They Might Be Giants: "Meet the Elements" music video (BB Video)

(Download / Watch on YouTube, video duration: 3:47.)

(Download / Watch on YouTube, video duration: 3:47.)

Today in Boing Boing Video: we proudly debut a new music video from They Might Be Giants. "Meet The Elements," an animated upbeat ode to the periodic table of elements and how they form our world. Video directed by Feel Good Anyway.

This track appears on the new TMBG kids' album "Here Comes Science."

Cory reviews the album here. (Thanks, John Flansburgh!)


  1. They are doing 2 live free shows at Union County Music Festival in Clark, NJ this weekend. Check for times. One show is for kids, one is their adult music.

  2. @theawesomerobot,
    By not pushing the play button?

    I hope that you are being sarcastic – but then again, I have met people who wanted an “opt out” option for science. Imagine if you could: Suddenly all chemical reactions in your body would stop…

  3. i ordered this cd from amazon; just got delived this morning.. can’t wait to get home and give it a listen. i don’t even have kids.

  4. I have always loved TMBG’s sciencey songs. From “The Sun is a mass of incandescent gas” to…

    “Standing in between extinction in the cold
    and explosive radiating growth
    So the warm blood flows
    Through the large four-chambered heart
    Maintaining the very high metabolism rate they have

    Mammal, mammal
    Their names are called
    They raise a paw
    The bat, the cat
    Dolphin and dog
    Koala bear and hog”

    Go Science!

  5. Wow! What a great way to start the week. Beautiful song. The music and video together is so nice. I hope they make a bunch of the songs into animations and broadcast them on Noggin. Pretty please?? :) Great scoop, BBVideo!

  6. @Darwindr: I agree that TMBG did an excellent cover of “Why Does the Sun Shine”, but I feel compelled to give some public respect to Tom Glazer, the man who wrote the song.

    It seems he also wrote the classic “On Top of Spaghetti”! (Which will now be stuck in my head for hours…)

  7. @hokano: No, you fool! It appears that, while Tom Glazer performed “Why Does the Sun Shine?” on the album Space Songs, Hy Zaret wrote the lyrics, Lou Singer the music.

    In the future, let’s try to get our facts straight before posting, hmmm?

  8. I have a bunch of older TMBG stuff, and my kids listen to selected tracks from it a lot.

    Recently, my son was out back playing with some of the neighborhood kids. They had buil Lego spaceships and were fighting each other, zipping around trees (asteroids, apparently) and shooting at each other. I couldn’t hear most of what they were saying, but at one point he suddenly stopped and pointed to the sky. He looked at his friends, put on a mock-horror face, and yelled at the top of his voice, “OH, NO! It’s a giant nuclear furnace! RUN! RUNNNNN!”

    I have GOT to get this CD.

  9. Is there anything the Johns won’t do For Science?

    There has been a spacecraft sighted
    Flying high above the sky
    Sirens declare there’s one among us from Venus!

    Volunteers, we need volunteers
    Soldiers to meet them
    Have no fear
    Have no fear
    You will be killed right away…

    I will date the girl from Venus
    Flowers die and so will I
    Yes, I will kiss the girl from Venus for science!

    I’m so brave
    I’m so brave
    I’ll be her love slave
    He’s so brave
    He’s so brave
    He’ll be her love slave forever

    Yes! I will date the girl from Venus
    Flowers die and so will I
    Yes, I will kiss the girl from Venus for science!

    Let’s get those missiles ready to destroy the universe!

  10. psst! Chalk is mostly calcium carbonate, not calcium sulfate. I love that They Might be Giants is doing chemistry. I hate that the director of the video doesn’t know it.

  11. Hi Slicklines – I’m one of the co-directors of the video. We’d really hope we didn’t lead the kids astray… According to Wikipedia, “A chalkboard or blackboard is a reusable writing surface on which text or drawings are made with sticks of calcium sulphate, known, when used for this purpose, as chalk. ” and “Sticks of processed “chalk” are produced especially for use with chalkboards in white and also in various colours. These are not actually made from chalk rock but from calcium sulfate in its dihydrate form, gypsum.” Are these incorrect? We hope not.


  12. THIS IS SO COOL! When I was working at The Franklin Institute Science Museum we needed a song about what blood does for your body. I suggested that TMBG might be the perfect band to write and perform such a song. My wonderful boss gave me the OK to contact them and a few phone calls later the contract was done and they had agreed to write the bloodmobile. We sent John Linell a list of content points and three days later we had a demo that ended being very close to the finished song that you can find here.

    It comes in three tasty resolutions.

    John was great to work with. I just wish he wasn’t so darn fast so we would have been able to work with him longer. I am so glad that the song made the album.

    Here is another video done by a 17 year old fan. It is quite different from the original but reeks of awesome!

  13. Hey, Giants! The sign on your pizza place should be all RED. Those are the only “neon” signs that contain neon!

  14. I got to see TMBG the night ‘Here Come the ABC’s’ was released, it was totally cool to see toddlers, their parents, and a bunch of teens all pogoing to ‘Clap Your Hands’ and shaking the bookstore floor. Even cooler when I got CD’s to have signed, told the Johns they were for my 7yo son and my 27yo girlfriend, and they weren’t the least phased by it.

  15. Does anyone know of an educational video, probably from the ’80s, about oxygen that had a song with, if I remember correctly, a double bass.
    The lyrics went:
    We neeeeeeed oxygen
    We breaaaaathe oxygen”

    I remember mocking the hell out of it in high school. Been looking for it for a while.

  16. Great song, but I really wish TMBG hadn’t used the sexist, outdated term “man” to refer to “humans.” Humans, Humankind, Humanity, the Human Race. I wish TMBG would write a song about that…
    Other cool songs:
    Potsie’s “Pumps Your Blood”:

    Barenaked Ladies “The History of Everything”

  17. You know, I love that my nieces and nephew get to grow up in a world of creativity, coolness and joy. Still, my generation had ‘Schoolhouse Rock’, so that’s cool.

  18. God bless BB. I am teaching elements and the periodic chart starting on Monday. This is an AWESOME hook.
    I saw TMBG in the late 80s and just saw them a year or two ago. They still rock after all these years.

  19. From my five year old, “This is the best show ever, and we get to keep it!”

    We’re always getting shows from the library :(

    Thanks Xeni, enjoy your 2 cents worth or whatever, you earned it!

  20. I have been a TMBG fan since forever, so it is only natural that my daughter has been soaked in their music all her life. She really enjoyed “Here Come the ABCs” when she was younger, and now that she is six – here comes the science! Thanks, Johns! And thanks to Feel Good Anyway for their contributions.

  21. *sigh* This is the first time a band I really thought was “out there”, catchy and cerebral became a children’s act. Bully for the kids, I guess.

  22. WOW, I LOVE THIS VIDEO!!!!!!
    I thought though you should know of one tiny error at the very end, the last compound shown is not the chemical formula for chalk. Chalk is Calcium Carbonate not Sulfate.

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