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These Cells Are Your Cells

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "This Land Is Your Land" (written and performed by Woodie Guthrie).


This is a musical attempt to capture both the importance and the diversity of the cells found in our bodies. It was first written and performed for University of Puget Sound students in Biology 212 in the spring of 2003. CD4 cells are "T helper cells" of the immune system; they express the CD4 protein at their surface. The Y cells are retinal ganglion cells that fire in response to changes in (rather than absolute levels of) light intensity. Finally, please note that while mature mammalian red blood cells do not appear to have any membrane-bound organelles, the same cannot be said of all vertebrate red blood cells.


These cells are your cells; these cells are my cells,
From the CD4 cells to the retinal Y cells.
From the haploid gametes to our guest E. coli,
These cells are found in you and me.

When I am running, my knees go skyward
From the contraction of muscle fibers.
Their sliding filaments support this function,
And these cells are found in you and me.


We have red blood cells with hemoglobin
To carry oxygen where the blood is flowin'.
No organelles here -- just lots of protein,
And these cells are found in you and me.


When the sun is shining, there's nothing better
Than light absorption by photoreceptors.
With their rhodopsin and ion channels,
These cells are found in you and me.


Other Files

music video (by UWTV)