Thursday, 21 May 2009

The Charles Babbage Song

By Alison Adam. Winner of the 2009 History of Science Songs Competition!

Tune - Clementine

Let us sing, now, of Charles Babbage
Let us have an oration
Shows that his was not a drab age
As he invented computation

Leibniz, Pascal, Boole and Turing
These are names that can’t compete
With the Analytical Engine’s luring
And Babbage’s amazing feat

Enchantress of Numbers, Ada Lovelace
First programmer’s not a chap
Looks down on, from some above place
Programming’s continued gender gap

Later folks lived in a lab age
Easier to make your kit
None approached it like Charles Babbage
Though he never quite built it

Then he wrote a Bridgewater Treatise
‘Twas a substantial contribution
Showed us God’s world seen through neat eyes
Paved the way for evolution

He thought science was declining
Wanted it to be reformed
As the Royal Society’s not shining
Said the establishment must be stormed

British Asses, glad of Babbage
And his role in their founding
Proves the truth of Groucho’s adage
Don’t be a member of the club you’re in

Let us sing, now, of Charles Babbage
Despite an occasional folly path
Shows the fab age, have a stab age
Of that splendid polymath

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