Skip to Content

Science Careers in Song Lyrics

We’ve just gotten our first Google-Analytics results for the blog, so
we know our posts are being read. So can we please have a little
interactivity? Other science-career bloggers, please pick this up.
Let’s see if we can get a nice thread going. (If you’re selling Viagra
or fancy-watch replicas I’m not talkin’ to you.)

Until recently
the only pop-song lyric I was aware of that’s related to careers in
science was one-hit-wonder Timbuk3’s 1980s hit "The Future’s
So Bright, I gotta Wear Shades:"

I study nuclear science
I love my classes
I got a crazy teacher who wears dark glasses
Things are going great, and they’re only getting better.

I’m doing all right, making good grades
The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.

1986, when this song was on the charts, I was a  junior and then a
senior in college, majoring in physics–including nuclear science. And
for what it’s worth, the song had no influence on my career path.

I came across another song with at least a token reference to careers
in science, and this one’s far superior to the one from Timbuk3. It’s
from Ani Difranco’s album "Revelling/Reckoning"–specifically, from
Disc 1, "Revelling," in song 2, "Garden of Simple:"

Science chases money
And money chases its tail
And the best minds of my generation can’t make bail.

album contains several references to science, and to careers, but this
is the most explicit science-career related lyric I’ve so far detected.
Here’s one other that’s likely to ring true to people on the job
market, from the third song, "Tamburitza Lingua:"

She’s getting plenty of little kisses but no one’s slipping her the key.

(Admittedly, that lyric could be interpreted differently. 😉

It’s a great album by the way, the smartest pop record I’ve heard in ages.

So, readers, it’s your turn? Any other science-career-related lyrics you’re aware of?

blog comments powered by Disqus