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A Eukaryotic Cell

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A Eukaryotic Cell
by Tim Griffin, copyright 2014

There was a cell, a eukaryotic cell, there was a membrane all around the cell
It was mostly full of cytoplasm, with a membrane made of phospholipid on the outside of the cell

There was a cell, a eukaryotic cell, there was a nucleus inside the cell
The nucleus was floating in the cytoplasm
With a membrane made of phospholipid on the outside of the cell

There was a cell, a eukaryotic cell, there was some chromatin inside the cell
With the chromatin in the nucleus, the nucleus was floating in the cytoplasm
With a membrane made of phospholipid on the outside of the cell

There was a cell, a eukaryotic cell, there was some DNA inside the cell
With the DNA in the chromatin
The chromatin in the nucleus, the nucleus was floating in the cytoplasm
With a membrane made of phospholipid on the outside of the cell

There was a cell, a eukaryotic cell, there were a whole lot of genes in the cell
The genes were in the DNA, the DNA in the chromatin
The chromatin in the nucleus, the nucleus was floating in the cytoplasm
With a membrane made of phospholipid on the outside of the cell

There was a cell, a eukaryotic cell, there were some nucleotides in the cell
The nucleotides were in the genes
The genes were in the DNA, the DNA in the chromatin
The chromatin in the nucleus, the nucleus was floating in the cytoplasm
With a membrane made of phospholipid on the outside of the cell

There was a cell, a eukaryotic cell
There was a nitrogen base, a 5-carbon sugar, and a phosphate group in the cell
The nitrogen base, 5-carbon sugar, and phosphate group made a nucleotide
The nucleotides were in the genes
The genes were in the DNA, the DNA in the chromatin
The chromatin in the nucleus, the nucleus was floating in the cytoplasm
With a membrane made of phospholipid on the outside of the cell

There was a cell, a eukaryotic cell, there were a hundred trillion atoms in the cell
The atoms made the molecules
Including the nitrogen base, 5-carbon sugar, and phosphate group in each nucleotide
The nucleotides were in the genes
The genes were in the DNA, the DNA in the chromatin
The chromatin in the nucleus, the nucleus was floating in the cytoplasm
With a membrane made of phospholipid on the outside of the cell

Print Notes Notes

One of the many ways I have been blessed in my writing career is in the people who critique my lyrics for me. Professor Chris Robinson (a good friend and onetime college roommate) vetted four drafts of this song, each time patiently explaining for me what I was getting wrong. “That’s not how I would teach it,” is the way he very kindly lets me know I have again passed the limits of my expertise in the life sciences; remember, my own training was in astrophysics and I wasn’t paying much attention for most of that. To whatever extent my life science songs are useful, Chris deserves most of the credit; any mistakes that remain are due entirely to my own short attention span.

Here are some standards from the NGSS and the state of California addressed by this song:

Middle School
MS-LS1-1. Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells.
MS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function.
CA.LS.7.1.c. Students know the nucleus is the repository for genetic information in plant and animal cells.
CA.LS.7.1.e. Students know DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material of living organisms and is located in the chromosomes of each cell.

Note that the California Science Standards begin referring to cells (without addressing cell composition) in fifth grade; my own opinion is that kindergarten is a fine time to begin letting kids look at plant cells under a microscope, even if you don’t get into what the cells are made of.

Chords: F#, B, C#. This is just a bonehead 3-chord progression, so play it in any key you like.