(or Mathematical Pi to the tune of ‘American Pie’)

by Ken Ferrier and Antoni Chan

Pi, pi, mathematical pi

A long, long time ago
Long before the Super Bowl and things like lemonade
The Hellenic Republic was full of smarts
And a question resting on the Grecian hearts
Was “What is the circumference of a circle?”
But they were set on rational numbers
And it ranks among their biggest blunders
They worked on it for years
And confirmed one of their biggest fears
I can’t be certain if they cried when irrationality was realized
But something deep within them died
the day they discovered pi.
They were thinking

Pi, pi, mathematical pi
3 point 14 15 92
65 35 89 7
932384 62
6433832 7 (not rounded)

Well this kind of pie is different than most
It hasn’t got berries, ain’t spread on toast
And that’s how it’s always been
We keep extending its decimal places
Pushing our computers through their paces
But we’ll never reach the end

So why the fascination with
A number whose end is just a myth
Whence the adulation
For mental masturbation
It might have something to do with the stars
To calculate distances from afar
But that’s just a guess ’bout the way things are
Regarding the precision of pi
I am pondering

Now I feel that I should mention
Pi is applicable in any dimension
At least as far as I know
If there were no Pi we’d be missing things
Like marbles and mugs and balls of string
And sports such as soccer and curling
The orbs in their celestial paths
Navigate along elliptical graphs
Ellipses have pi in them too
Just one side of them has grew
You can see pi in most everything
It’s in Cornell’s Electron Storage Ring
And also in slinkies and other springs
And that’s why it’s important to know pi
You should memorize

Once one night I had a dream
That pi was gone and I had to scream
Cause all pi things had disappeared (pause)
Can you imagine a world like that
Circles aren’t round and spheres are flat
It’s the culmination of everything we’ve feared
‘Twas a nightmare of epic proportions
One that gave me brain contortions
Oh wait! I mean contusions
They put me in some institutions
But then I escaped and now I’m free
To sing of the virtue of pi


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