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The Urethra Chorus

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "Hallelujah Chorus" (written by G. F. Handel).


Context

I seem to have gotten in the habit of writing kidney-related songs set to the tune of Christmas songs for possible use at the holiday parties of my wife (who is part of the Division of Nephrology at the University of Washington). Here is my output for 2019.


Lyrics

Hail, Urethra! Hail, Urethra!
The Urethra! The Urethra! All praises shall flow!
Hail, Urethra! Hail, Urethra!
The Urethra! The Urethra! All praises shall flow!

Four centimeters long if you’re female...
And twenty for males! The Urethra! The Urethra!
Four centimeters long if you’re female...
And twenty for males! The Urethra! The Urethra!

...The plasma of our blood
Is become ... the filtrate of our glomeruli --
And thus our pee, and thus our pee!

And pee shall drain for ever and ever!
And pee shall drain for ever and ever!

Stream of streams! Forever! Forever!
And gold of golds! The Urethra! The Urethra!

And pee shall drain for ever and ever!
Stream ... of streams! Gold ... of golds!
Stream ... of streams! Gold ... of golds!
The Urethra! The Urethra! The Urethra! The Urethra!
...Hal ... le ... lu ... jah!


Other Files

sheet music (with melody play-back)


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 an audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, and/or (B) illustrating it with pictures, bodily poses, and/or bodily movements. The latter activity could 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) In both males and females, the urethra conducts a certain fluid from a certain storage chamber to the exterior of the body. What is the fluid, and what is the storage chamber?

(2) The lyrics say that the urethra is 4 cm long in females but 20 cm long in males. Are these lengths pretty much the same for all healthy people, or is there natural variation from person to person?

(3) Why is the male urethra so much longer than the female urethra?

(4) Explain what is meant by the line, "The plasma of this blood is become the filtrate of our glomeruli -- and thus our pee."

(5) The fluid carried by the urethra is described as "gold of golds." Lyricism aside, is a golden color OK, or a sign of possible disease?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)