If it says GTCACGACAGG then you shouldn’t eat shrimp or nuts

This is a lyric from Jonathan Coulton’s humorous song “That Spells DNA” (lyrics, mp3). Try this verse:

“We start the story when Mom met Dad

And they danced all night and he took her home

It might have been all the wine they had

But they rolled the dice and won your genome”

Or this one:

“Guanine met Cytosine, fell in love

And then Thymine got busy with Adenine

They sent the messenger-RNA

To the ribosome to make more protein.”

You really ought to listen to the whole song. You can listen to more of his songs here, of which he has many because in 2005 Coulton tasked himself with the extraordinary challenge of writing, performing, and releasing a new song every week for a year or more.

All this music is released with a Creative Commons license (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike). Coulton explains why:

“I give away music because I want to make music, and I can’t make music unless I make money, and I won’t make any money unless I get heard, and I won’t get heard unless I give away music. This is all part of the experiment. I believe it can work, but we all need to adjust our thinking about the relationship between artists and fans - the RIAA thinks that music listeners are criminals and that music should be locked up and protected. I disagree. I think there are times when free music and file sharing can greatly benefit an artist. Believe me, I spent many years making music and not sharing it with anyone, and that didn’t get me anywhere.”

“That Spells DNA” may finally end my long search for a karaoke song that is almost as funny as the thought of me performing it.


PopTech live performance of some of his other songs:

Speaking of geeky songs, someone really needs to lay down a track for these lyrics: Lyse, Lyse Baby.


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