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Tom Lehrer- Your favorite song? What's he doing?

DigiTrad:
ALMA
BE PREPARED 2
BRIGHT COLLEGE DAYS
CHRISTMAS TIME
CLEMENTINE (2)
ELEPHANTS (The Force of Habit---ROUND)
FIGHT FIERCELY, HARVARD!
HUNTING SONG
I WANNA GO BACK TO DIXIE
I'LL HOLD YOUR HAND IN MINE
IN OLD MEXICO
LOBACHEVSKY
MASOCHISM TANGO
MY HOME TOWN
NEW MATH
OEDIPUS REX (2)
POISONING PIGEONS IN THE PARK
POLLUTION
PROUD TO BE A SOLDIER
SMUT
SO LONG, MOM
THE CHEMICAL ELEMENTS
THE FOLK SONG ARMY
THE FORMULARY SONG
THE IRISH BALLAD (RICKETY TICKETY TIN)
THE OLD DOPE PEDDLER
THE RED LINE SONG
THE WIENER SCHNITZEL WALTZ
THE WILD WEST IS WHERE I WANT TO BE
VATICAN RAG
WE WILL ALL GO TOGETHER WHEN WE GO
WERNHER VON BRAUN
WHEN YOU ARE OLD AND GREY


Related threads:
Chord Req: Oedipus Rex - Tom Lehrer (13)
Lyr Add: The Elements (Tom Lehrer) (34)
Lyr Req: In Old Mexico (Tom Lehrer) (7)
DT Correction: Lobachevsky (Tom Lehrer) (12)
Lyr/Chords Req: A Christmas Carol (Tom Lehrer) (4)
Lyr/Chords: Vatican Rag (Tom Lehrer) (6)
Lyr Add: When You Are Old and Grey (Gray) (4)
Tom Lehrer and his satire. The Best! (79)
Tom Lehrer? (64)
Animation of Tom Lehrer's 'The Elements' (17)
Lyr Add: Folk Song Army (Tom Lehrer) (5)
Lyr Req: Decimalisation (Tom Lehrer) (40)
Online: Tom Lehrer The Physical Revue math songs (8)
Tune Req: I Hold Your Hand in Mine (Tom Lehrer) (3)
Tom Lehrer: Tomfoolery in Oz (11)
Tom Lehrer - Who's next? (16)
Happy! - Apr 9 (T Lehrer / P Robeson) (1)
Lyr Req: The Irish Ballad (Tom Lehrer) (10)
Lyr/Chords Req: Irish Ballad / Rickity Tickity Tin (11)
Lyr Add: Hunting Song (Tom Lehrer) (7)
Lyr/Chords Req: Songs by Tom Lehrer (16)
Lyr Add: National Brotherhood Week (Tom Lehrer) (5)
Lyr Add: MLF Lullaby (Tom Lehrer) (2)
Tom Lehrer, new material (28)
Lyr Req: Rickety Tickety Tin / The Irish Ballad (3)
Flanders & Swann, Tom Lehrer (21)
Tune Add: Poisoning Pigeons In The Park (T Lehrer) (8)
Tune Add: Masochism Tango (Tom Lehrer) (1)
Tune Add: Wernher Von Braun (Tom Lehrer) (8)


Ethereal Purple 07 Jan 04 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,Hugh Jampton 07 Jan 04 - 06:43 AM
8_Pints 07 Jan 04 - 06:50 AM
John MacKenzie 07 Jan 04 - 06:59 AM
RWJ 07 Jan 04 - 07:07 AM
Splott Man 07 Jan 04 - 07:40 AM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Jan 04 - 07:56 AM
Schantieman 07 Jan 04 - 07:57 AM
Jeanie 07 Jan 04 - 08:15 AM
Amos 07 Jan 04 - 09:09 AM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Jan 04 - 09:26 AM
Dave Bryant 07 Jan 04 - 09:27 AM
artbrooks 07 Jan 04 - 09:29 AM
John MacKenzie 07 Jan 04 - 09:40 AM
Fibula Mattock 07 Jan 04 - 09:45 AM
ray bucknell 07 Jan 04 - 09:45 AM
Wolfgang 07 Jan 04 - 09:51 AM
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Acme 07 Jan 04 - 10:13 AM
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GUEST,Cllr at work 07 Jan 04 - 10:25 AM
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EBarnacle 07 Jan 04 - 10:26 AM
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The Fooles Troupe 07 Jan 04 - 06:02 PM
Dani 07 Jan 04 - 06:05 PM
Emma B 07 Jan 04 - 06:31 PM
beardedbruce 07 Jan 04 - 06:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jan 04 - 06:49 PM
Emma B 07 Jan 04 - 07:02 PM
SINSULL 07 Jan 04 - 07:03 PM
Emma B 07 Jan 04 - 07:21 PM
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McGrath of Harlow 07 Jan 04 - 08:25 PM
Acme 07 Jan 04 - 10:04 PM
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The Fooles Troupe 08 Jan 04 - 06:38 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 08 Jan 04 - 06:21 PM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Jan 04 - 06:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jan 04 - 08:12 PM
GUEST 08 Jan 04 - 10:52 PM
Acme 09 Jan 04 - 02:00 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 04 - 08:32 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 09 Jan 04 - 03:59 PM
Acme 09 Jan 04 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,moonglow 10 Jan 04 - 02:46 PM
Acme 11 Jan 04 - 01:07 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 11 Jan 04 - 08:38 PM
RWJ 10 Feb 04 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Redhorse at work 10 Feb 04 - 08:39 AM
Chanteyranger 10 Feb 04 - 10:08 PM
Teresa 10 Feb 04 - 11:18 PM
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Acme 26 Jan 05 - 10:20 AM
Liz the Squeak 26 Jan 05 - 10:28 AM
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Subject: Tom Lehrer
From: Ethereal Purple
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:34 AM

What's your favourite Tom Lehrer song?

And I was wondering what he's upto now. Still alive? Teaching math?

Lots of Lehrer lyrics here (click)


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Hugh Jampton
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:43 AM

It may be called "Jamboree" but I know one verse starts "When I was a Little Boy Scout and You Were a Brownie"


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: 8_Pints
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:50 AM

"Sliding down the razor-blade of life"!

Brings tears to your eyes, don't it!!!

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:59 AM

Vatican Rag I think.
John


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: RWJ
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:07 AM

I hold your hand in mine is tops fpr me
Ron


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Splott Man
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:40 AM

Funny. Was only last night talking in the bar about Tom Lehrer (and Jake Thackeray). I was amazed how many of his songs came back to me, even ones I hadn't specifically learned.
Is it time for a Best Of... ?
My personal favourites are Vatican Rag (goes down well in Catholic Cardiff) and The Old Dope Peddler.

Splott Man


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:56 AM

The Scout Song is "be Prepared" - he was offically banned by the Police form singing it when he visited Australia - so then he didn't tell them in advance what he was planning to sing for the rest of teh tour... :-)

I think one of my favourites is "Poisoning Pigeons In The Park" follwed by "Masochism Tango:...

The ABC Oz has interviewed him a few times - just recently last year - he is still alive, just gave up on writing those kinds of satire.

I think you will find all the words to his songs on the Web - even some here in Mudcat.

Robin

Robin


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Schantieman
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:57 AM

I go for I Hold Your Hand in Mine which I have been known to perform with a pink rubber glove dripping with something gooey and red. When I was a Scouter I was very keen on Be Prepared too. And all the others! Why do we have to have favourites?

Happy New Year!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Jeanie
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 08:15 AM

My daughter and some of her friends have been plotting for the past few years to perform an all singing all dancing version of "Vatican Rag" at their girls' convent school talent show. They are thinking along the lines of a Busby Berkely dance extravaganza.... I hope they're going to wait until their final year to actually do it !

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 09:09 AM

Give 'em hell, Harriet!! Yeeha!

As for Mister Lehrer, I think he should be sainted.

I have always been partial to the "Wild West is Where I wanna Be". But I love 'em all madly.

A


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 09:26 AM

A choice is really impossible, but I'll mention ONE of my favorites: "Plagiarize!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 09:27 AM

I like the song about some unspecified ailment which has been passed from person to person - it ends up "I might - give it to you". I can't remember what the proper title is though.

"Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" and "Massochism Tango" are high on my list as well.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: artbrooks
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 09:29 AM

The Folk Song Army

At last report, Professor Lehrer was still teaching math at the University of California at Santa Cruz.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 09:40 AM

The one that's still as topical as ever, Pollution.

Just think Amos,
"The breakfast garbage that you throw into the bay.
They drink for lunch in San Jose"

John


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 09:45 AM

Vatican Rag, for the line: "there the guy who's got religion'll/tell ya if your sin's original". And because of all the other lines too, come to think of it. Never fails to make me laugh.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: ray bucknell
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 09:45 AM

My son's fifth grade science teacher played Lehrer's "The Elements" for the class during the first week of school. Upon hearing of this, I knew immediately that I liked the science teacher.

    My Lehrer favorites have to be "Vatican Rag" and "National Brotherhood Week." Does anyone know if there are covers of any of Lehrer's material? I don't think I've ever heard any.

                                     'Ray


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 09:51 AM

Covers? I don't know if that can be called a cover, but German singer songwriter Wolf Biermann has taken a part of one of Lehrer's songs (the folk song army) and has rewritten it into a completely serious song. The lyrics are very close to Lehrer's, the tune still is the same, but the character of the song has completely changed into serious.

Wolfgang (loving Alma most, also for the rhymes)


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 09:55 AM

from a websearch:

Tom Lehrer Covers

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 10:10 AM

Hugh Jampton, I think you have your wires crossed. The song you can recall which starts with those lines is called, "Follow Me", by the South African Paddy Roberts. I like the song, but Tom Lehrer's "Be Prepared" is altogether sharper, ruder and funnier.
I like just about everything Tom Lehrer did. "Masochism Tango" and "Poisoning Pigeons" are high on my list, but "National Brotherhood Week" and "Werner von Braun" are not far behind. It's worth mentioning that his deadpan song introductions were often even funnier than the songs themselves... "If people can't communicate, the least they can do is to SHUT UP!" He was a master of his craft.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 10:13 AM

Too many favorites to enumerate here! The tops? Vatican Rag, Elements, We Will All Go Together When We Go, Plagiarize, Oedipus Rex, Clementine, Pollution, Senator Murphy (might not have that name). . . and anything that used Gilbert and Sullivan.

NPR had a "funny dentist" story a few weeks ago, with some half-assed attempts at putting new words to standard rock classics. It was so non-funny I wondered who got paid to run the stupid thing. The kids were in the truck with me when I muttered "Tom Lehrer doesn't need to worry about this guy!" and they thought that was pretty funny. I corrupted my children a couple of years ago. I consciously got out the CD and put it in the player and told them to stay there for a few minutes, there was something I wanted them to hear. They were instantly smitten. Even better than that, they understood his point of view and well-placed satire and sarcasm. Want your kids to instantly understand the motivation behind drug pushers and why they are un-cool? Just play "The Old Dope Peddler."

For some unknown reason I no longer had copies of all of the songs, so this year for christmas my 15-year-old burned a copy of "That Was the Year That Was" after a friend gave the CD to her. A very nice stocking stuffer! Visit Amazon for several Lehrer disks.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 10:20 AM

And Dave, there is absolutely NOTHING "unspecified" about that disease being passed from partner to partner in that song! As the saying goes, you could drive a Mack truck between the lines because Lehrer's performance of it drips with meaning. ;->


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Cllr at work
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 10:25 AM

Poisoning Pigeons In The Park which I first heard sung by Leadfingers, who has a great line in Lehrer songs sung with great glee.Cllr


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Cllr
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 10:25 AM


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Cllr at work
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 10:26 AM

PS Cllr at work is not an oxymoron. Cllr


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: EBarnacle
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 10:26 AM

Ah, yes--"The old dope peddlar, doing well by doing good." His general level of creation is so good that simply choosing one is an insult to the remainder.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 11:41 AM

I just checked the UC Santa Cruz Web site, and yes, he's listed as faculty in American Studies and Mathematics (at Cowell College).

I'm a Zombie Jamboree fan, meself. Masochism Tango runs a close second, though.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: RWJ
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 02:05 PM

I put i hold your hand in mine as top but it is only just above the rest . Nice to know he is still up and running .

    Ron


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Little Robyn
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 02:09 PM

'Christmas time is here by golly.....'
We played it on our radio show just before Christmas - sung by Artisan. But I also like 'I hold your hand in mine dear'.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Leadfingers
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 02:14 PM

Zombie Jamboree is a very good song but has nothing to do with Tom Lehrer. I got my version of Z J from the singing of Nadia Catthouse
back in the good old days.Thanks for the comment Cllr- Poisoning has always been one of my faves,along with Masochism Tango. Or perhaps We Will All Go Together, which has a SERIOUS chord run.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 02:18 PM

As an ex scientist I think the Elements is really useful but "The Folk Song Army" is perfect and "The Irish Ballad" is not half bad.

I was lucky enough to receive "Too Many Songs by Tom Leher with not enough drawings by Ronald Searle" for Christmas which has all the dots as well as the words of most of the songs from the three recorded collections. Strangely enough it also has some great drawings by Ronald Searle

BTW I think "Jamboree" was one of Paddy Roberts - another favourite


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 02:24 PM

Poisoning pigeons in the park
Vatican Rag
We will all go together when we go
My home town
I hold your hand in mine
Masochism Tango
"Plagiarise" (what is it actually called?)
Down in old Mechhhhhico
Oedipus
My girl
Alma mater
Dope peddler
Christmas time is here
...ohhh, most of his stuff.
Not only was he a master of the trade, but to use the words with which a friend first introduced me to Tom Lehrer: "This is what the American English language lost in the last 50 years". And this holds partly for England too. What mastery of language! But above all, what mastery of rhyme! No-one, but no-one has surpassed him.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 02:27 PM

"Fight fiercely Harvard"! how could I miss that...
"The wild West is where I want to be"
"Lobachevsky" (I called it "plagiarise" above)

The man was a serious put-off for aspiring songwriters


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 02:27 PM

And still is


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: pdq
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 02:35 PM

"The Hunting Song" ...three game wardens, seven hunters and a cow...


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 02:39 PM

dman, missed that - of course, pdq


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: open mike
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 03:27 PM

look here for an animation of "ELEMENTS<}||"
also links to some interviews, and other amazing stuff!


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 03:34 PM

I really like pollution, perhaps its because of the work I do in the first place. They're using the animated "Elements", as above, at one of our courses in Yorktown for the new students.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 03:37 PM

[she beats her breast and laments her woeful lack of fact-checking this morning]

Mea culpa!

What WAS I thinking? Zombie Jamboree was written by Conrad E. Mauge Jr. I must've been in an alternate reality.

So I'll stick with Masochism Tango as my favorite, then.

And speaking of fact-checking:

I like the Vatican Rag, too, but even as a child I noticed that Mr. Lehrer didn't do very good fact-checking there, either...if "First you get down on your knees," how the heck can you then proceed to "Genuflect! Genuflect! Genuflect!"?

Claire


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 03:54 PM

Old Dope Peddler Parody

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 04:07 PM

I pulled out the CD of That Was the Year That Was and listened on my drive to work. So many topical songs are right on the mark. The "MLF Lullaby," "Send the Marines," and "So Long Mom" (WW-III) could be sung to Dubya today with heartfelt sincerity. And with all of the first amendment and privacy issues, "Smut" (and nothing but!) is STILL perfect. Take the Wizard of Oz, there's a dirty old man!

I agree with the remarks about his use of English and rhyme. Over the years I've read a lot of poetry to the kids, and we enjoy Lehrer's skill with lyrics. For example, "MLF Lullaby" starts with a very tidy choice of words:

    Sleep, Baby, Sleep, in peace may you slumber,
    No danger lurks, your sleep to encumber. . .


I won't get started on the puns!

Now take a moment to consider the song "George Murphy" and think about how he would skewer Gov. Arnold!

Hmmm. . . Suppose we could talk him into joining Mudcat?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 04:11 PM

Oops-- in my list of war songs, how could I forget "Who's Next?" (We'd better get a bomb)


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: sed
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 04:15 PM

An interesting story would be:
Why I Stopped Writing Songs
by Tom Lehrer

Do you ever wonder why such a master who fifty years ago wrote some of the most memorable parodies of the century just stopped composing, for the most part? And yet he continued and even still contnues to teach.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 04:30 PM

I read about an interview with him. I think he was just so depressed about how bad things got that he had to stop. (Summing it up very briefly). I do wish he would come out of retirement!


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 04:38 PM

Stilly River Sage,

I also can relisten to That was the year that was without getting tired of Lehrer, but some song intro's would need rewriting now:

Our current friends, like France, and our traditional friends, like Germany (MLF lullaby) don't fit really today.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: open mike
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 04:38 PM

http://members.aol.com/quentncree/lehrer/
<---lyrics here on this site

this disclaimer is noted on that page:
No pigeons were harmed in the creation of this website.
Bulls, squirrels, cows, game wardens, and daughters of
miner-49'ers are another story however.

here is another
interview
-- it was done on May 24, 2000,
and it describes Tom as being 72 years old. so prob. 76 now..


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 05:01 PM

Sed

I think it's on record that Tom Lehrer stopped writing and performing satirical songs when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

I notice that no-one*'s nominated Rickety tickety tin (*that includes me).

It's invidious to pick a favourite, because it depends on your mood at the time.

What's the official title for "I know that I will hate you when you're old and grey"?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 05:07 PM

The title is 'When you're old and grey'.
Rickety.. has been mentioned, though under it's main title 'The Irish ballad'.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Joe_F
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 05:23 PM

I guess it would be the Irish Ballad for me, but that would be for sentimental reasons: it was the first Lehrer song I heard -- sung by another student at my high school, in the back of a truck, in the spring of 1954. In the Stuffy Fifties it was a wonder.

Probably the one that I recall most often is Lobachevsky.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 05:37 PM

"...if "First you get down on your knees," how the heck can you then proceed to "Genuflect! Genuflect! Genuflect!"?"

Easy peasy - you kneel in the pew, and you genuflect when you get out into the aisle to go home. A tricky enough operation - "You can always spot a convert - they fall over..."

The one that gets sung more often than any other in folk circles seems to be The Irish Ballad, Riccety-tickety-tin" - a lot easier to get your tongue round than most.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Mudlark
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 05:43 PM

His delivery was certainly a wonderful addition to his songs. The only person I ever heard do Rickety nearly as well as Leher was Theo Bikel. Lobachevsky, Polution and Way Out West some of my favs.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 05:47 PM

And never forget all the wonderful material he wrote for Sesame Street

I, too, recall that he said, in a printed interview in the NY Times some time ago that he felt that things were just too sad, dangerous, and different now to satirize. And, yes, he did make that comment re: Kissinger.

I doubt yu can pick a favorite---as said above---depends on your mood and your thoughts at the time when you opt to put some TL pieces on the old victrola.

By the way---the box set The Remains of Tom Lehrer is a wonderful thing to have if you are a fan.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:02 PM

So what did he write for sesame street?


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Dani
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:05 PM

What did he write for Sesame Street? I note in "Too many songs by Tom Lehrer" that he wrote 10 songs for the Electric Company show. Anyone know which ones?

Dani


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:31 PM

Silent E and L-Y were two of them. Anyone know the others?


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: beardedbruce
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:42 PM

********
"Silent E"
This song was written for the PBS children's show "The Electric Company" in
1971. It appeared on an album of songs from "The Electric Company" in
stereo. It appears in mono as a bonus track on the CD of Tom Lehrer
Revisited.

Who can turn a can into a cane?
Who can turn a pan into a pane?
It's not too hard to see,
It's Silent E.

Who can turn a cub into a cube?
Who can turn a tub into a tube?
It's elementary
For Silent E.

He took a pin and turned it into a pine.
He took a twin and turned him into twine.

Who can turn a cap into a cape?
Who can turn a tap into a tape?
A little glob becomes a globe instantly,
If you just add Silent E.

He turned a dam - Alikazam! - into a dame.
But my friend Sam stayed just the same.

Who can turn a man into a mane?
Who can turn a van into a vane?
A little hug becomes huge instantly.
Don't add W, Don't add X, And don't add Y or Z,
Just add Silent E.


********
"L-Y"
This song was written for "The Electric Company" TV show in 1972, but was
never released on record until it showed up in 1990 as a bonus track on the
CD of Tom Lehrer Revisited (in mono).

You're wearing your squeaky shoes,
And right there taking a snooze
Is a tiger, so how do you walk on by?
[loud whisper]
Silently, silently, Silent L.Y.

You're a secret agent man
Who's after the secret plan.
How do you act so they don't know you're a spy?
[acting suspiciously]
Normally [whistle], normally [whistle], Normal L.Y.

At an eating contest you boast
That you can eat the most.
How do you down your fiftieth piece of pie?
[nauseated]
Eagerly (ugh!), eagerly (yech!), Eager L.Y.

On the lake your boat upset,
And your clothes got soaking wet.
How do you stand and wait for them to dry?
[shivering]
D-d-d-d-d-d-patiently, D-d-d-d-d-d-patiently, D-d-d-d-d-d-patient L.Y.

In the public library
You fall and hurt your knee.
But the sign says QUIET PLEASE, so how can you cry?
[crying]
Quietly [sniff], quietly [sniff], Quiet L.Y.

As you walk along the street
A porcupine you meet.
How do you shake his hand when he says "hi"?
[warily]
Ah, carefully, carefully, Careful L.Y.

You enter a very dark room,
And sitting there in the gloom
Is Dracula.
Now how do you say goodbye?
Immediately, immediately, Immediate L.Y.
Bye bye!


********
"SN (Snore, Sniff & Sneeze)"
This was written for "The Electric Company" in 1972, but has yet to be
released. It was, however, aired on The Dr. Demento Show #98-36
(9-6-98).

Like a rooster loves a hen,
Like a lion loves his den,
Like Barbie loves Ken,
I love to do things that begin with S-N.
For example...

I love to sneeze. *a-choo*
Pardon me please. *a-choo*
I like to sniffle,
It really feels nice.
One handkerchief'll
Just never suffice.
But brother watch out for the breeze
When I sneeze.

I love to sniff. *sniff*
Just take a whiff. *sniff*
I also like snarling;
It feels good to me.
Snarling is darling,
I'm sure you'll agree.
But I'm even happier if
I can sniff, *sniff*
and sneeze. *a-choo*

I love to snore. *snore*
It's more like a roar. *snore*
I like to snooze;
I like resting my head.
I take off my shoes
And I snuggle in bed.
Sometjimes I just lie on the floor
And snore, *snore*
And sniff, *sniff*
And sneeze. *a-choo* *a-choo* *a-choo*

Sometimes I just like to snicker, tee hee,
Or snub any snob who is snotty to me.
And whenever I have a few moments to spend,
I can snoop on a neighbor or snitch on a friend.
But much more than any of these,
I love to snore and to sniff and to sneeze.
*snore* *sniff* *a-choo*
*snore* *sniff* *a-choo*
*snore* *sniff* *a-choo*
*snore* *sniff* *a-choo*
*snore*


********
"There's A Delta For Every Epsilon" (Calypso)
Words and Music by Tom Lehrer
American Mathematical Monthly, 81 (1974) 612:

There's a delta for every epsilon,
It's a fact that you can always count upon.
There's a delta for every epsilon
        And now and again,
        There's also an N.

But one condition I must give:
The epsilon must be positive
A lonely life all the others live,
        In no theorem
        A delta for them.

How sad, how cruel, how tragic,
How pitiful, and other adjec-
Tives that I might mention.
The matter merits our attention.
If an epsilon is a hero,
Just because it is greater than zero,
It must be mighty discouragin'
To lie to the left of the origin.

This rank discrimination is not for us,
We must fight for an enlightened calculus,
Where epsilons all, both minus and plus,
        Have deltas
        To call their own.


********
"The Derivative Song"
Words by Tom Lehrer -- Tune: "There'll be Some Changes Made"
American Mathematical Monthly, 81 (1974) 490:

You take a function of x and you call it y,
Take any x-nought that you care to try,
You make a little change and call it delta x,
The corresponding change in y is what you find nex',
And then you take the quotient and now carefully
Send delta x to zero, and I think you'll see
That what the limit gives us, if our work all checks,
Is what we call dy/dx,
It's just dy/dx.


********
"The Professor's Song"
Words by Tom Lehrer -- Tune: "If You Give Me Your Attention"
                        from _Princess Ida_ (Gilbert and Sullivan)
American Mathematical Monthly, 81 (1974) 745:

If you give me your attention, I will tell you what I am.
I'm a brilliant math'matician -- also something of a ham.
I have tried for numerous degrees, in fact I've one of each;
Of course that makes me eminently qualified to teach.
I understand the subject matter thoroughly, it's true,
And I can't see why it isn't all as obvious to _you_.
Each lecture is a masterpiece, meticulously planned,
Yet everybody tells me that I'm hard to understand,
        And I can't think why.

My diagrams are models of true art, you must agree,
And my handwriting is famous for its legibility.
Take a word like "minimum" (to choose a random word),
        {This was performed at a blackboard, and the professor wrote:
        /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/}
For anyone to say he cannot read that, is absurd.
The anecdotes I tell get more amusing every year,
Though frankly, what they go to prove is sometimes less than clear,
And all my explanations are quite lucid, I am sure,
Yet everybody tells me that my lectures are obscure,
        And I can't think why.

Consider, for example, just the force of gravity:
It's inversely proportional to something -- let me see --
It's r^3 -- no, r^2 -- no, it's just r, I'll bet --
The sign in front is plus -- or is it minus, I forget --
Well, anyway, there _is_ a force, of that there is no doubt.
All these formulas are trivial if you only think them out.
Yet students tell me, "I have memorized the whole year through
Ev'rything you've told us, but the problems I can't do."
        And I can't think why!


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:49 PM

"And never forget all the wonderful material he wrote for Sesame Street"

That made me sit up. "Never forget" - that was the first I've ever heard about that. There were some pretty good songs on Sesame Street.

So I went looking - couldn't find much about that, but there's a mention of it in this excellent article I found when I started googling, and typed in "Tom Lehrer + Sesame Street".

But if someone can come up with more about the Sesame Street stuff...


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:02 PM

You beat me to it (just) see Lyric Add L-Y
Thanks for the others


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:03 PM

O-U The Hound Song
N'T

I Got It From Alice is I think the social disease song.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:21 PM

Agnes actually (but Alice probably had it too) It was not recorded at the time as it was considered "a bit naughty"
Tom Lether writes - "to be sung infectuously" Ouch!


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Nancy King
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:22 PM

It really is amazing that the bulk of Lehrer's songs, which were written decades ago, are still known and loved by damn near everybody.

I remember when I was a teenager, sitting with a friend on the swim float at our summer cottage, dealing with our peeling sunburns, singing "...and occasional pieces of skin, of skin..."

One of my favorite stories about Tom Lehrer appeared in a story about him in the Washington Post in July of 2000. I related it in the thread about "The Elements," but it still cracks me up, so here it is again:

"And he has been deliciously rewarded by his song about rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and his Third Reich background. ...[quotes from song] ...   Some years ago, Lehrer says, von Braun's daughter applied to an Eastern college, and in the process of her admissions interview, she talked animatedly about her father.

" 'The admissions officer couldn't wait to call me afterward,' Lehrer remembers with an expression of puckish glee. 'The girl said her father had many interests other than rockets. At the moment he was teaching himself Chinese.' "

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Lanfranc
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:39 PM

I love them all, perform some of them, and I got "The Remains" for Christmas. It sits next to the original 10inch LP from way,way back.

Lehrer is a genius. If you want to know why, read all the above, but, most of all, listen to his songs.

Alan


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 08:04 PM

My favo(u)rite Lehrer songs? It is hard to choose, he's absolutely one of THE wittiest songwriters ever -- Masochism Tango, We Will All Go Together When We Go, National Brotherhood Week, Vatican Rag (for starters..)

I remember hearing (quite some time ago) a progra(me) on Tom Lehrer on BBC Radio. It included an interview in which he said (amongst other things) that if he was still writing stuff these days, it would prolly be similar to Lou & Peter Berryman's songs.

Did a Google search & found a number of interesting interviews (more than I have time to read -- just picked a few that looked most promising):

There's a very good March 2003 interview which spends quite a bit of time discussing why he stopped writing/performing.

Excerpt:
Tom Lehrer is still feisty and funny, but the king of sophisticated satire tells Tony Davis there's no place for his style of humour now: the world just wouldn't get it.

"I'm not tempted to write a song about George W.Bush. I couldn't figure out what sort of song I would write. That's the problem: I don't want to satirise George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporise them."

The speaker is Tom Lehrer, arguably the most famous living satirical songwriter. And, in a roundabout way, the New York-born singer, composer and mathematician is explaining why he has been all but silent since 1965.

====================================

Also check out his interview with the Onion

Excerpts:
The Onion: I'd long heard that you stopped performing as a form of protest, because Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tom Lehrer: I don't know how that got started. I've said that political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize. For one thing, I quit long before that happened, so historically it doesn't make any sense. I've heard that quoted back to me, but I've also heard it quoted that I was dead, so there you are. You can't believe anything you read. That was just an off-hand remark somebody picked up, and now it's been quoted and quoted, and therefore misquoted. I've heard that I stopped because Richard Nixon was elected, or because I got put away in an insane asylum, or whatever. It was just a remark about political satire, because it was true. Not literally, but everything is so weird in politics that it's very hard to be funny about it, I think. Years ago, it was much easier: We had Eisenhower to kick around. That was much funnier than Nixon.

O: Why did you leave? Why did you give up?

TL: I didn't really give up.

O: I didn't mean give up, like, "surrender."

TL: I just lay down and let them trample all over me. No, it's the wrong question, really, because there wasn't really a career to speak of. I figure I wrote 37 songs in 20 years, and that's not exactly a full-time job. It wasn't that I was writing and writing and writing and quit. Every now and then I wrote something, and every now and then I didn't. The second just outnumbered the first.

====

O: Have you given any thought to performing again?

TL: I have given a lot of thought to it. The answer is always no. I've given a lot of negative thought to this question. No, I have no desire to do that. My last public performance for money was in 1967. For free, it was 1972, with the exception of two little one-shot, one-song things. But that's just for friends, out of friendship for the people involved, and also because it was fun. But, no, I don't have the temperament of a performer, and I certainly couldn't do it every night.

====================================


Another interesting interview

Excerpts:
I got some offers to do concerts as well as night clubs. At that time there was no such thing as the pop concert circuit. If I had hung on a little longer, the college concert circuit was just breaking with the Kingston Trio and people like that. In my day there was Anna Russell and Victor Borge and me, and that was about it for comedians. Later on, of course, I could have called William Morris and said "book me for six months", but there wasn't anything like that. I did some of that, and then I got tired after a couple of years. So I figured I'll put out the rest of the material I had, and there was enough for the second record, and then I'd quit.

====

What do you hear today that you like?

I don't keep up with things today. There are little bits of things. John Forster has several things, but there's no whole record that I wholeheartedly embrace. Forster's take on Paul Simon ["Fusion" on the album "Entering Marion"--Ed.] is so wonderful, "Remember who's the genius here." He has a whole sense of music, with the orchstrations and the sound effects which I never aspired to. He has fun with music, too, which is very hard to do.

Every now and then I hear a song -- Andy Breckman, Christine Lavin have a few good things. I try -- any time I hear anybody say, "oh, you gotta hear so and so", I rush out and get it. [Pulls out "Funny Folk Songs" CD] I saw this at Tower Records. It was some kind of concert with all these people doing one song, showing off. Some of them are quite funny. Lou and Peter Berryman have some funny songs. There are a lot of people who have some funny songs.

====================================

Cheers,

YY


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 08:25 PM

"I don't want to satirise
George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporise them."

See? He's half way to writing a song, and it's just an interview.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 10:04 PM

Thanks for posting the links and interviews. This is a very good and useful thread. This would be a great popular culture topic for someone needing to write a paper. Trouble with delivering it would be that you would have to play samples and you generally only have 20 minutes. What to choose!

The Irish Ballad--I always laugh when I hear that, but since my father sang that one from very early on I always think of it as one of his songs also. It was a bedtime song for us, of course!

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 11:47 PM

I came back to take a look at how BeardedBruce put in those songs (thanks again!). Can they be added to the DT? They're all in one post, without the LYR ADD designation, and I'm not sure how the Joe Clones go about updating with LYR ADD settings. I hope all of those little ditties will be added. It's nice to think that Mudcat will have Lehrer's complete oeuvre with additions like these. Maybe we'll creep up somewhere above #50,000 in popularity for searches in the future? (see that other thread)

The remark was made that Sesame Street has some pretty good songs, separate from the Electric Company songs. Sesame Street has some marvelous songs, and over the years I taped quite a few for my kids. I would see the program twice a day, in the morning I noted where the songs appeared in the program, and taped them in the afternoon. Joe Raposo was one prolific writer there. Michael Cooney performed quite a few, and other names will occur to me after I leave this thread. It is quite satisfying to know that small children are being exposed to such wit and charm at an early age.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jan 04 - 06:38 AM

So what's the details on this "Funny Folk Songs" CD?


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 08 Jan 04 - 06:21 PM

OOPS. ELectric Company. I always put the two together in my mind---Sesame St and EC. Both just great.   

I am happy that he mentions JOhn FOrster---I too think that Fusion is a wonderful send-up of Paul Simon. He has it just right.   FOrster may well be the re incarnation of Lehrer---and he has also written a wonderful musical called Eleanor (about Eleanor Roosevelt). Written in the style of the great musicals of the 50s and 60s

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jan 04 - 06:26 PM

SRS, if you go to the "Songs you posted" thread, you will find that you can mention the material and the thread name & id number (making a blicky if you can) there to bring it more definitely to the attention of those who look for new additions.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jan 04 - 08:12 PM

" FOrster may well be the reincarnation of Lehrer"

You can't be reincarnated till you're dead - so how about "some kind of clone"?


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jan 04 - 10:52 PM


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 02:00 AM

Robin,

I so rarely post songs that from one time to the next I have forgotten how. Someone ususally comes along behind me and makes the connections.

I meantioned this thread to my daughter ("Moonglow") this morning and it seems she has found and even downloaded the Lehrer Electric Company songs in the past. Since she uninstalled KaZaa she hasn't been able to download songs, but they're out there.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 08:32 AM

Here's a site with the words of all (or pretty well all) Tom Lehrer's somngs, and most of them with midis. And other stuff, including a picture of him poisoning pigeons....Tom Lehrer


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 03:59 PM

McGOH's link above goes to the same place as the link put in by an anonymous mudelf at the top of the thread. As McGOH says, the site includes midis. But they are no ordinary midis, they are works of art in their own right.

Emma B, Sinsull and Dave Bryant: the song Dave was recalling was pulled out of a "bottom drawer" for the compilation musical, Tomfoolery. The risque element was vamped up a bit with new lines (eg the one about her Daddy, who gave her everything....) and it was in this revised version that the title became "I got it from Agnes." (The link goes directly to the song on the aforementioned site - complete with midi.) I do believe that the culprit had previously been Alice.

My daughter is much taken with the Irish Ballad, and we both like "So long, Mom (I'm off to drop the bomb...)" which has been little celebrated in this thread, if at all.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 04:10 PM

That "So Long Mom" that was written for World War III did get mentioned. Trouble is, we all have so many favorites that listing very many means some get lost in the list. That and several others are quite timely. I wouldn't rewrite the introductions, as someone suggested. They contribute today to a sense of history (we've been here before) and serve as a reminder that we're repeating ourselves.

I wonder if the current administration in Washington has ever heard any of these? And understands them?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,moonglow
Date: 10 Jan 04 - 02:46 PM

we once watched a video in Chemistry that had part of The Elements song in it. Since I know all the words, I was sitting in the back of the class singing along. (My teacher sure gave me a funny look)


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 01:07 AM

That must have been a short video if it had only "part" of The Elements--the whole song doesn't take much more than a minute to play! (I've heard her sing it--she is pretty good. I can only get the first or last word in each sequence, and I'm with him every time he takes a breath!).

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 08:38 PM

And who, but Tom Lehrer, could take Gilbert & Sullivan's Major General's Song and parody it as the Elements and be able to recite it as quickly as the almost impossible speed of the patter of the late Martyn Green in the D'Oyly Carte productions doing the original song in Pirates of Penzance.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: RWJ
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 07:30 AM

Just got a new set of cd's I think there are some songs on there that I had forgot . I am going to have fun relearing them


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Redhorse at work
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 08:39 AM

Over the last twelve months I have been regularly reminded of "Send the Marines!"

"For might makes right,
And till they've seen the light
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
Till somebody we like can be elected........."


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 10:08 PM

The Vatican Rag!


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Teresa
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 11:18 PM

Well, if I hadn't "accidentallly" found some tapes my older sisters and brothers had sent, which happened to have pieces of the "dr. Demento Show" on them, I wouldn't have learned about Tom Lehrer for a long time. I'm glad I grew up with him. :) I simply can't pick a favorite. I love 'em all.

I also love the fact that he mentions Lou and Peter Berryman. I love their songs, and Peter's column "Whither Zither" is a blast. :D
Teresa


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Patrick
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 04:17 AM

The Vatican Rag, closely followed by The Elements and Masochism Tango... Gotta love 'em.

I don't suppose anyone knows where you can find score music/chords for these songs? I've managed to find chords for Elements, but besides that, I'm at a loss. And I REALLY want to be able to play the Vatican Rag on the piano ...
Thanks! ~P


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 07:08 PM

There is a book, _Too Many Songs by Tom Lehrer_. It is still in print, says Amazon.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Apache
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 11:01 AM

I remember the Periodic Table song from high school, it got played to us over and over in science.

Regards,
Apache

"Day 32:

Boromir's definatley got the hots for Frodo, he can't take his eyes off him, but Sam will kill him if he tries anything!

Still the prettiest elf in the fellowship, go me.

Signed... Legolas"


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Diane
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 05:10 PM

Anyone know where I can get sheet music to Snore, Sniffle, and Sneeze? I know it may not be available, but I wanted to try you all on this anyway.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,MikeofNorhtumbria(off base)
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 06:57 PM

Tom Lehrer was the twentieth century's Voltaire - lone voice of sanity in a crazy world. Back in the '50s and '60s, being cremated while still alive seemed a likely conclusion for much of the earth's inhabitants. In those days, Tom's songs were a valuable resource. My friends and I played "We will all go together when we go" whenever it seemed likely that we might ? and felt better (if not safer) afterwards.

His Christmas song still makes me laugh ? even more since one of my distant relatives presented me with a matching pen and pencil a few years ago. And his outrageous rhymes - like "Pontiff" and "want if" , or "Guadalajara" and "Tamaara" - still haunt me, decades after I first heard them: though for sheer effrontery, the prize has to go to "Clementine" ? musical satire that cuts right to the bone.

But I digress.

Honour the man ? we are privileged to have been entertained and enlightened by him.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler via the backdoor
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 03:34 AM

I can get to the main site but it won't let me post to this thread!
Tom Lehrer songs are the subject of a current tour of the UK by Dillie Keane of Fascinating Aida and Kit & The Widow.
Got my tickets!

RtS


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: JennyO
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 03:36 AM

Now that sounds like something I'd love to go to. Alas, I am a little far away, like in Australia :-(


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:20 AM

Is Snort, Sniffle and Sneeze one of his Electric Company songs?


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:28 AM

I have very soft spot for 'The Irish Ballad' or Rickety tickety tin, as it was the very first folk song I ever heard in public, by a much loved former boyfriend.....

I heard 'I got it from Agnes' once and immediately wanted it... the link is wonderful, thank you!

But my very very favouritest is 'Poisoning pigeons'.. I hate those little feathered bastards!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 05:59 PM

The really funny thing is that for some years, many Australian Local Councils are spreading birth control treated grain around to keep the number of pigeons down.... :-)


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Larry K
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 01:03 PM

When people ask me to sing for their 50th or over birthday I always choose "When Your Old and Grey" by Lehrer.   It always goes over well.

A great Lehrer song that is not well known is "Hanakah in Santa Monica".    Never recorded, but I believe he once played it live on Prarie Home companion and someone taped it.   I learned it from Mike Agranoff.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 11:05 PM

[copied from another thread because I'm lazy]
This is a link to a Flash animation of Tom Lehrer's song, "The Elements"--which, of course, was done to the tune of Gilbert & Sullivan's "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General."
My friend sent this to me some time ago, and I just got around to opening it. Nicely done, I think. I wonder what he'd do with my Formulary Song. (Note that there's a line missing in the DT version.)

By the way, if you check the fine print at the bottom of the page, there's a link to an interesting Australian interview with Tom Lehrer.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 07:14 AM

The Compilation set 'The Remains of Tom Lehrer' Is three CDs ad a booklet - Its seems to have EVERYTHING ! From the 1953 recordings right up tp 1999 ! S-N(Snore Sniff and Sneeze) is there as is (I'm
Spending)Hannukah in Santa Monica .
Any one who claims to be a Lehrer fan and has NOT yet got this set , needs to get organised .
Its released on Warner Archives , Reprise R2 79831 .


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 02:20 AM

Where can I find the chords for "the Elements"? It's a great song!!!

SWC


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: pavane
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 02:22 AM

Wasn't it sung to a Gilbert & Sullivan tune? (Modern Major General) That should be a pointer.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 02:43 AM

Is it true that Tom Lehrer retired because he claimed that the government of the day (Regan's) had made satire redundant?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Splott Man
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 03:37 AM

Here it is


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: nutty
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 03:41 AM

Thanks Splott Man - thats a great animation.
It certainly does justice to the song.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 05:16 AM

I still have a scratchy old LP of the songs of Tom Lehrer.
Takes me back.

Giok



100 BTW


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: TheSnail
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 06:39 AM

Jim Carroll

Is it true that Tom Lehrer retired because he claimed that the government of the day (Regan's) had made satire redundant?

I'd heard it was when Henry Kissiger got the Nobel Peace Prize. Satire couldn't compete with that.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: alanabit
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 06:53 AM

It was a typically wry comment of his. He later remarked that it had been taken too literally. In fact he always was essentially an amateur singer songwriter (albeit a brilliant one). His real profession was mathematics. He was also a distinguished academic, which was his first career. He only ever made three albums.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 10:27 AM

There are productions scheduled for the Tom Lehrer revue TOMFOOLERY for June, 2008 in Edwardsville, Il and Nutley, NJ.   The Nutley production (near the Lincoln Tunnel) is currently looking for a musical director who can supply their own keyboard and sing a few of the songs. There is a salary. If interested, contact profstew22@aol.com. Auditions for this production are scheduled for April 13-14.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 01:13 PM

I used to have a lot of fun with "Rickety-Tickety-Tin." The last I heard, Lehrer was still teaching math and had never gone back to performing. It is amazing to see that people who weren't even born when these songs first came out are performing and enjoying them today. He created a niche that pretty well stands alone.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 02:46 PM

Snail,
You're right - I remembered it wrong - thanks.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 03:56 PM

Lehrer retired from teaching math about 2 years ago.   I was priviliged to be able to visit with him in Santa Cruz last June.   If you send a birthday card for his "big 8 - O" coming up in April, he would prefer that his age be referred to as 26 Celsius.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 04:10 PM

Although Lehrer banged on the piano for 'emphasis', I can't really see how "chords" for guitar would be relevant to this...it is basically just chanted.

Why not just sing it? (I know two people who can do it, and they do it with NO instruments)


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: autolycus
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 04:24 PM

I read somewhere that someone (helpful post this, I'm sure you'll agree) said satire became redundant when some twat said in the Viet war that a village "had to be destroyed to be saved."

Ivor


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 04:43 PM

BTW a 1998 performance of Tom Lehrer performing his Poisoning Pigeons song can be seen in the retail (non-PBS versions, which are shorter) videotape / DVD of the Cameron Macintosh tribute HEY, MR. PRODUCER!. His original performance that night also included an updated version of Who's Next? (India and Pakistan were both doing nuclear testing at the time), but this did not make it to the videotape / DVD).


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Rowan
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 05:07 PM

The good oil on;
why he stopped performing,
the relative worth of satire,
etc
has already been well covered in this thread at

Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: YorkshireYankee - PM
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 08:04 PM

Cheers, Rowan
who learned Lobachevsky at high school in 1957-8, sang The hunting song and The Irish ballad very early in his repertoire and whose daughters are now converted fans; it was Poisoning pigeons in the park that got them.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Joe_F
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 10:43 PM

The first of his songs that I heard was the Irish Ballad, without attribution, by a girl in the back of a truck, in 1954. It amazed us all. What a breath of fresh air, in the Stuffy Fifties! Later that year, my mother heard the record somewhere, and gave it to me for highschool graduation.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 06 Mar 08 - 12:48 AM

Tom Lehrer was a feature in my childhood as far back as I can remember, and my father sang several of his songs. My daughter can sing "The Elements" unaccompanied (singing along with Lehrer, basically).

When I introduced my children to the works of Tom Lehrer it started us down a path of finding the source music for his songs. Consequently, I have children who adore Gilbert and Sullivan.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Mar 08 - 06:35 AM

ABC Radio Aust conducted a few interviews with him - one a few years ago. May find them on a Radio National website.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Fred Maslan
Date: 06 Mar 08 - 10:01 PM

One thing about his songs, how he perfectly matched the words to the music. I can hear George M Cohan singin "so long mom, I'm off to drop the bomb". And a visitor from the Caribean singing "when you go to american city" etc.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: danensis
Date: 07 Mar 08 - 02:53 PM

So if we want to wish him "Happy Birthday" is there an email address?


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Mar 08 - 02:59 PM

Who's Next I don't know how old this clip is, but I suspect at least 40 years old, and NOTHING has changed!
It makes me despair.

Giok

[and the song makes me laugh]


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 07 Mar 08 - 05:10 PM

So if we want to wish him "Happy Birthday" is there an email address?

He is in the phone books for both Santa Cruz, Ca and Cambridge, MA, searchable online by tools sutch as switchboard.com.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,rheingoldi
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 01:07 AM

He said because things weren't funny anymore.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Amergin
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 01:18 AM

There were a couple of songs that I whenever I hear him sing them, they bothered me for many years, because I knew I heard them before...but could not remember where....

Then here in this thread there is link for people who have covered his songs...and one of those was a show I watched as a kid called Electric Company. Sure enough Silent E and L-Y were ones they covered...now that mystery is finally solved...and I can sleep silently....


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Mr Red
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 02:48 AM

Favaourite? Favourite?

Gordon Bennet mate how can you choose one?

Although "the Elements" song does evoke admiration for the songwriting skills.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Acme
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 12:56 AM

Heck, not just song writing but song performing! Keeping up with "The Elements" is almost impossible for most people.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 03:54 PM

Definition of an oxymoron:

Weird Al trying to cover any Tom Lehrer song


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,lamarca'sOM
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 04:20 PM

I knew Mary and I were destined for each other when she sang "The Elements" at a FSGW open sing. (I subsequently, or consequently, learned and sang Steve Goodman's "The Dying Cub Fan's Last Request".)

My first exposure to (inocculation with?) Tom Lehrer's song's was circa 1957 via a 10" issue of "An Evening Wasted with...", bought by my brother at the Harvard COOP.

George


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: ClaireBear
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 05:03 PM

Ah, memories!

Because I grew up not too far from Santa Cruz, Tom Lehrer came to my high school to speak and sing at a rally for the first Earth Day. Remember his song "Pollution, Pollution" -- The breakfast garbage you throw into the bay/They eat for lunch in San Jose? That was us (well, OK, we were in Saratoga, but still).

Last Christmas Eve, I hung out with the rector of my church between services, and we did a dynamite duet of "The Masochism Tango" to the amusement and/or befuddlement of those present. You all shoulda been there.

Claire


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 05:10 PM

Anyone know the tune to ths SAC song?


"The Sac Song"
Tom wrote this song for the 1963 Universal-International film "A Gathering Of
Eagles". It is used about an hour and fifteen minutes into that film. It is
sung by the character Hollis Farr (played by Rod Taylor, Rock Hudson's
co-star in the film), who accompanies himself on the piano. About 45 seconds
are used in the film, though about a minute and a half was written. This is
the part used in the film.
An officer named Jackson at Beale Air Force Base in Marysville, CA (where the
film was done) made a recording of Tom singing the full version of the song,
but these lyrics have not yet surfaced. One known expurgated couplet is:

Every time we hear that Klaxon,
We say a few words in Anglo-Saxon.
This refers to cursing whenever the alarm bell would sound.
The song is best understood in the context of the film. An O.R.I. is a
no-notice Operational Readiness Inspection. S.A.C. is the Strategic Air
Command.

Here at S.A.C. we're filled with pride.
There's just one thing we can't decide:
Which we'd rather get clobbered by,
An enemy attack or an O.R.I.

Our wing commander's got a racket,
Though sometimes it's hard to hack it.
Whenever he gets his wife alone,
Ding-a-ling-a-ling goes the little red phone.

Oh, we love the seven-day alert.
For a week we will not see a skirt.
But we know it's part of S.A.C.'s main goal:
To test our positive control.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Whatever became of the wild blue yonder?
How we wish the good ol' days were back
In S.A.C.!


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST, lamarca'sOM
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 12:03 AM

Sorry, the 10" was "Songs By Tom Lehrer" -- 1953.

George


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 01:10 AM

beardedbruce, I was going to refer you to http://dmdb.org/lyrics/lehrer.misc.html but now that I've been there I see it's unnecessary as your post here is just a wholesale cut-and-paste from what's at that page. But maybe you're the person who put that page together in the first place, so you didn't have any need to cite it.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Midchuck
Date: 30 May 09 - 03:17 PM

SPAM!



Peter.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer
From: Stringsinger
Date: 31 May 09 - 07:12 AM

"Anyone who surfs the net deserves all the misinformation they get"......T. Lehrer


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