Music

Nine Favorite Planets

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Nine Favorite Planets
copyright 2005 by Tim Griffin and Joe Griffin

I went to school yesterday, I took a science test
The teacher told us each to say which planet we like best
He saw me hesitating, he said there’s nothing to it
Just pick your favorite planet but I said I couldn’t do it

I got nine favorite planets, all revolving ‘round the Sun
Yes, I got nine favorite planets, Woo! How could I pick just one?

Mercury’s the closest in, that’s why it goes so fast
It’s hotter though on Venus ‘cause of all that greenhouse gas
Earth’s got lots of water so it’s mostly blue and green
But Mars has got to be the reddest planet that I’ve seen

And I got nine favorite planets, all revolving ‘round the Sun
Yes, I got nine favorite planets, Woo! How could I pick just one?

Jupiter’s the biggest one, it’s got so many moons
With that cherry storm and chocolate stripes, I could eat it with a spoon
Saturn is so beautiful with all those fancy rings
That’s what I told my teacher and that’s why I got to sing

That I got nine favorite planets, all revolving ‘round the Sun
Yes, I got nine favorite planets, Woo! How could I pick just one?

Since I’ve seen Uranus, you know I love it too
It’s got hydrogen and helium, the methane makes it blue
Neptune is the next one, it’s smaller but it’s denser
That’s why I tell my teacher that I’m sitting on the fence, sir

I got nine favorite planets, all revolving ‘round the Sun
Yes, I got nine favorite planets, Woo! How could I pick just one?

Pluto is so tiny, and so far away out there
That until 1930 no one knew that it was there
And farther out astronomers say might be number ten
A tiny little light sitting in the night, I hope they’re right but until then

I got nine favorite planets, all revolving ‘round the Sun
Yes, I got nine favorite planets, Woo! How could I pick just one?

Yes I got one two three four five six seven eight nine
How could I pick just one?

Print Notes Notes

Okay, let’s get one thing out of the way right now: Pluto was a planet when I recorded this song, alright? Pluto got scratched by the IAU about two weeks after my first CD came out. Jerks.

My son Joe deserves co-author credit here. When he was four years old, he and I were sitting in the bath together and of course we were discussing astronomy. He’d been learning about the planets and was telling me about them. I asked Joe to pick a favorite planet so I could write a song about it for him. He thought a while and then said, “Oh daddy, I have nine favorite planets. How could I pick just one?” He went on to tell me one or two cool things about each planet. Before he was halfway through, I was dashing across the house (dripping shampoo) to grab a pen and paper. We were finished before the water got cold; I made it rhyme but the rest of this song is his.

Of course, Joe totally failed to anticipate that Pluto would be demoted a few weeks later. Some research assistant! I’m not going to change the song, but I’m working on ideas for one about how irritated I am to have only eight planets now.

Use your judgment about whether to use this song as an instructional tool: maybe it should be foregone as obsolete, or maybe it can be a good starting point for a discussion about how our understanding of the universe changes over time.

To my colleagues in education: the content standards are unclear about exactly when kids should learn the planets. California does not mention them before third grade, while the NGSS makes no mention before middle school. I suppose the assumption is that kids have already learned such things outside of school, but depending on the families you serve this may not be the case. Most of the kids I know (including mine) knew the planets by the time they were four years old but many children do not, so use your judgement about when/if you want to use this song in your classroom. Given the simplicity of the lyrics, I’d call it a K-2 song, suitable for building background for the kids who haven’t been to a planetarium.

Chords: E, A, B, G. You can make the fingering for the bass line as simple or complex as you like.