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Good Striations

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "Good Vibrations" (written by Donnie Wahlberg, Mark Wahlberg, Amir Quadeer Shakir, and Dan Hartman and performed by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch featuring Loleatta Holloway).


Context

Exercise your body and mind to relieve stress ... AND to improve your understanding of skeletal muscles' thin and thick filaments!


Lyrics

Hey, students!
It's time to bulk up --
Bulk up on your knowledge of muscle physiology!

Come on, swing ’em;
Swing those myosin heads!
Swing ’em;
Swing those myosin heads!
2, 3, 4...

It’s muscles’ good striations
That move our joint rotations!
It’s muscles’ good striations
That move our bone relocations!

Yo! It’s about that time
To get moving, body and mind!
Heads out, grab actin,
Pull, release, and repeat these actions!
Out, grab, pull, release,
Myosin heads make moves like these!

Well, sort of.
They’re an approximation
Of molecules moving
Within the striations!

Come on, come on!
Work it! Work it!
Work the striations...
To the Hill!

It’s muscles’ good striations
That move our joint rotations!
It’s muscles’ good striations
That move our bone relocations!

Now actin is a protein
Wrapped in another protein;
It wears tropomyosin clothing
’Til it's disrobed and what's exposed
Is binding sites where myosin alights
When calcium gets things rolling!

Do you get it?
Teaching science is my occupation;
I need participation!

Come on, come on!
Work it! Work it!
Work the striations...
To the Hill!

It’s muscles’ good striations
That move our joint rotations!
It’s muscles’ good striations
That move our bone relocations!

Dr. C, break it down!


Other Files

MP3 (feat. Hilary Kemp)

music 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 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) This song is called "Good Striations." What are striations in the context of muscle anatomy?

(2) Striations are a microscopic phenomenon, yet, as the song says, they relate to macroscopic movements such as bones relocating. Explain this relationship.

(3) The narrator urges, "Swing those myosin heads!" How do these instructions relate to the cycle of myosin grabbing, pulling on, and releasing actin?

(4) This song puts forth a somewhat strained analogy: "Actin is a protein wrapped in another protein; it wears tropomyosin clothing 'til it's disrobed..." Explain this analogy.

(5) This song mentions several key molecules involved in muscle contraction: myosin, actin, tropomyosin, and calcium. However, others were left out. In your view, which omission was the most glaring one, and why?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)