The Fossil Record

by The Amoeba People

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released May 10, 2019

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The Amoeba People Lakewood, California

The Amoeba People are musical ambassadors from the Planet Crouton, here to learn about our world, to unravel the wonders of its natural history, to study the life which inhabits it and to parse the mysteries of the human species by learning its dance moves. The band consists of Mr. Hedgpeth (captain), Mr. Jordan (navigator), and Mr. Mosley (engineer and technician). ... more

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Track Name: Back to the Beginning
Deep time--what's it really all about?
Is it even something we can know about?
How deep can you dig into history?
The deeper you go, the deeper the mystery
You can give it a name like Precambrian Time
But that's 4 billion years on a very long timeline

Magma to granite
Sandstone to quartzite
Limestone to marble
And shale into slate

(chorus)
Can you take me back when the Earth was newly spinning?
Can you take me back, back, back, back to the beginning?
Can you take me back when the Earth was newly spinning?
Can you take me back, back, back, back to the beginning?
Time is marching on
On and on and on
(no stopping, no stopping, you just can't stop it!)
Time is marching on
On and on and on

Precambrian Time, mysterious, primeval
A time of great geologic upheaval
Primitive life in a shifting landscape
Try to comprehend it, it's enough to make you go ape

Magma to granite
Sandstone to quartzite
Limestone to marble
And shale into slate

(repeat chorus)

instrumental

The Precambrian! Comprising seven-eights of Earth's history!

(repeat chorus)

From Precambrian to the Paleozoic
From the Mesozoic to the Cenozoic!
From Precambrian to the Paleozoic
From the Mesozoic to the Cenozoic!
From Precambrian to the Paleozoic
From the Mesozoic to the Cenozoic!
From Precambrian to the Paleozoic
From the Mesozoic to the Cenozoic!

Time is marching on . . .
Track Name: The Terrible Lizards
Archaeopteryx, Giriffitan, Seismosaurus, Stegasaurus
Brachiosaurus, Megalosaurus, Dilophosaurus,
Plateosaurus, Cetiosaurus, Patagosaurus,
Saltopus, Aardonyx, Hypsilophodon

We are the terrible lizards
Wiped out by a post-asteroid blizzard
We are the terrible lizards
Fossilized bones put back together

Supersaurus, Triceratops, Velociraptor, Gallimimus,
Ankylosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Gilmoreosaurus,
Graciloceratops, Lambeosaurus, Dromeosaurus,
Baronyx, Dracorex, Minmi, Kakuru

We are the terrible lizards
Wiped out by a post-asteroid blizzard
We are the terrible lizards
Fossilized bones put back together

Coloradosaurus, Amygdalodon, Apatasaurus, Bambiraptor,
Irritator, Protoceratops, Gargoylosaurus,
Harpymimus, Allosaurus, Gigantosaurus,
CHIALINGASAURUS!

We are the terrible lizards . . . wiped out . . .
Track Name: Volcano!
Volcano!
Volcano!
Volcano!

Hey!

In the year 79 AD
Mt. Vesuvius erupted
Burying the nearby cities
Of Herculaneum and Pompeii
In a layer of hot, scalding, ash and rock
Known as a pyroclastic flow

Nearly two thousand years
After the eruption
The preserved remains
Of the inhabitants of Pompeii
Were discovered and excavated
A terrifying reminder
Of the volcano's awesome strength

Volcano!
Volcano!
Volcano!

1883, Krakatau, Indonesia
One of the loudest
Volcanic eruptions ever recorded
With an eruption loud enough
To be heard 3,000 miles away,
It resulted in a tsunami so large,
More than 30,000 people perished
As a result
Another sobering reminder
Of the volcano's awesome strength!

Volcano!
Volcano!
Volcano!
Track Name: Chicxulub
Chicxulub, there is a crater down in Chicxulub
Don’t be a hater, brother, don’t be rude
It’s only Chixculub

Chicxulub, there is a crater down in Chicxulub
One hundred million megatons of doom
Came down with a boom

Oh, it happened in the late Cretaceous
And it’s impact was bodaceous
When that asteroid hit

Oh, a giant fireball lit up the sky
Oceans boiled and the creatures fried
And there was nowhere to hide

Megatsunamis scrubbed clean every shore in the vicinity of the impact site!

It was unlike anything those dinosaurs had ever see,
Uh-huh

Chicxulub, what a disaster, brother
Chicxulub, destructive like no other
Chicxulub, oh what a bummer it was

Chicxulub, apocalyptic it was
Chicxulub, nothing cryptic
Just a crash and boom
And then planet-wide doom

Oh, yes it slammed into the Yucatan
Which became a giant frying pan
Cooking the atmosphere

Oh, a cloud of CO2 blocked out the Sun
Ash and fire rained on everyone
And there was nowhere to run

The only survivors were those who could dig or dive to the depth of the sea

A dubious distinction that was caused by mass extinction
In that fiery global foundry call the K-Pg boundary
Where the dinosaurs they will dine no more, yeah, uh-huh

Chicxulub, there is a crater down in Chicxulub
Don’t be a hater, brother, don’t be rude
It’s only Chicxulub

Chicxulub, it seems so docile down in Chicxulub
Nothing but fossils now are left of those creatures long gone
Forever those creatures are gone! (repeat)
Track Name: Girl Talk
Last name Tharp, first name Marie
With an expertise in cartography
Got a job mapping the ocean floor
Using sonar data from the second World War
But she needed new data to complete her map
So they loaded up a research vessel ASAP

They sailed out on the sea
But they didn’t bring along Marie

They didn’t let women on the research vessel
So with map-making tools Marie did wrestle
She showed it to her colleague Bruce Heezen
He said, Marie, you got no rhyme or reason.

She caused a commotion
When she said there was a rift valley at the bottom of the ocean

Girl Talk!
That’s what the man said, yeah, that’s what the man said, he called it
Girl Talk!
Rejected like that, in two seconds flat, he called it
Girl Talk!
A valley with a rift implies continental drift
There ain’t no place science
For your stubborn reliance on that
Girl Talk!
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!

So Marie went back to the drawing board
Literally, she had a drawing board
She checked her map, she checked it twice
To be triple sure, she checked it thrice
She took it back and showed it to Bruce
And this time he called a truce
He shook his head and said Marie Marie
I think I owe you an apology
Your map is right, yes I must admit
But I’m worried that this map implies Continental Drift

They published it anyway
Even though the scientists were bound to say

T’aint nothin’ but
Girl Talk!
That’s what the men said, yeah that’s what the men said they called it
Girl Talk!
Rejected like that, in two seconds flat, they called it
Girl Talk!
A valley with a rift implies Continental Drift
There ain’t no place in science for your
Stubborn reliance on that
Girl Talk!
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!

Still one man was intrigued
He was a well known scientific celebrity
Jacques Cousteau was his name
Undersea exploration was his kind of game
He said, Huh huh hee hee, I’ll go under the sea
I’ll be sure to take Marie’s map with me
I’ll film it for the whole world to see
And settle this bubbling controversy
Sacre Bleu, how can it be?
Everything’s where Marie said it would be!
The rift valley, every mountain peak
It’s enough to make a man’s knees grow weak

It caused a revolution
Marie Tharp’s girl talk was the solution

Girl Talk!
That’s what the man said, yeah that’s what the man said, he called it
Girl Talk!
With photographic proof, they learned the truth
Girl Talk!
A valley with a rift proved continental drift
She changed modern science
With her stubborn reliance on that girl talk

Girl Talk!
Girl Talk!
Girl Talk!
Track Name: Rockin' the Mesozoic
Dinosaur bones
In the dinosaur hall
Might blow your mind,
MIght make you feel small
But if you try to write us off
Just because we're extinct
Let me drop a little thought
That might make you rethink

You might think you’re big now
Look at how you rule the Earth
But it just takes an asteroid
To really show you what you’re worth now

(chorus)
Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous
Don’t matter where you place us
Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous
Our timeline is spacious
Bones in a museum might look stoic
But we’re still rockin'
Rockin' the Mesozoic

Try to wrap your head around
The mesozoic era
No you can’t, no you can’t
So let me be clearer
150 million years
Compared to you
Is like a molecule of water
In an double-wide pool


You might think you’re big now
Look at how you rule the Earth
But it just takes an asteroid
To really show you what you’re worth now

Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous
Don’t matter where you place us
Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous
Our timeline is spacious
Bones in a museum might look stoic
But we’re still rockin'
Rockin' the Mesozoic

Dinosaur bones
In the dinosaur hall
And a comparison chart
To make you really feel small
Track Name: The Aa Aa Pahoehoe Lava Rock Walk
Out in Hawaii
Where the lava freely flows
Out of the tops of the volcanoes
When the lava cools off
You know it hardens into rock
That's how it goes
That's how it flows

Out in Hawaii
Where the lava freely flows
Out of the tops of the volcanoes
They do the aa aa pahoehoe lava rock walk
Hey, don't knock it till you try it, my friend

Aa aa is really sharp and jagged
And it hurts when you walk in bare feet
When the lava's really viscous
It's an indication this is gonna make some sharp rock
Owwee

Pahoehoe forms when lava's swiftly flowing
It's billowy and pillowy too
It's smooth and undulating
Just like hair before a braiding
And when you walk in bare feet
Ah ah, ooh ooh
Track Name: Goodbye Pangaea
300 million years ago
Before the great landmass began to break and flow
The continents all were together
But it’s like they say, nothing lasts forever

After 150 million years had passed
Pangaea began to break apart at last
It broke into two large pieces of land
One was Laurasia and the other Gondwanaland

(chorus)
Singing so long, it’d be so good to see ya
But you’re long gone, goodbye Pangaea
You had your fun and you played your part
But now the time has come for you to drift apart
Singing so long, goodbye Pangaea

Plates were shifting, mountains were lifting
The pieces got smaller and they kept on drifting
Shifting boundaries, crumpling layers
India hit Asia and formed the Himalayas

(chorus)

After many years of drifting and grinding
The continents moved to where you now find em
But if you think we’re done with our driftin days
This is a just a stop along the way

(chorus)
Track Name: Farmer Hutton and Mary Anning
Hey Farmer Hutton
Well you hit it on the button
On the button, Farmer Hutton
Aye, ye did!

You had the gritty gumption
To declare the brass assumption
That the age of planet Earth
In rocks is hid

Who's the one who sells the shells
The shells she found down by the shore?
She's the one who sells the shells
Yes, she's the sea shell seller of lore

You'd know her better if they had let her
Enroll at Oxford or Cambridge perhaps
But this sea sheller wasn't a feller
And therefore she couldn't attend with the chaps
Track Name: Coprolites
Coprolites, coprolites
Fossilized waste products from a distant time
And when I die
I hope I leave behind
A legacy like the one that fell from that dino's behind

What is there to do?
When your poo outlasts you?
It's humbling to say the least
When all that's left of the beast
Are the remnants of the feast
Track Name: Heigh Ho Grand Canyon
Heigh Ho! Grand Canyon!
Heigh Ho!
Heigh Ho! Grand Canyon!
Heigh Ho!

Oh, the Colorado River
Flows down, down
Through northern Arizona
Carving down through the sandstone
Descending one mile deep
Into the fossil record

Revealing Earth's natural history
In sedimentary layers
The world has rarely seen
A journey into a lost time
And adventure down
Through nature's time machine

(chorus)

Millions of years ago
In a lost time
The Colorado Plateau
Began to slowly rise
And it changed the grade
Of the river
And the canyon it carved
Began to grown in size

(chorus)

Long before cars could drive there
Before tourists could survive there
The Hopi called in Ongtupqa
A kind of sacred place
Let me explain it to ya

Whether rich or poor or a scholar
A reminder how small we all are
When the sun shines down in the moring
Makes that mule train ride
Makes those park rangers sing

(chorus)
Track Name: I'm a Geophysicist
I’m a geophysicist,
She’s a geophysicist,
And everybody at this meeting’s
Also on the geo-list.

It takes a lot of disciplines
To reconstruct the past
‘Cause the timescale that we’re dealing with
Is infinitely vast.

I was just about to call
This conference here to order
When the volcanologist
Pulled out a little tape recorder.

He said, “I’m just about to get
A groovin’ and a rhyming.
To a volcanologist, you know,
It’s all about the timing.”

The paleoclimatologist
Raised an objection:
“The climate of this talk
is moving in the wrong direction!”

“Don’t make me lose my apatite,”
Said the mineralogist.
“My stomach’s moving left to right!”
Said the seismologist.

“I’m shifting in my seat,”
Said the plate tectonicist.
“When do we eat?”
Said the biogeochemist.

“Can you please . . . slow . . . down . . .”
Said the glaciologist.
“Everybody settle down!”
Cried the sedimentologist.

I could see this conference
Was dissolving into chaos.
At any moment this could be
A full-blow San Andreas.

So I reached for the nearest thing
That garnered my attention,
And lifting high a glass
I addressed the whole convention:

“Everybody grab a cup
And let’s propose a toast,
‘Cause the planet that we live on
Is our planetary host.

We all have different disciplines
There is no right or wrong.
I want to hear you clink those mugs
And hear you chant along!

I’m a geophysicist,
She’s a geophysicist,
And everybody at this meeting’s
Also on the geo-list.

It takes a lot of disciplines
To reconstruct the past
‘Cause the timescale that we’re dealing with
Is infinitely vast.”
Track Name: The Ballad of Barnum Brown
T’was a cold December morning back in 1898.
A brave young fossil hunter was a’ pondering his fate,
When he heard there was a ship that was about to leave the dock.
There was room for him if he could somehow beat the clock.

A scientific expedition was about the raise it’s sail
And this young fossil hunter knew he couldn’t drag his tail.
It was bound for Patagonia, a place without renown,
But the fossils that were rumored seemed to call to Barnum Brown.

Patagonia proved brutal and his spirits quickly fell
And the outcome of the journey not a single soul could tell.
The digs were hard, there seemed to be no fossils to be found
But Barnum was convinced somewhere they’d find that hallowed ground.

He felt if he could take a boat just up the coast a bit
He’d find those fossils with determination and some grit.
The others in the expedition countered with a scoff.
“You’d be a fool to sail away alone and venture off!”

Early that next morning Barnum struck out his own
But his tiny boat soon crashed and he was weary and alone.
Somehow he made it through and found his way back to his mates.
They were not too pleased that he had tampered with the fates.

They called to him across the waves and helped him to the shore.
And found that in his boat he carried fossils by the score!
A bold and daring lad he was which soon brought him renown.
And soon all fossil hunters knew the name of Barnum Brown.


It was only two years later that he blew everyone’s minds
The world by then was quite abuzz with ancient fossil finds
In the Badlands of Wyoming lurked a hidden fossil trove
Buried like a treasure deep within a pirate’s cove

Barnum wiped his brow as his crew looked on in shock.
They found frightful skeleton embedded in the rock.
It’s massive teeth and giant head were fearful to behold
Barnum felt a shiver as the wind blew hard and cold.

He lifted up a knife-like tooth and held it in his hand.
To think this deadly creature once had roamed across the land.
In ancient time this monster terrorized its helpless pray
But its fossils were the only thing that Barnum found that day.

It’s name became synonymous with nature pure and raw.
Tyrannosaurus rex the name that still inspires awe.
But there’s another name that deserves it’s own renown
The greatest of all fossil hunters—that was Barnum Brown.
Track Name: Geology Folk Song Medley
1. MEANDERING RIVER

Meandering river
You roll on down the plain
Eroding and unloading
The rocks that you find
Until you make an oxbow lake

You know where you’re going
Where gravity’s inclined
Just look at all the wonders
That you leave behind
Meandering river and time

2. EMPTY TENTS IN THE VALLEY

Empty tents in the valley
Where did those geologists go?
Are they up on the cliff?
Or down in the schist?
Or floating in that river below?

Empty tents in the valley
Where did those geologists go?
Empty tents in the valley
We may never, ever know

3. MY DARLING TALUS SLOPE

There once was a girl that I courted
And I called her my talus slope
I thought she was my one true love
But she left me and called me a dope

There once was a girl that he courted
And he called her his clastic wedge
But his geologic term of endearment
Finally sent her over the edge

4. DIG IT DIG IT DEEP (THE BATHOLITH SONG)

You gotta dig it dig it deep
(dig it dig it deep)
Dig it down to the pith
(dig it down to the pith)
If you wanna get down
(if you wanna get down)
To the batholith
(to the batholith)

It’s like a giant blimp
(like a giant blimp)
In the crust of the planet
(in the crust of the planet)
But you’ve never seen a blimp
(you’ve never seen a blimp)
Made of rock solid granite
(rock solid granite)

You gotta dig it dig it deep, etc.

5. THE OUTCROP IN THE SKY

When our earthly time has run
And we face life’s setting sun
We’re rollin’ to the outcrop in the sky

We might erode or crystallize
Or subduct and orogenize
Or just roll on to the outcrop in the sky

6. MIGHTY FINE HAMMER

Well it’s a mighty fine hammer
Ringing through the canyon
It’s a mighty fine hammer
Ringin’ cross the land
It’s a mighty fine hammer
Ringing from the mountain
Ringing out to every
Woman, child and man

No, we’re not going home!
No, we won’t be moved!
We’ll keep chippin’ away
We’ve got something to prove
No, we won’t be satisfied!
We’ll hammer round the clock
Until we learn that mineral
Composition of the rock!

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