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The Mathematical Pi Song

Two weeks ago I wrote about The Story of Pi, a semi-educational retro video that visually explains Pi. One commenter (lynn) pointed out a song I hadn't heard before, The Pi Song by Antoni Chan and Ken Ferrier. I present it below for your weekend edutainment. Set to the tune of the classic Don McLean song "American Pie," this is kind of a hoot. (NOTE: the video below is just the first part; for the whole thing check out this video.)

Complete lyrics after the jump.

A long, long time ago,
Long before the Super Bowl and things like lemonade,
The Hellenic Republic was full of smarts,
And a question resting on the Grecian hearts was;
What is the circumference of a circle?",
But they were set on rational numbers,
And it ranks among their biggest blunders,
They worked on it for years,
And confirmed one of their biggest fears,
I can't be certain if they cried when irrationality was realised,
But something deep within them died,
The day, they discovered, Pi.

They were thinking;
Pi, pi, mathematical pi,
3.14 15 92,
65 35 89 7,
932384 62,
6433832 7 (not rounded).

Well this kind of Pi is different than most,
It hasn't got berries, ain't spread on toast,
And that's how it's always been,
We keep extending its decimal places,
Pushing our computers through their paces,
But we'll never reach the end,
So why the fascination with,
A number whose end is just a myth?
Whence the adulation,
For mental masturbation,
It might have something to do with the stars,
To calculate distances from afar,
But that's just a guess 'bout the way things are,
Regarding the precision of Pi,

I am pondering;
Pi, pi, mathematical pi
3.14 15 92
65 35 89 7
932384 62
6433832 7

Now I feel that I should mention,
Pi is applicable in any dimension,
At least as far as I know,
If there were no Pi we'd be missing things,
Like marbles and mugs and balls of string,
And sports, such as soccer and curling,
The orbs in their celestial paths,
Navigate along elliptical graphs,
Ellipses have pi in them too,
Just one side of them has grew,
You can see pi in most everything,
It's in Cornell's Electron Storage Ring,
And also in slinkies and other springs,
And that's why it's important to know pi,

You should memorize,
Pi, pi, mathematical pi,
3.14 15 92,
65 35 89 7,
932384 62,
6433832 7,

Once one night I had a dream,
That pi was gone and I had to scream,
Cause all pi things had disappeared.
Can you imagine a world like that?
Circles aren't round and spheres are flat,
It's the culmination of everything we've feared,
'Twas a nightmare of epic proportions,
One that gave me brain contortions,
Oh wait! I mean contusions,
They put me in some institutions,
But then I escaped and now I'm free!

To sing of the virtue of pi,
Pi, pi, mathematical pi,
3.14 15 92,
65 35 89 7,
932384 62,
6433832 7.

Original image
Sylke Rohrlach, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
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Sylke Rohrlach, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

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