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Oh Linneaus

Sam Rabinovitz
Poe Middle School, Annandale, VA

I am a seventh grader in Mrs.Hulfish's biology class at Poe Middle School. I wrote this song as a project assigned by Mrs.Hulfish. The reason I picked to write and sing a song about Linnaeus is because at that time we were studying scientific classification, and it interested me. I did some out-of-school research and found out some interesting facts about the classification system. I picked one of my favorite songs, "Falling" by The Offspring and rewrote the lyrics so that the song taught students about Linnaeus and classification, made sense, and rhymed.

Oh Linnaeus

(tune: "Falling" by The Offspring)

Classification, oh classification, classification, oh classification.
Have you ever thought of getting fame
Just for classifying some names
Or making up a system for scientists to use?

Have you ever heard of Linnaeus?
You might even have seen his face.
Well he invented this system for you and me to use...
Well I know
That he did. He did make biological nomenclature.
And this system can classify all of nature.

Linnaeus, oh Linnaeus, Linnaeus, oh Linnaeus.
Did you ever learn the way
To use this system that is used today?
Or have the slightest idea even what it is?

Well, this two-name system -- it is based
On an old language that was replaced,
And that old language is the old tongue of Latin.
Well the way
This system worked, it involved genus and species.
The way you found those out, now listen carefully to me please.

Classification, oh classification, classification, oh classification.
Now the first thing that you do,
Is take the organism that you
Want to classify and put it into a kingdom.

After kingdom, then there comes another group called a phylum.
You put that organism in a phylum too.
Phylums are
The second largest group, and after them there come classes.
And this system can classify all living masses.

Classification, oh classification, classification, oh classification.
Well, now I'm running out of time
And scientific words that will rhyme.
So now I'm just gonna rattle off the last four groups.

The last four groups, now here they come
And I know this list, it might sound dumb
But the four groups are order, family, genus and species.
An easy way
To remember that order is to think of a hungry king
And, now the exact words to remember, wait a sec now I'm thinking:

King Philip can order fries and grape soda,
King Philip can order fries and grape soda.
The K in king, its stands for kingdom.
And the P in Philip, it means phylum,
The C for class and the O, it means order.

The F in fries well, it means family
And the G's for genus and then lastly
We have an S in soda which of course means species.

Now that you have its genus and species,
You put them together to get its scientific name.
You must put them together in a special way,
Yea, I know it sounds lame.

Biological nomenclature, oh biological nomenclature,
Biological nomenclature, oh biological nomenclature.
The genus, well I know that it is first
And it is a little cursed
For the genus, well it is always capitalized.

And the species is the second part,
It is lower cased, cuz it is smart.
But both parts of the name are in italics or underlined.

Now you know
Linnaes' system to classify living things.
Use it well and you all will become scientist kings!
Classification, oh classification, classification, oh classification.