I have recently been hearing the title track of the Mystery Jets recent album, Serotonin, quite a bit on 6Music. The song was named, I assume, for the monamine neurotransmitter derived from tryptophan (which is found in, among other things, cheese). It is popularly known as the happiness hormone – though is not in fact, a hormone at all but does contribute to feelings of well-being (certainly good cheese has that effect on me). However, I could only hear the boys singing of Sarah Tonin – who I was forced to assume was an object of current or past desire.
2011 is the International Year of Chemistry, and this led me to wonder if other organic chemicals shared girl’s names in this way – and could thus form the basis of a round of Late Arrivals at the Biochemists Ball (or further indie band album tracks or titles). To my delight, I found that many did…
The most common female name in any organic chemistry lab must surely by Ethel, as in Ethel Alcohol or Ethel Aishun. If we take Ethel Alcohol and combine her with a carboxylic acid, we produce another young lady, Ester.
Returning to neurotransmitters we have Nora Drenaline (whose married name would be Penepherine). We also have Tyra Meen, Mel Atonin and Ann Andamine.
With a small amount of licence, I rather like Roxy Tosin. Other hormonal ladies would include Tess Osterone and Angie O’Tensin.
The downside with this riff is that it does require rather a lot of background in biochemistry – and this may prejudice its use for naming pieces of popular music. However, as you will know, this blog does not shy away from an intellectual challenge and so, if necessary, I shall form my own popular beat combo to teach basic organic chemistry through the medium of indie love songs.