Let Insects Specialize

copyright © 2003 Edward L. Stauff

These lyrics are an adaptation of the following quotation from the character of Lazarus Long in Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write a sonnet, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

I first set these Common Meter lyrics to the Sacred Harp song "Bethel"; the 4-part setting can be found in The Scarèd Harp.

1. A human should know how to change
a diaper, plan a war,
compose a sonnet, set a bone:
Let insects specialize!
2. A human should know how to lead,
and how to follow, too;
design a building, pitch manure:
Let insects specialize!
3.   A human should know how to solvev equations, cook a meal
give comfort to a dying soul:
Let insects specialize!
4. A human should know how to write
a program, butcher hogs,
to fight well and die gallantly:
Let insects specialize!