They're Just Bugs!

by John Riggio

Depending on who you ask, the insect world is fascinating and beautiful. Or just plain gross. Or both. Whatever the reality, most school curriculums will ask students to familiarize themselves with at least portions of "bugdom." With that in mind, we present you with a fun-filled, educational look at insects to help bring your music class (once more) across the curriculum. Not for the squeamish, "They're Just Bugs!" is a buzzy rock piece that supports both views (cool vs. gross), and your kids might just learn a few things.

If you use the P/A CD or cassette, you'll hear crickets chirping on the intro, plus a bumble bee buzzing in stereo from one side to another. The guitar and bass parts are doubled throughout by buzzy synthesizers, thus adding to the "bug" effect.

The first section features a rapped (spoken) unison part which lists various types of insects, followed by a sung part which gives some facts about insects. This is repeated, each time giving a soloist a chance to exclaim, "Eyooo!" or "Cool!" at the end of the rapped part, as ours did on the recording.

The next section (the "ah" section) features two parts. Part 1 sings, listing various insects and bug data, and part 2 yells, "They're just bugs to me!" in response. The two alternating parts have a nifty effect and we emphasize this on the CD by panning the two parts left and right just slightly. The last section brings it home with a beefed up version of the chorus and some cool bass slapping.

You may prefer to use this song with your middle to upper grades as the rhythms and the subject matter may be a bit too... "sophisticated" for young children. However you use it, be prepared for a little classroom debating: are bugs awesome or revolting? Invite your classroom teachers in to moderate and let your students express their opinions!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.