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 L, Me Say L !
Lyrics by Walter F. Smith
© 2003
Tune: Banana Boat Song (traditional)


(Click here to play tune in the background.)

Lyrics and chords: Word format .. PDF format
Lyrics only: Word format .. PDF format

Note: A dash after a syllable indicate that it is extended over two notes. Underlines indicate emphasis. Verses 3 and 5 are sung with the "beautiful bunch of ripe bananas" version of the tune.

[Start out slowly.]
1. L – me say L-
Angular momentum equals r cross- p- !
L – vector cap L
[Slow down even more for this next line]
Magnitude of I omega, don’t you see.

[Pause, then start up slowly, gathering
speed as you go through the next two lines.]

2. Come, let us calculate angular momentum!
Angular momentum equals r cross- p- !
r from the center gets crossed into momentum!
Magnitude of I omega, don’t you see.
3. Spin all night, and spin all day!
Angular momentum equals r cross- p- !
L is conserved, it won’t fade away!
Magnitude of I omega, don’t you see.
4. L is a vector, and it points along the axis.
Angular momentum equals r cross- p- !
r p sin theta never wanes and never waxes!
Magnitude of I omega, don’t you see.
5. Torque external can change the L!
Angular momentum equals r cross- p- !
tau is d-L d-t, now ain’t that swell!
Magnitude of I omega, don’t you see.
6. L – me say capital L
Angular momentum equals r cross- p- !
L – me say vector cap L
Magnitude of I omega, don’t you see.

To download the midi (instrumental accompaniment) file, right click here and choose "Save Target As..."

Learn more about angular momentum from Hyperphysics

Background image: Considerations of angular momentum are critical for theories of star and solar system formation. This image shows a simulation of the total advective radial flux of axial angular momentum for a newly-formed star, from Lawrence Berkeley Labs.

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