Teddy, don’t be a hero, don’t fall in love with your story / Teddy, don’t be a hero, there’s more to science than glory

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The marchin’ band came down along Tenure Street
The grad students fell in behind
I looked across and there I saw Teddy
Waiting to go and join the line
And with her head upon his shoulder
His young and lovely R.A.
From where I stood I saw she was cryin’
And through her tears I heard her say:

Teddy, don’t be a hero, don’t fall in love with your story
Teddy, don’t be a hero, there’s more to science than glory
And as he started to go she said, Teddy, keep your head low
Teddy, don’t be a hero, come back to me.

The lab assistants were trapped on a hillside
The battle raging all around
The postdoc cried, We’ve got to hang on, boys!
We’ve got to hold this now or later
I need a volunteer to ride up
And bring us back some extra data
And Teddy’s hand was up in a moment
Forgettin’ all the words she said.

She said:
Teddy, don’t be a hero, don’t fall in love with

your story
Teddy, don’t be a hero, there’s more to science than glory
And as he started to go she said, Teddy, keep your head low
Teddy, don’t be a hero, come back to me.

I heard his R.A. got a letter
That told how Teddy got that star
The letter said that he was a hero
She should be proud he reached NPR
I heard she threw that letter far.

Apologies to Mitch Murray and Peter Callander.

I’m pretty sure that most of you have never heard of this song, but I remember it vividly from one year in elementary school. Anyway, as regular readers know, I hate the scientist-as-hero narrative.

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