecule is factor VIII -- a polysaccharide, lipid, nucleic acid, or protein?

(2) To which molecular partner did factor VIII get "married"?

(3) The narrator claims to have triggered factor X, "as either pathway should." Which pathways are being referenced here?

(4) What is a protease?

(5) Factor VIII associates with von Willebrand factor (vWF). Find out more about this association and write a lyrical couplet to replace the lines, "I'm a protein made hepatically/Of molar mass 280 kilograms." Feel free to use "von Willebrand" in the rhyming position (i.e., in place of "280 kilograms").

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)