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Muscles Wrapped Around a Sphincter

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "Wrapped Around Your Finger" (written by Sting and performed by The Police).


Context

A semi-ridiculous celebration of smooth muscles' regulation of flows through hollow organs.


Lyrics

Eat and drink, digestion and excretion....
Every process flows to its completion.
Traffic flow is managed (as with Heathrow’s)
At checkpoints (in intestines and urethras).

Urine, chyme, and feces keep on moving...
If there’s no occlusion in the tubing.
Forward flow will stop if there’s constriction;
Dilate to resume the next eviction.

CHORUS:
Muscles wrapped around a sphincter!
Muscles wrapped around a sphincter!


Other Files

karaoke

MP3 (demo; with Joy Addition)

music video

sheet music


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) What is the general definition of a sphincter?

(2) Are sphincters cardiac muscle, skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, or more than one of these?

(3) What is Heathrow, and what does it have to do with this song?

(4) What is chyme, and which sphincter interacts directly with it?

(5) Contrast the effects of peristaltic muscle contractions with the effects of sphincter muscle contractions.

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)