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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

Benzene Back by Jess K. '10

Take it to the lab!

(What is it with me blogging about Justin Timberlake? Seriously.)

I feel like I should write something fantastically profound and meaningful about change and how I’ve grown and other such profound things, since I’m actually officially no longer a freshman (woo!). The amount of things I have to say, though, is inversely proportional to the amount of energy I have left after finals. So, I’ll put my feeling-like-a-post-finals-limp-noodle lethargy aside with a song. Not just any song – a chemistry song. On the last day of 5.12 (organic chemistry) our professor offered a free t-shirt to anyone who could come up with the best demonstration of chemical wit.

My study partner and fellow organic chemistry enthusiast Javi took this as a challenge.

I found him the next morning shacked up in the Athena cluster.

“What are you doing?! We have to study for our final!!”

After much deliberating over whether it was more chemically and lyrically acceptable to say ‘get your H on’ or ‘get your benzene on’ (and a little editing on my part) Javi finally wrote his hit single and is now well on his way to fame and fortune. And by fame and fortune, I mean he won a t-shirt.

You’ll be hearing it on radio stations everywhere, so I’ll give you a preview.

(inspired by Sexy Back, performed by Justin Timberlake)
[Verse 1]
I’m bringing benzene back
These benzenes really know how to react
Bond lengths are equal, yeah that’s a fact
Being aromatic is where it’s at..
Take it to the bridge!


Adding NO2 is so damn great
I get a plus charge when I misbehave
but then a base will take an H away

Take it to the chorus!


Come here base
Go ahead, be gone with it
Take that H
Go ahead, be gone with it
Stabilize me
Go ahead, be gone with it
Double bond on me
Go ahead, be gone with it
Let me see what you’re working with
Go ahead, be gone with it
Look at that charge
Go ahead, be gone with it
You make me aromatic
Go ahead, be gone with it
Make benzene smile
Go ahead be gone with it

And get your H on
Go ahead, be gone with it
Get your H on
Go ahead, be gone with it
Get your H on

[Verse 2]
I’m bringing benzene back
Through N. A. Substitution nucs attack
Electron withdrawing groups make it fast
Leaving group needed for it to react

Add that nucleophile!

Leaving group
This benzene no longer needs you
So when the nucleophile comes around
You’ll end up getting kicked outta Benzene town…

Take it to the lab!

Come here nuc,
Go ahead, attack me
Leaving groups
Go ahead, be gone with it
Go ahead, be gone with it
Ortho/Para on on me
Go ahead, be gone with it
Let me see what you’re working with
Go ahead, be gone with it
Look at those charges
Go ahead, be gone with it
You make charged
Go ahead, be done with it
Go ahead child
Go ahead, be gone with it

Get your benzene on
Go ahead, be done with it
Get your benzene on
Go ahead, be done with it
Get your benzene on

I’m bringing benzene back
Make me a Grignard so I’ll attack
Epoxides turn me on in no time flat
My Grignard’s burning up and that’s a fact

Attack that electrocarbon!

Dirty babe
That polar bond
Makes me your slave
It makes me wanna misbehave
epoxides make me act this way…..

Take em’ to the chorus!

Brilliant, right? You should see us perform it live.

(At least if MIT doesn’t work out, I can make it as a backup singer.)

Anyway, chemistry jokes aside, there’ll be a really profound update of profoundity (is that a word?) about the end of the year coming shortly. In the mean time, here’s a picture of me wearing really ugly pants. I won’t pretend like I have time to do laundry before finals. I mean, what? Here’s a lovely group picture of some 5.12 students and our professor, and Javi and his shirt. Who said anything about pants?

30 responses to “Benzene Back”

  1. Vihang says:

    Benzene back … awesome.
    Trust you guys to dosuch stuff.
    Why don’t you record it and post some link wink

  2. Post!

    I like the line “You make me aromatic”. Sweet =)

  3. Stephan says:

    That is awesome. You guys should consider doing one based on “My Love” and call it “My nucleophile”

  4. KT says:

    In my class–University of Kansas…we prefer bring hexane back lol

  5. gracie says:

    haha… so dorky, yet hilarious! omg… I love you guys

  6. Fred says:

    loving the “I hate myself and I want to die” shirt.

  7. mia says:

    Very Witty song!

    we’ll miss Lara toooooOoOoO, and don’t forget Dr. Berkowski!

  8. Hunter R. says:

    You should grab a camera, record yourselves performing this, and then throw it out…haha you thought I was going somewhere totally different with that didn’t you? Peace!

  9. Hunter R. says:

    You should grab a camera, record yourselves performing this, and then throw it out…haha you thought I was going somewhere totally different with that didn’t you? Peace!

  10. Jenny '11 says:

    OMG, I did something exactly like that- I put Hamlet themes into Eminem’s Lose Yourself and Fergalicious… and then I even rapped it!

  11. anonymous says:

    But … if the amount of things you have to say is inversely proportional to the amount of energy you have left, wouldn’t that mean that since you have close to zero energy, you would have an exceptionally large amount to say? Or did you mean directly proportional?

  12. Kate says:

    Wow! I love your song! It’s amazing that the lyrics both make sense and fit almost perfectly within the tune. I thought it was pretty awesome. (Oh, how I love nerdy song renditions/parodies.) Hopefully your finals went well, and thanks for brightening my evening!

    PS) Tomorrow, when this song is stuck in my head and/or I am singing it aloud, my friends are going to wonder what’s wrong with me…

  13. Jess says:

    Yeahhh.. I added more to the beginning of the sentence so that it didn’t make sense. I edited back to the way it was. Thanks, anon.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yay chemistry songs!

  15. Monica says:

    catchy! i was mentally singing it
    good luck on your final!! hope you do well =)

  16. milena '11 says:

    nice song!!

    Btw, those pants aren’t ugly, they look comfy!

  17. lendz says:

    happy TOWEL DAY! a tribute to all galactic HITCHHIKERS!

  18. Christina says:

    I made up a song the other day with Ryan. It went:
    I met an electron down at the disco
    He said hey hey hey hey let’s eject.

    that was the end of the song. Ryan said I was retarded.

    the end.

    PS – I just sang the benzene song out loud.

  19. Anonymous says:

    ahahaha anonymous, i was thinking the same thing about the whole proportionality thing. god i’m such a dorkk…

  20. Colin says:

    HAHAHAHHAHA PRAX. that is the best thing ever.

    Also, Kamber, how are we done with a whole freaking YEAR already? Lord. We were so little when I first met you.

    I’m not crying; I have something in my eye.

  21. Freiddie says:

    Really Creative Work.

  22. Anonymous says:

    anonymous- i took it as, she had SO many things to say, but so little energy to do it. she did say she’d add more later. hopefully she has a decent amount of energy tho, or we’re in for a huuuuuuuge post…

  23. Omorx says:

    Hi Jkim,
    I refer to your words:
    “I am a writer, a reader, an artist, a dreamer, a pianist, a singer, a drummer, a swimmer, a pacifist, an atheist, a humanitarian, a vegetarian (not vegan only because my parents insist “I’m still growing”, which would be nice if it were true, as I’m only 5’4″), a human rights activist, an environmentalist, a web designer, a graphics designer, a filmmaker, a scuba diver, a hopeless romantic, a generally crazy but somewhat interesting kid with her own sense of style, just content on living life.”

    It’s really interesting to know you are a little genius (maybe a big one). You would probably be the first person I’ve seen who proclaims she is crazy. Could you give me a little example of your crazy acts. Do you really wear different colors of shoes? Are there other crazy people there in MIT? Could you mention some of their crazy acts as well? Well, I’m also a crazy being but I’ve been compelled to hid my crazyiness because in the society where I live, crazy (not lunatics) people are rarely found and looked down upon. I like being crazy but my society doesn’t encourage it. I think there is joy in being crazy. What do think?

    Meanwhile, I really like Javi song. He must be a crazy being too!

  24. Troy Xu says:

    Hi MIT.
    I will come for RSI program.
    Excited *
    My MSN:[email protected]
    Hope to see you next month.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Much much love to this amazing post.

  26. Allen says:

    WOWOWWOWO!!!!!! That’s freaking amazing! It fits the song just right, I was singing it for the last 3 minutes!

  27. Ben says:

    That’s awesome!

    I did something similar once before… For my theology class freshman year, my group had to give a presentation about Saint Paul, so we made a song set to the “Radio Jingle for Goldfish”… It was pretty sweet (Not as good as “Benzene Back” though)

  28. Maxim says:

    Hi…i work for and we are looking to hire editors/bloggers to work for us and write stories about things that happen at their campus. I stumbled upon your blog and thought you would be a great candidate to work for us. If you are interested please email me at [email protected] and we can further discuss what the position entails.