So with everything going on in the world right now, it’s been hard to feel very motivated to keep up with this blog. I’d like to try to tackle some of these issues more directly somehow, but as I run what is primarily a product review blog, I fear I haven’t really put myself in a good position to do so in a very considerate way. My blog has kinda come to a bit of a standstill as a result. At the risk of retreating into escapism, I figure we could all use something a little more low-key instead at the moment. I’ve decided to showcase some of the miscellaneous paleo themed music I’ve collected over time, which will hopefully help kick my brain back into gear so I can do my next book review some justice. I’ve recently purchased She Found Fossils, which does a great job of highlighting diversity in STEM, so we should be able to get a little more topical there. For now, on to the music!
My other Primeval Playlist posts so far have all focused on the works of individual bands that have a strong science focus (as of this writing, The Ratfish Wranglers, Professor Flint, and The Amoeba People), but for this one I’ll be looking at some odds and ends that have otherwise fallen through the cracks. Incidentally, while Walk the Dinosaur would go well here, anything I say would probably just be stolen from BabbleTrish, so I’ll just redirect you to her blog post about it.
I Am A Paleontologist
While some dinosaur lovers might express exasperation at the pop culture ubiquity of the aforementioned Walk the Dinosaur, I don’t think anyone could get tired of I Am A Paleontologist, in no small part thanks to the fact that the title actually fits the theme of the song. I’m pleased to report that this song seems to be taking Walk the Dinosaur‘s place as pop culture’s default dinosaur song, which I am completely onboard with. To top it off, the official music video is just as enjoyable as the song itself!
The Whorl Tooth Sharks of Idaho
As I’ve previously mentioned in my review of The Ratfish Wranglers, artist/musician Ray Troll got quite obsessed with the enigmatic “whorl toothed shark” Helicoprion over a good chunk of his career, so much so that he eventually became the focal point of the effort to work out just what this strange creature actually looked like in life. Of course this means Ray Troll’s band just had to write an autobiographical ballad about this saga (also chronicled in Susan Ewing’s excellent book Resurrecting the Shark). However, as much as I love Ray Troll and The Ratfish Wranglers, I think western music group 3 Trails West performs the definitive cover of this particular song. Is this the paleontological equivalent of Jimi Hendrix’s vs Bob Dylan’s versions of All Along the Watchtower? Er, well, I feel unbelievably pretentious for even making that comparison, so I’ll let you decide!
A little known band that went by the fantastic name of The Piltdown Men released a few songs in the 1960s with prehistoric themes, most of which are just okay. Their single “Brontosaurus Stomp” more than justifies their existence however, whether or not the rest of their discography captures your attention. It manages to feel simultaneously bombastic and energetic, perfect for one of the most celebrated dinosaurs in history.
Folk group Brighter Lights, Thicker Glasses has a pair of songs about different periods in Earth’s history. The first, appropriately enough, is Cambrian Explosion, which celebrates all the weird and wonderful critters of this ancient time.
The other prehistoric song by Brighter Lights, Thicker Glasses is simply titled “Silurian”, and of course is all about the eponymous period of geologic history. In contrast to Cambrian Explosion‘s focus on individual critters, “Silurian” focuses a little more on the overall time period. Unfortunately, this paritcular song does not appear to be available on iTunes or other music apps yet, so you’ll just have to content yourself with the music video on YouTube for now.
I discovered this one while looking up Ray Troll’s Devonian Blues, and while I’m pretty sure blues musician John Megenon didn’t mean THAT Devonian when titling this piece, when I listen to it I can’t help but feel transported back in time to a quiet Devonian reef. As the song opens, my mind’s eye conjures up sea lilies waving lazily in the current, and as the song crescendos, various sea critters flit on by, going about their business in a sort of bustling quiet. When I’m feeling stressed, the soothing, calm melodies of this song often help ease my mind.
I gotta admit, this song from “The Johnny Cash Children’s Album” is pretty terrible, and that’s why I love it. That run-on sentence in the final verse cracks me up every time. God bless Johnny Cash for having the audacity to release this song. It’s so bad that it’s good.
That’s all for now, but I’m always on the lookout for more additioins to my Primeval Playlist, and as my collection grows, I’m sure I’ll eventually post another one of these eventually. Until next time, take care, and I hope you enjoy the music!
I’m glad to see some broad appreciation for paleo-themed music! It often seems that even in the paleo community, folks tend to only bring up the same two or three thematically-relevant pieces, but the list of available songs out there is really far more diverse than that. Even I didn’t realize that “The Whorl Tooth Sharks of Idaho” had a cover version.
I once had a go at listing most of the science-focused musicians or songs that I’m familiar with. Not all of them are about paleontology, but several would qualify. Reading through it now, I should make some minor updates (e.g.: I’d probably now consider “Girl Talk” my favorite song by The Amoeba People), however the list of entries would remain largely the same.
I definitely stan the groups/songs I’ve featured so far in attempt to make up for their wider lack of attention. 🙂
Thanks for linking your list! There’s a few I think I might include in a future list; I can’t believe I forgot to include the Tiktaalik song this time!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention King Crimson… although the song isn’t really about dinosaurs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZASr6Chpey8
Also this one is fun if you speak Dutch… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3caUnQrzUs