Physics Songs For (Big) Kids

A while back – further back than I realised (2010!) – a friend of mine, Annie, put out a request to her friends for songs themed on Space that could be taught to 4/5/6 year olds. On a whim, I wrote a quick 8 line lyric to the tune of “Three Blind Mice”, calling it “Space Is Big”.

The song was a success, both with Annie and the kids she taught it to (with actions!), and with pretty much everyone who has come across it. I have met total strangers whose eyes go wide when they hear I wrote “Space Is Big”. Another friend, Piers, has performed it multiple times at OSCON, the Open Source Convention, with actions. I’ve been reliably informed that Peggy Seeger approves of it.

Of all the things I have written, it seems I will be best remembered (in terms of songwriting) for 8 lines written in about 10 minutes one January afternoon, while I should have been working.

Anyway, over the years, other snippets occur to me, perhaps not as elegant as “Space Is Big”, but amusing to me, at least. So I thought I would bring the whole work (so far) together here. Behold: Physics Songs for (Big) Kids.

Space Is Big
To the tune of Three Blind Mice

Space is big
Really really big
Earth to the stars
Is very very far
If we got into a rocket ship
And blasted off at a mighty clip
We’d all be old at the end of the trip
‘Cos space is big.

Twinkle Twinkle
To the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Litte Star

Twinkle twinkle little star
Now I know just what you are
Changing air refraction rates
Cause your light to scintillate
While the planets’ larger size
Makes them steadier to the eyes.

The Song Of The Higgs Boson
Tune: Random folk voice.

“Here is a song
For the the Higgs Boson
And all we know about it….”

[singer pauses]

“Thank you”

A Hole In My Cosmos
To the tune of There’s A Hole In My Bucket

There’s a hole in my cosmos, dear Brian, dear Brian,
There’s a hole in my cosmos, dear Brian, a hole.

Then mend it, dear Stephen, dear Stephen, dear Stephen,
Then mend it, dear Stephen, dear Stephen, mend it.

With what shall I mend it, dear Brian, dear Brian?
With what shall I mend it, dear Brian, with what?

With a star, dear Stephen, dear Stephen, dear Stephen,
With a star, dear Stephen, dear Stephen, a star.

The star is absorbed, dear Brian, dear Brian,
The star is absorbed, dear Brian, absorbed.

Use another, dear Stephen, dear Stephen, dear Stephen,
Use another, dear Stephen, dear Stephen, once more.

The hole it is larger, dear Brian, dear Brian,
The hole it is larger, dear Brian, quite large.

Then merge it, dear Stephen, dear Stephen, dear Stephen,
Then merge it, dear Stephen, dear Stephen, merge it.

With what shall I merge it, dear Brian, dear Brian,
With what shall I merge it, dear Brian, with what?

With a black hole, dear Stephen, dear Stephen, dear Stephen
With a black hole, dear Stephen, dear Stephen, a hole.

…..

(awaiting a way to end the song. Soon please – Ed.)

Higgs Revisited
To the tune of “Ring-A-Ring Of Posies”

Ring a ring of protons
We’re searching for Higg Bosons
A fissure, a fissure
We all fall down.

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