Songs like "Fifty Nifty United States"
January 15, 2015 8:09 AM   Subscribe

My child memorized all the states through this song "Fifty Nifty United States" Are there other songs that where you can memorize useful/ education lists? you know, for kids...
posted by mrmarley to Education (22 answers total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
Well, it's not exactly little-kid-friendly, but this song makes it easy to remember basic facts about philosophers.

Also, most things that were on Schoolhouse Rock (bit more age-appropriate there).
posted by jbickers at 8:14 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Tom Lehrer's The Elements song
posted by Captain_Science at 8:16 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Jonathan Coulton's The Presidents is pretty jokey and also not 100% age appropriate but it lists the US presidents.
posted by capricorn at 8:17 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

The South American capitals and countries song.

It's been almost 20 years and I still hear that voice whenever I hear the name of a South American country. "Brazilia Brazil! Brazilia Brazil!"
posted by barchan at 8:19 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Animaniacs had a bunch of these:

States and Capitals
Nations of the World (slightly out of date now)
Parts of the Brain
posted by jozxyqk at 8:20 AM on January 15, 2015 [10 favorites]

Animaniacs had a US Presidents song too. And, um... all the words in the English language?
posted by mbrubeck at 8:22 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have always known the Twelve Tribes of Israel thanks to the song in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".
posted by Melismata at 8:31 AM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

I made one up during a Modern Art class in college. To be sung to the tune of "Yankee Doodle":

Man Ray Duchamp Ernst Carrington
Magritte Dali and Kahlo!
And in the case of Guernica
We add Pablo Picasso.

There ya go, eight Surrealist artists.

I also made up the Periodic Table BINGO song:

There was a chemist, had some atoms of the Inert Gasses:
Helium, Neon Argon Krypton Xenon Radon!
Helium, Neon Argon Krypton Xenon Radon!
Helium, Neon Argon Krypton Xenon Radon!
And those are the Inert Gasses.

There was a chemist, had some atoms of the Halogens:
Fluorine Chlorine Bromine Iodine Astatine!
etc etc etc

I only remember the Inert Gasses and Halogens.

Oh! I also made up a song about the Roman Emperors, to the tune of "Giddyup Little Dogies":

Augustus decided to build an empire,
In the year 14 AD.
The first guys to rule the new Roman empire
Were the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Whoopee-tai-ai-o, first came Tiberius.
He became the Emperor at age 56!
Whoopee-tai-ai-o, then came Caligula,
Crazy old son of Germanicus.

Then there came Claudius, he limped and he drooled,
but he was a very stand up guy.
Then there came Nero, he built golden houses,
His unpopularity caused him to die.

Whoopee-tai-ai-o, the year of the four emperors!
Otho, Vitellius, and Galba rose and fell.
Whoopee-tai-ai-o, Vespasian took over,
He built the Colesseum and ruled the empire well.

I do not remember any more, but at one point the song went on up until the period of anarchy before Septimius Severus in the 3rd century.
posted by Elly Vortex at 8:39 AM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]

I learned the books of the Bible 25 years ago with this terrible rap song, and, by golly, I still have those books memorized.
posted by BurntHombre at 8:39 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Meet the Elements by They Might Be Giants
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 8:51 AM on January 15, 2015

We used to "Sing the Books of ____" back in Sunday School to memorize the books of the Bible.
posted by General Malaise at 8:59 AM on January 15, 2015

Also from musical theater, "Children of Eden" features a song called "Generations" that traces the lineage from Adam to Noah.

Not useful for much unless you need some bible trivia.
posted by kellygrape at 9:20 AM on January 15, 2015

This Greek alphabet song is a teeny bit different than the one I learned, but it serves the purpose well.
posted by Liesl at 9:22 AM on January 15, 2015

I will always know the Preamble to the Constitution thanks to this Schoolhouse Rock song.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:36 AM on January 15, 2015

The Presidents song by Jonathan Coulton can help you memorize the order of US Presidents.
posted by chaiminda at 9:42 AM on January 15, 2015

Also by TMBG - Why Does The Sun Shine? - not a list, exactly, but FACTS.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:49 AM on January 15, 2015

This is the presidents song I learned in elementary school and still use (mostly to impress people).
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 9:51 AM on January 15, 2015

TMBG's Why Does the Sun Shine has been updated to fit new scientific facts! Now it's The Sun Is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma.

Also, my elementary school science class used these Lyrical Life Science songs by Doug and Dorry Eldon, but they might be a little out of date now. They're not all lists, but a bunch of them are. I still remember a few of them, so I guess they have some staying power.
posted by yasaman at 10:30 AM on January 15, 2015

Tangentially related to the Philosophers Song, Monty Python's Oliver Cromwell has helped me out during a pub quiz more than a few times.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:32 AM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

I know a lot of digits of PI thanks to The PI Song by Hard n' Phirm.
posted by Terheyden at 6:29 PM on January 15, 2015

Not particularly useful, but everything I know about Albania comes from this song.
posted by Mchelly at 9:10 PM on January 15, 2015

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