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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
Wolfgang 07 Jan 04 - 09:55 AM
alanabit 07 Jan 04 - 10:10 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 04 - 10:13 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 04 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Cllr at work 07 Jan 04 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Cllr 07 Jan 04 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Cllr at work 07 Jan 04 - 10:26 AM
EBarnacle 07 Jan 04 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,ClaireBear 07 Jan 04 - 11:41 AM
RWJ 07 Jan 04 - 02:05 PM
Little Robyn 07 Jan 04 - 02:09 PM
Leadfingers 07 Jan 04 - 02:14 PM
Emma B 07 Jan 04 - 02:18 PM
George Papavgeris 07 Jan 04 - 02:24 PM
George Papavgeris 07 Jan 04 - 02:27 PM
George Papavgeris 07 Jan 04 - 02:27 PM
pdq 07 Jan 04 - 02:35 PM
George Papavgeris 07 Jan 04 - 02:39 PM
open mike 07 Jan 04 - 03:27 PM
Chief Chaos 07 Jan 04 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,ClaireBear 07 Jan 04 - 03:37 PM
Nigel Parsons 07 Jan 04 - 03:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 04 - 04:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 04 - 04:11 PM
sed 07 Jan 04 - 04:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 04 - 04:30 PM
Wolfgang 07 Jan 04 - 04:38 PM
open mike 07 Jan 04 - 04:38 PM
Herga Kitty 07 Jan 04 - 05:01 PM
Wolfgang 07 Jan 04 - 05:07 PM
Joe_F 07 Jan 04 - 05:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jan 04 - 05:37 PM
Mudlark 07 Jan 04 - 05:43 PM
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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: Stilly River Sage
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: Stilly River Sage
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: Stilly River Sage
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: Stilly River Sage
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: Stilly River Sage
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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