Thermodynamics by Flanders and Swann


Michael Flanders (1922-1975) and Donald Swann (1923-1994) were a British comedy duo who wrote and performed comic songs. Swann played the piano and Flanders sang in his wheelchair (he contracted polio in 1943). Here are the words of their jazzy "First and Second Law."

You can hear them performing it at THIS LINK.

First and Second Law

The first law of thermodynamics
Heat is work and work is heat
Heat is work and work is heat
Very good
The second law of thermodynamics
Heat cannot of itself pass from one body to a hotter body
Heat cannot of itself pass from one body to a hotter body
Heat won't pass from a cooler to a hotter
Heat won't pass from a cooler to a hotter
You can try it if you like but you far better notter
You can try it if you like but you far better notter
'Cause the cold in the cooler will be hotter as a ruler
'Cause the cold in the cooler will be hotter as a ruler
Because the hotter body's heat will pass through the cooler
Heat is work and work is heat
And work is heat and heat is work
Heat will pass by conduction
Heat will pass by conduction
And heat will pass by convection
And heat will pass by convection
And heat will pass by radiation
And heat will pass by radiation
And that's a physical law
Heat is work and work's a curse
And all the heat in the universe
It's gonna cool down as it can't increase
Then there'll be no more work
And they'll be perfect peace
Really?
Yeah, that's entropy, man!
And all because of the second law of thermodynamics, which lays down
That you can't pass heat from the cooler to the hotter
Try it if you like but you far better notter
'Cause the cold in the cooler will get hotter as a ruler
'Cause the hotter body's heat will pass through the cooler
Oh, you can't pass heat from the cooler to the hotter
You can try it if you like but you far better notter
'Cause the cold in the cooler will get hotter as a ruler
That's the physical law
Ooh, I'm hot!
What? That's because you've been working
Oh, Beatles? Nothing!
That's the first and second law of thermodynamics...

Last Updated April 2020