Having a go at science+ arts songwriting (be nice) – plus stuff about the writing challenge…

litbonanza.jpgSo, I’m sitting here checking out submissions for the Terry Writing Challenge, and admittedly it seems a little slow going. This is particularly true when it comes to creative submissions (although don’t forget that the academic type submissions is as easy as just sending on that paper you probably have to write anyway). Also, don’t forget that there is $1500 worth of UBC Bookstore gift cards to be won, and to be a contender, your piece has to be published on this site (under Literary Bonanza). Quite frankly, that possibility could be quite easy right now because of the small number of submissions we are currently seeing (you do the stats).

So in an attempt to show how easy it is to submit something creative, I took it upon myself to see if I could come up with something creative. Anyway, this ties in with a different request elsewhere related to trying to write a song with a science theme ( I dabble in science communication after all). Specifically, one where folks could suggests certain key words that I would have to incorporate into the lyrics.

This has little to do with my songwriting prowess (I have none), my guitar playing ability (o.k. I guess, but obviously not enough to break the “Are there Asian rock stars?” barrier), or even the presence of a lot of free time in my life (not much of that quite frankly).

Nevertheless, I thought I would give it a go. In the name of Arts + Science if you will. Plus, last Thursday, my wife was into watching Survivor and Grey’s Anatomy, so I actually had two free hours to try and record a small demo.

Anyway, first: you have to know the science terms I was constricted to. They were:

Homo erectus

I didn’t actually know how to pronounce phthalates so decided it best to leave it out for now.

And so, here is what I came up with:

Click here to hear the mp3



I notice something today
About the way you talk in jargon fueled ways

Its those crazy words that you say
That make me realize about your jargon fueled ways

Those things you sing to me acapella
Like dictyostelium and flagella
You shout out stuff like homo erectus
Always great to hear epiglottis

So when you think you will say
The sort of things in your own jargon fueled way

And let’s just say it’s o.k.
That I kind of love your jargon fueled ways.

So there you have it. Anyway, it’s your turn. Details about the contest can be found here. No fear remember – just submit something in.

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and boingboing.net. He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at popperfont.net.