Saturday, December 8, 2007

The PhD Blues

I'm not a postdoc any more, and this ditty dates from my PhD days. But maybe the cool kids will let me play anyway!

Here's a song my friend and I wrote when we were deep into the final year of our PhDs and had no money to do anything other than stay home and muck about with our guitars. The tune is our own; if you ever meet me in real life (and provide enough beer) I may be persuaded to sing and play it for you. (My labmates used to try this tactic to get me to sing it in front of my supervisor. Even though it was actually about my friend's supervisor, not mine, I never ever got drunk enough to even be tempted).

NB the red text is sung in a stupid voice that is supposed to be that of a supervisor.

I've got myself an inner frown,
Make your face reflect that.
If you're doing a PhD,
You really should expect that.
Don't know what I'm doing here,
Oh I got the PhD blues.

My supervisor is a bam1,
My results reflect that.
When all of this began,
Why did I accept that?
Now I need a new career,
Oh I got the PhD blues.

My friends are all on thirty grand2,
I drink the cheapest cider.
This isn't what I planned,
I got no boyfriend either.
My drinking's getting out of hand,
Oh I got the PhD blues.

Now I think I'm going mad,
I dream about my thesis.
I'm forgetting how to talk,
To ordinary people.
Got to get me out of here,
Oh I got the PhD blues.

OK, so it's no Cuttlefish, but it kept us amused when we had no money to do anything but stay home with our guitars and drink cider!

I actually wrote a final verse when my friend graduated, but it is unbloggable as it basically identifies her to anyone who knows how to use PubMed.

1Either Scottish or Irish slang (I'm not sure which) for Very Stupid Person.
2That's UK pounds... an unimaginable amount of money to us back then!


  1. When can I come visit? I'll bring beer, rum, tequila...whatever it takes! :-)

  2. Rum or tequila are likely to make me throw up on my guitar rather than play it... bring beer, wine, vodka and gin and I'll see what I can do!

  3. this is awesome! love it! thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for the feedback! If I ever bothered to practice my guitar I could have a whole new career here. Every geeky conference in the world would book me for their social event.


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