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EMCN

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "EMCN" (written by Jacques Morali and Victor Willis and performed by the Village People).


Context

In anatomy and physiology, we say that groups of related cells form tissues, and that groups of related tissues form organs. Furthermore, we classify tissues into four basic types: epithelial, muscle, connective, and nervous. These four types can be abbreviated EMCN to facilitate reviewing them in the form of a late-'70s-style disco song.


Lyrics

Tissues -- from your head to your toes!
I said tissues -- not the ones for your nose!
Biological tissues -- we have four types of those,
And it's time to sing about them....

Epithelial -- it keeps borders secure!
And then Muscles -- they fatigue or endure!
And then Connective -- it connects things for sure!
And then Nervous transmits signals....

CHORUS:
It's fun to learn about EMCN!
It's fun to learn about EMCN!
They have everything that your organs will need!
All your organs are made of these!
It's fun to learn about EMCN!
It's fun to learn about EMCN!
Get your microscope out! Take a look at the slides!
And consult a histology guide....


Other Files

MP3 (demo)

music video


Lesson Plan

The chorus of this song can be "danced" or "acted out" by students. For the original song, people twist their bodies into the shapes of the letters Y, M, C, and A. For this version, people can act like epithelial cells, muscle cells, connective tissue cells, and nervous tissue cells. For example, epithelial cells are packed tightly together, with no gaps between them, so people can move together to create a strong barrier, and they can have their hands up to represent cilia or microvilli. Muscle cells are generally long and thin, so people can straighten their bodies accordingly. Connective tissue cells are generally far apart and secrete lots of proteins such as collagen, so people can take a step away from others and make secreting/dumping motions. And neurons (and some neuroglia as well) have long cellular processes, so people can splay out their limbs into a sort of star shape.


Study Questions

(1) Which epithelial cells have cilia? Which epithelial cells have microvilli? Do some epithelial cells have neither?

(2) The lyrics say that "nerve cells transmit signals." What is the nature of these signals?

(3) Nerve cells have long processes extending from the cell body. What are the usual terms for these processes?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)