MARCH 2006: Home arrow Columns and Departments arrow Latest arrow First Take: The Empiricist Lyricist
First Take: The Empiricist Lyricist Print

Greg Crowther, '02
UW Lecturer Greg Crowther, 02. Photo Courtesy of Greg Crowther.
Sing with us now, to the tune of Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration”:

They’re the sort of lyrics that would probably make Robert “Kool” Bell roll over in his grave, if he were dead. But Greg Crowther’s science-themed send-ups of popular songs have been a hit with his biology classes at the UW, and on the Internet. The lecturer’s Web page, , sees an unusual amount of traffic, thanks largely to the funny parodies he has written and posted there: “Take Me to the Liver” (instead of “Take Me to the River”), “Passionate Fishes” (“Passionate Kisses”), “That’s What Slugs Are For” (“That’s What Love Is For”). Crowther, ’02, also manages an online database of more than 2,000 science-y songs, which earned him mention in a recent New York Times story about the genre’s growing popularity.

His in-class performances don’t win him five-star reviews from every student. “At the end of the quarter,” he told Wired News, “there’s at least one student who says something to the effect of, ‘Please don’t sing.’” But that may be more a matter of age than of taste. It’s hard to believe anyone old enough to remember Hot Chocolate would be insusceptible to the charms of “Insecty Things”:

Insects breathe
through spiracles!
They don’t need lungs; they’ve got insecty things!
(Insecty things, yeah.)