Sung to the tune of "It's a long way to Tipperary"

"It's a Long Way from Amphioxus"


Oh a fish-like thing appeared among the annelids one day

It hadn't any parapods nor setae to display

It hadn't any eyes or jaws or ventral nervous chord,

But it had a lot of gill slits and it had a notochord.




It's a long way from Amphioxus

It's a long way to us,

It's a long way from Amphioxus

To the meanest human cuss.

Well, it's good-bye to fins and gill slits,

And it's welcome lungs and hair,

It's a long, long way from Amphioxus

But we all came from there.



It wasn't much to look at and it scarce knew how to swim,

And Nerius was very sure it hadn't come from him

The molluscs wouldn't own it and the arthropods got sore,

So the poor thing had to burrow in the sand along the shore.




He burrowed in the sand before a crab did nip his tail,

And he said, "Gill slits and myotomes are all to no avail,

I've grown some metoplural folds and sport an oral hood,

But all these fine new characters don't do me any good."




He sulked a while down in the sand without a bit of pep,

Then he stiffened up his notochord and said "I'll beat 'em yet,

Let 'em laugh and show their ignorance I don't mind their jeers,

Just wait until they see me in 100 million years!"




My notochord shall change into a chain of vertebrae,

And as fins my metoplural folds shall agitate the sea;

My tiny dorsal nervous chords shall be a mighty brain,

And the vertebrae shall dominate the animal domain."