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Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Chemists

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys" (written by Ed and Patsy Bruce and performed by Willie Nelson).


This song is a tongue-in-cheek put-down of chemists. Jargon advisory: orgo is slang for organic chemistry. The Hutch is slang for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a Seattle-based employer of chemists and many other research scientists.


Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be chemists.
Don't let 'em teach orgo or work at the Hutch;
Make 'em be bankers and lawyers and such.
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be chemists.
With every involvement, they end up in solvent,
Smelling bad and inhaling too much.

Chemists, they have their own language,
So you can't understand 'em;
When they speak of "leaving,"
They don't mean that you'll be abandoned.
They'll talk about dipoles and van der Waals forces
And show you their graphs and their grids,
And then when you ask,
"Could you put that in layman's terms?"
They'll say, "I thought I just did."


Chemists pursue all the mixed-up ideals of their field;
They'll swear that there's no greater joy
Than a high percent yield.
And when they're lost in thoughts
Of their Lineweaver plots,
They can't quite take care of themselves;
Their clothes are all tinged
And their hair has been singed
From experiments that did not go well.