Singhing the blues
October 22, 2005 5:21 PM   Subscribe

When science meets art. Science writer Simon Singh was annoyed with the lyrics to British singer Katie Melua's latest single. He rewrote them to be scientifically accurate, and she sings the unfortunate result (RealAudio file).
posted by smackfu (21 comments total)
I think Katie got it right.
posted by Gyan at 5:35 PM on October 22, 2005

Hee. We need more songs containing the phrase "error bars".
posted by hattifattener at 5:52 PM on October 22, 2005

And yet they're so polite about it...
posted by Tikirific at 5:54 PM on October 22, 2005

Huh? The RAM file plays like an industrial remix of ... something. WTF? (Though I admittedly have not heard the original but I doubt that if it sounds like this it entered the charts of anything at 9.)
posted by dobbs at 5:58 PM on October 22, 2005

That's really cute. :)
posted by Hildegarde at 6:33 PM on October 22, 2005

That tosser went to my school.
posted by cillit bang at 6:54 PM on October 22, 2005

Hm, thought the edge of the universe was either 16 or 46 billion light-years away, depending on how you define it.

If I send Mr. Singh a corrected version of his article, will he come and read it to me?
posted by forblaga at 7:16 PM on October 22, 2005

TIkirific: That's what's so nice about this story. The singer and the scientist treated each other with respect, and a good time was had by all. I wish more of our disgreements could be handled so agreeably.
posted by localroger at 7:51 PM on October 22, 2005

Great, a physicist doing all he can to help keep creative people out of the sciences. Blegh.
posted by dsword at 8:24 PM on October 22, 2005

Of course they're being polite to each other; there's barely an iota of serious intent in any of it. The cynical interpretation is that Singh, a media-savvy scientist and writer with a sense of humour, wanted some attention for his new book. In that regard, he's succeeded. The less cynical interpretation is he wrote the article on a lark and Melua played along because it was funny. Either way, I seriously doubt Singh's all that concerned about the science behind Melua's lyrics.

Hell, maybe it was his eccentric way of courting her. She is pretty cute, if perhaps a bit young for him.
posted by chrominance at 9:05 PM on October 22, 2005

Can't listen to the song, but did he actually try to rhyme "universe" with "error bars"?
posted by sour cream at 11:15 PM on October 22, 2005

> Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars,
It's a hundred thousand lightyears side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand lightyears thick,
But out by us it's just three thousand lightyears wide.
We're thirty thousand lightyears from galactic central point,
We go round every two hundred million years.
And our galaxy is only one of millions and billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

She was a good sport, really. And Singh should consider asking these guys to rewrite their lyrics, instead.
posted by dhartung at 12:42 AM on October 23, 2005

If you've ever wondered why nerds get picked on...
posted by i_cola at 1:46 AM on October 23, 2005

i_cola : "If you've ever wondered why nerds get picked on..."

...then the answer is "people don't get dry senses of humour".
posted by Bugbread at 5:37 AM on October 23, 2005

er, bugbread...

...ah, what's the point. You've probably realised now ;-)
posted by i_cola at 7:11 AM on October 23, 2005

i_cola : "...ah, what's the point. You've probably realised now ;-)"

Why're you picking on me? Oh, wait--
posted by Bugbread at 7:29 AM on October 23, 2005

I think you're confusing 'dry' with 'tedious'. Here's to another generation of nerd beatings...
posted by i_cola at 10:13 AM on October 23, 2005

I should think Melua played along because her manager, Mike Batt, loves this kind of silliness.

On one of his classical albums he did a track that was his orchestra being silent for one minute. He was absolutely delighted when the estate of John Cage sued him. You just can't buy publicity like that.
posted by dodgygeezer at 12:15 PM on October 23, 2005

Yeah, Mike Batt responded in The Guardian.
posted by ninebelow at 12:21 PM on October 23, 2005

Now that she's sung it his way, does she get a crack at rewording his publications?
posted by Eothele at 12:22 PM on October 24, 2005

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