Saturday, July 9, 2011

Some Random Thoughts Involving Music and Biology

The New York state government is battling Giant Hogweed, a conflict of the type chronicled by Genesis in their early Seventies song The Return of the Giant Hogweed.

This news prompted me to do some research and learn that hogweed is a completely different thing than pigweed, which is referenced in a Mark Knopfler song.

The question also came to mind as to why British art rock bands always get biological nomenclature wrong, which is to say that they get it wrong in the two examples of which I am aware. The scientific name of Giant Hogweed is Heracleum mantegazzianum, but Genesis (as I confirmed from the CD booklet) gives it as "HERACLEUM MANTEGAZZIANI". Along similar lines, Yes has a song called The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus), which is apparently named after a real species of fish, whose correct name is actually Schindleria praematura.

The Wikipedia entry informs me that the English name of Schindleria praematura is Schindler's Fish . . . which should not be confused with Schindler's List . . .


  1. Bill, how the heck do you know these trivia?! And what demented scientist comes up with a name like hogweed or pigweed? Sounds like something out of Harry Potter (which is finally coming to an end in about a week).

    -- John

  2. The names hogweed and pigweed weren't devised by scientists, but are rather the traditional common names for the plants. I imagine that either they were eaten by pigs, or possessed some pig-like traits.

    As for trivia, I have always had a great interest in obscure facts in areas that interest me--but not in areas that don't. Don't ask me who won the Superbowl in 2010; I have no idea.

  3. It was Gryffindor over Ravenclaw.

    Wait, wrong sport...