I’m a carbon atom in a CO2 up in the air,
(In the air, in the air)
Floating with the oxygen and nitrogen up there
(Nitrogen and oxygen up there)

(chords repeat)

And there I’m gonna be until I’m sucked into a tree
(Into the leaves, of a tree)
Photosynthesis captures me,
(Puts me in the leaves of a tree)

Fixed into the leaves I’m in a new situation
(Now I’m in a solid in a plant location)
‘Cause photosynthesis does carbon fixation
(Carbon fixation)


Carbon cycle, moving me around

Gaseous in the air, solid on the ground,

Carbon cycle going ’round and ’round

(Going ’round and ’round and round)

I might be fixed into a tree, or herb or weed or shrubbery,
(Or maybe an algae, floating in the sea)
But after CO2 in a producer’s where I’ll be
(Producer’s where I’ll be)

Formerly a gas, now I’m solid carbohydrate,
(Leaves and bark and fruit and wood are mostly carbohydrates)
Or possibly a grain of rice on someone’s dinner plate,
(Someone’s dinner plate)

Then maybe I’ll be eaten by a deer or mouse or bird,
(Chewed up by a goat or by a buffalo herd)
After being swallowed I could be dropped as a turd,
(Dropped down as a turd)


In a plant or animal, I might get respired,
(For energy I’ll get respired)
CO2’s released, and oxygen’s required
(Oxygen’s required)

Or possibly who carries me will fall dead to the ground,
(On to the soil on the ground)
Decomposers break me down as CO2 comes out,
CO2 comes out.

Decomposition, respiration put me in the air
(Carbon dioxide in the air)
With the clouds and nitrogen and oxygen up there
(Nitrogen and oxygen up there)


Or maybe I fall to the ground, no oxygen around,
Logs and leaves accumulate, pound by pound,
Makes me into fossil fuels deep under the ground,
(Deep under the ground)

They mine the coal, and oil and gas; combust me in machines
(CO2 emitted from machines)
And now the CO2’s at levels no one’s ever seen.
No one’s ever seen!


Return to Lyrics for March for Science Sing-a-long