The Biochemists' Songbook MP3 Files

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This page contains links to MP3 files with recorded versions of songs from The Biochemists' Songbook, by Harold Baum.  Dr. Baum was a professor at Chelsea College of the University of London who composed a biochemical song each year for his departmental Christmas party.  A collection of these songs was published in 1982 by Pergamon Press, along with a cassette tape with professional recordings of the songs.

A second edition of the book, containing several new songs, was published by Taylor and Francis in the UK and CRC Press in the US in 1995 and is still available.  Dr. Baum was then at King's College, University of London.

The tape is no longer available, and Taylor and Francis informed me that the copyright had reverted to Dr. Baum, who is now retired from teaching but still involved in research at King's College.  When I asked for permission to convert the tape tracks to MP3 for use in my lectures and for downloading by my students, he graciously consented.  When I then asked whether I might post the MP3 files on a publicly available web site, he was delighted to give his permission for that as well, so that I could do this "as a pro bono gesture to students elsewhere."

I know that the lyrics to some of these songs have been posted on various web sites, and you can probably find them by googling around, but, in respect of copyright laws, especially since the book is still available, I will not post them here. 

Jeff Cohlberg, Professor (         
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
California State University, Long Beach
June 2006

The performances on the tape were produced and arranged by Peter Shade, MPRS, MCPS, AGAC (I don't know what these mean, but it all looks pretty impressive) and recorded by Tidytones Limited.  Gary Bond was the singer, with Brian Lemon on piano, Peter Shade on synthesisers, piano, vibes and flute, Michael Salmons on clarinet, saxophone and violin, Alan Ganley on drums, and Brian Barnes on backup vocals.  Thanks to Walter Gajewski from Academic Computing Services at CSULB for doing the MP3 conversions.

Here are the MP3 files:

The Michaelis Anthem (Tune: "The Red Flag", also known as "Oh Tannenbaum" or "Oh Christmas Tree")

In Praise of E. M. P. (Tune: "The British Grenadiers")

Waltz Round the Cycle (Tune: "Waltzing Matilda")

Beta-Oxidation (Tune: "There is a Tavern in the Town")

The Battle Hymn of the Aerobes (Tune: "The Battle Hymn of the Republic")

Fatty Acid Biosynthesis (Tune: "Men of Harlech")

Photosynthesis (Tune: "Auld Lang Syne")

The Glyoxylate Cycle (Tune: "The Lincolnshire Poacher")

The Pentose Phosphate Shunt (Tune: "Macnamara's Band")

The Chemiosmotic Theory (Tune: "The Eton Boating Song")

We're Here Because Urea ("The Bold Gendarmes", similar to "The Marine Hymn")

Protein Biosynthesis (Tune: "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean")

If you like these songs, you might also enjoy the ones reached by the following links:
    Kevin Ahern's Wildly Popular Metabolic Melodies
    Aimee Hartnell's Musical Chemistry
    Jeff Cohlberg's Biochemistry Songs

Note to professors:  I can heartily recommend using these songs in your lectures, and trying to get the students to sing along.  Whether or not the lyrics actually have specific pedagogical value, playing and singing these songs always puts both me and the students in a good mood, and I think that this alone helps the teaching and learning process.