As both a scientist and a music fan, it’s a rare event when the two worlds overlap. Most songs you can find with a scientific bent are usually too cutesy, or just downright annoying. That’s why the work of Jonathan Coulton is such a pleasant surprise.

Best known as the “troubador” accompanying John Hodgman on the audio version (and book tour) for The Areas of My Expertise, Coulton’s alt-folk songs are clever, charming and extremely catchy. For extra geek cred, Coulton hosts a regular podcast for Popular Science magazine, and released an EP entitled “Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Cybernetic Arms” to accompany a special issue of the magazine on the future of the body.

Coulton releases everything under a Creative Commons license, and you can download many tracks for free here. For the scientists, you’ll particularly want to grab “That Spells DNA”, “Mandelbrot Set”, “Bacteria” and the lovely ode to Pluto, “I’m Your Moon”. Be warned in advance that he drops the occasional f-bomb, so listen first before playing these loudly in front of impressionable listeners.

Addendum: Apparently the New Scientist was thinking along the same lines I was–they’re asking for suggestions for the Top 10 Science Pop Songs.