## Yellow Pig Carols

Tomorrow is Yellow Pig Day, which is a yearly tradition here at HCSSiM during which we celebrate our mascot the yellow pig and our favorite number, 17.

In particular, there will be an hour and a half lecture during which we will hear many surprising and elegant 17 facts (examples: the longest time anybody has ever sat in a tub of ketchup? 17 hours. The average adolescent male has a sexually related thought how often? Every 17 seconds).

Some time after the 17 lecture we get together to sing Yellow Pig Carols. These are usually set to the tune of some song, with the lyrics changed to refer to math, in particular the number 17, and yellow pigs, Weird Al Yankovic- style. Check out this list for a taste.

But there’s a problem, which is that the songs are really old and many of the tunes are unknown to this crop of kids. In desperate need of a revamp, I got my workshop to write a new song, which I’m super proud of. We started out by voting on a song (winner: Somewhere Over the Rainbow) for which we wrote new lyrics. Here they are:

**Some July Seventeenth**

Some july seventeenth

when pigs fly

we’ll see patches of yellow

scattered across the sky

Some “f” over the reals

satisfy

f of x plus f of y

is f-of-x plus y

someday I’ll find another g

besides f of t is k t or zer-o

and then I will compose the two

and get solutions that are new

they’ll appear-o

Some groups they are abelian

they commute

but some have commutators

whose actions are not moot

The action on the complex plane

by matrices is so in-sanely dum-ber

than even that of conjugation

whose equivalence relation pairs the num-bers

Some july seventeenth

when pigs fly

we’ll see patches of yellow

scattered across the sky

Honestly I thought it would stop there, but people around here have been on a tear. My hilarious junior staff Maxwell Levit has written a *brilliant* song based on Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know”. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you will have heard that song (and if you haven’t heard that song, please go ahead and do so now), about a guy wondering why this woman has left him and won’t talk to him, and then she comes in and tells her story which is how much of a manipulative creep he really was. There’s a dramatic video featuring nakedness and body paint which adds to the drama and to the song.

Well Max just turned that shit around and now it’s Fermat singing to Fermat’s Last Theorem, wondering where he went wrong, and then the theorem talks back and tells us the real deal. Plus he uses the word “marginalia,” which is in itself awesome. Here it is:

**A Theorem that I used to know**

(Fermat)

Now and then I think of Diophantine equations

Like how Pythagoras showed the case for n=2

Told myself that I understood,

And didn’t write down what I thought I would

Remember when I looked back at my marginalia

You can get addicted to a certain type of hubris

Assuming you don’t need to use elliptic curves

So when I found my proof did not make sense,

I knew it wasn’t my incompetence

But I’ll admit I was confused to say the least.

But you didn’t have to be so hard,

Make out like my intuitive method was for nothing

I don’t even need to know

But they treat you like Wiles solved you and that feels so rough

No you didn’t have to stoop so low

Elliptic curves and modular forms lack in imagination

I guess I don’t need you though,

Now you’re just some theorem that I used to know.

Now you’re just some theorem that I used to know.

Now you’re just some theorem that I used to know.

(theorem)

Now and then I think of when you said you’d solved me.

Part of me believing I had some marvelous proof.

But I don’t really work that way.

Adhering to everything you say.

You said that you could let it go,

And you shouldn’t get too hung up on a theorem that you used to know!

(Fermat)

But you didn’t have to be so hard,

Make out like my intuitive method was for nothing

I don’t even need to know

But they treat you like Wiles solved you and that feels so rough

No you didn’t have to stoop so low

Elliptic curves and modular forms lack in imagination

I don’t even need you though,

Now you’re just some theorem that I used to know.

*[x2]*

Some Theorem!

(I used to know)

Some Theorem!

(Now you’re just some theorem that I used to know)

(I used to know)

(That I used to know)

(I used to know)

Some Theorem!

We’re gonna make Devin Ivy, a fantastically funny junior staff here as well as a photographer, play Gotye/ Fermat in the video, with yellow pigs getting continually plastered all over his body. He’s Gotye’s spitting image:

I know they’re just jokes, but this “guys think about sex every X seconds” meme is a pretty terrible stereotype from everyone’s point of view. (Why is it never girls? What does that say about the view of sex and of gender relations that you’re tacitly condoning?)

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Really?

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Powerful stereotypes are based on truthiness, and in my experience they are dangerous to more or less exactly the extent they seem true.

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Small world moment: I studied in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program with Devin. What a pleasant surprise to see his face on a blog I read!

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nice! devin rocks. obviously.

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