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Tom Lehrer - Who's next?

ELEPHANTS (The Force of Habit---ROUND)

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Blowzabella 11 Oct 06 - 02:40 PM
beardedbruce 11 Oct 06 - 02:42 PM
beardedbruce 11 Oct 06 - 02:45 PM
Blowzabella 11 Oct 06 - 02:46 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Oct 06 - 04:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Oct 06 - 08:58 PM
Liz the Squeak 11 Oct 06 - 11:48 PM
Leadfingers 12 Oct 06 - 07:17 AM
GUEST 12 Oct 06 - 07:46 AM
beardedbruce 12 Oct 06 - 08:26 AM
beardedbruce 12 Oct 06 - 08:28 AM
Wolfgang 12 Oct 06 - 09:22 AM
pavane 13 Oct 06 - 02:16 AM
Pauline L 13 Oct 06 - 04:38 AM
Tannywheeler 13 Oct 06 - 03:02 PM
Rowan 13 Oct 06 - 11:03 PM
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Subject: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 02:40 PM

Hi - Can anyone point me in the direction of lyrics for the Tom Lehrer song 'Who's Next' - I have it on vinyl but no means of playing it!

It starts off:

First we got the bomb and that was good
cos we love (something) and brotherhood
Who's Next
Next (somewhere) got the bomb but that's ok
cos the balance of Power's maintained that way
Who's next


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 02:42 PM

"Who's Next"

One of the big news items of the past year concerned the fact that China,
which we call 'Red China', exploded a nuclear bomb, which we called a
'device'. Then Indonesia announced that it was gonna have one soon,
and proliferation became the word of the day. Here's a song about that.

First we got the bomb and that was good,
'Cause we love peace and motherhood.
Then Russia got the bomb, but that's o.k.,
'Cause the balance of power's maintained that way!
Who's next?

France got the bomb, but don't you grieve,
'Cause they're on our side, I believe.
China got the bomb, but have no fears;
They can't wipe us out for at least five years!
Who's next?

Then Indonesia claimed that they
Were gonna get one any day.
South Africa wants two, that's right:
One for the black and one for the white!
Who's next?

Egypt's gonna get one, too,
Just to use on you know who.
So Israel's getting tense,
Wants one in self defense.
"The Lord's our shepherd," says the psalm,
But just in case, we better get a bomb!
Who's next?

Luxembourg is next to go
And, who knows, maybe Monaco.
We'll try to stay serene and calm
When Alabama gets the bomb!
Who's next, who's next, who's next?
Who's next?

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 02:45 PM

and , as much to the point....


When you attend a funeral
It is sad to think that sooner or
Later those you love will do the same for you
And you may have thought it tragic
Not to think of other adject-
Ives to think of all the weeping they will do
(But don't you worry)
No more ashes, no more sack cloth
And an arm band made of black cloth
Will someday never more adorn a sleeve.
For if the bomb that drops on you
Gets your friends and neighbors too
There'll be nobody left behind to grieve.

And we will all go together when we go,
What a comforting fact that is to know.
Universal bereavement,
An inspiring achievement,
Yes, we all will go together when we go.

We will all go together when we go.
All suffused with an incandescent glow.
No one will have the endurance
To collect on his insurance
Lloyds of London will be loaded when they go.

We will all fry together when we fry.
We'll be french fried potatoes bye and bye.
There will be no more misery
When the world is our rotisserie,
Yes, we all will fry together when we fry.

Down by the old maelstrom
There'll be a storm before the calm.

And we'll all bake together when we bake.
There'll be nobody present at the wake.
With complete participation,
In that grand incineration
Nearly three billion hunks of well-done steak.

We will all char together when we char.
And let there be no moaning at the bar.
Just sing out a Te Deum
When you see that I.C.B.M.
And the party will be "come as you are".

We will all burn together when we burn.
There'll be no need to stand and wait your turn.
When it's time for the fallout,
And Saint Peter calls us all out
We'll just drop our agendas and adjourn.

You will all go directly to your respective Valhallas
Go directly. Do not pass GO. Do not collect two hundred dolla's

And we will all go together when we go
Ev'ry Hottentot and ev'ry Eskimo
When the air becomes uranious
We will all go simultaneous
Yes we all will go together when we all go together
Yes we all will go together when we go

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 02:46 PM

Cheers bruce - that must be a new world record!!!!!

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 04:14 PM

Bear Family--the German CD company that produces magnificent boxed CD set at horrendous prices has issued a set tutled "Songs From the Golden Age of Homeland Security". Y'know, civil defense and bomb shelters Cuban missiles and the like.

Folks back then really knew how to be scared!

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 08:58 PM

There's a large book of Lehrer's lyrics available, and most of them can also probably be found online.

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 11:48 PM

'Too many songs, not enough drawings' - Tom Lehrer & Ronald Searle (he of the original St Trinians school cartoon fame)

It's a great book, would be even better if it had a CD of all the songs with it but it's by no means the whole of his repertoire.

And there aren't enough drawings.


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 07:17 AM

There is a boxed set of Tom Lehrer's songs available , with a booklet with all the lyrics - Warner Archives Reprise R2 79831 .
I also have both the original hardbacks and the paperbabck - If any one wants info , just ask me !

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 07:46 AM

The 3CD boxed set is titled "The Remains of Tom Lehrer" from Warner Archives as Reprise R2 79381, released in 2000.

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 08:26 AM

(Thanks for list from DT- Lyrics add for this one? Should I post others not on DT?)

Several of his songs were used on TV, for children's shows... and here are two ones that I have never heard- anyone have recordings?

""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

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.!


"Now Then Are There Any Questions"
To the tune of the Mozart canon "O, Du Eselhafter Martin".
This was the closing song in "The Physical Revue", a series of songs
performed by Lehrer and his cohorts in 1951 and 1952 at Harvard
University. The show was done first on January 13 & 22, 1951, in Jefferson
Laboratory 250, and was slightly revised and performed again the next year
(with a different cast), on May 26, 1952, at Allston Burr Hall.
The title of the show was a play on a physics journal called "The
Physical Review". Other songs included in the show were "A Liter And A
Gram" (a/k/a "Physicist's Love Song"; parody of "A Bushel And A Peck"),
"Dodging The Draft At Harvard", "The Derivative Song", "The Slide Rule
Song", "The Wild West Is Where I Want To Be", "Lobachevsky", and "Fight
Fiercely Harvard", plus most likely "There's A Delta For Every Epsilon",
"The Professor's Song", and "The Elements".
"Now Then Are There Any Questions" was performed in a round, with Tom and
other graduate students doing the four student parts, and professor
Lewis Branscomb (in the 1951 presentation) as the professor. A
different person played the professor in 1952.
Tom says that at least one performance of the 1951 "Physical Revue" was
recorded on a wire recorder by Norman Ramsey (later a Nobel Prize winning
physicist), but the condition or existence of that tape today is unknown.
The 1952 performance was also recorded by someone else.
For the 100th anniversary of "The Physical Review" (the journal), there was
a reunion of some performers from "The Physical Revue" (including Lewis,
though not including Tom) on April 13, 1993, in Washington, D.C., and they
performed "Songs of the Physical Revue" during a meeting of the American
Physical Society.
I do not know who wrote the following transcription and comments. I found
it on, but there was unfortunately no name attached to it. If
it was you, please let me know! There are some misremembered facts here,
like the year, location, and what Tom's part was, but it is still intereting
to read. Tom also says that the piano used was an upright (not a grand) and
that he was definitely not dressed in tails.
As a visiting prof in '64(?), Lehrer presented the final class session in
one of the undergrad physics courses.

Anyway, the class met in a physics lecture hall like Varian 100 or 101 in
the Tank, with electrically operated blackboards. When this last special
session was held, the lecture table had been rolled out, and a grand piano
rolled in. The electric blackboards had been painted with colored chalk
to look exactly like the proscenium and curtains at the Boston Symphony.
The room was packed with everyone in the Department.

Lehrer came in, in tails as I remember, dramatically punched the button that
made the "curtains" go up, underneath was written in large letters "The
Physical Revue", and he began an hour's worth of just that. Besides the
"Derivative Song" (I think), there was certainly the "Periodic Table" song,
Lobachevsky, and a round, sung with four associates, which I've never
encountered since, which had Lehrer as professor and the others as students

Now then, are there any questions?    (G G G-G-G-G E C)
Now then, are there any questions?    (ditto)
If there are none,                   (C C C A)
Then I am done                        (C C C G)
(And I have nothing more to say-ay)        (E D C B D C A D C)

(Last line not sure about, and also the music may be wrong)

First student:

Man, he asks if there are questions
Man, I've got a million questions
I've got a ton,
And every one,
Would take a half a day to ans-wer.

There may have been more verses; I don't remember. If someone else knows
of this, I'd be delighted to hear of a place to locate it. (It may have
been a follow-on to the "Professor's Song"?)

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 08:28 AM

What??? This is not on the DT???

cho: Wha do you lassie?
Wha do you noo?
The one wha do you last time,
He canna do you noo!

1. The Clancy Brothers they were there,
Along with Tommy Makem.
They waved their Finnegans in the air,
But, alas, they could not wake 'em.

2. And Peter with his banjo,
Was pickin' until dawn.
Next morning all the lassies asked,
"Where have all our flowers gone?"

3. Oh, Ed McCurdy he was there,
But not the least obscene.
Compared to all the songs he sings,
This was exquisite clean.

4. Then Jan Ian she came in,
Her behavior was quite mild,
Although she is a grown-up now,
She's still "Society's Child."

5. Professor Child he came in,
But just to take a look,
And every variation,
He wrote down in his book.

6. Then next came Alan Lomax,
With his microphone,
He spent the night recording,
Every squeal and moan.

7. And the Earl of Scruggs he was there,
What do you think of that?
He had a little breakdown,
That left his Lester Flatt.

8. And Old Man Guthrie he was there,
He made the lassies coo,
"Oh, Woody, you are so long,
It's been good to know you, too!"

9. Oh, Huddie Ledbetter he was there,
He made the lassies squeal,
For his belly 'twas said was made of lead,
But his pride was tempered steel.

10. And Ewan MacColl he was there,
Explaining to a lass,
"I sing about the workin',
And not the firkin' class."

11. And McGuinn the Byrdie joined the fun,
He made the lassies yearn.
They stood in queue and one by one,
Each took her "Turn, Turn, Turn."

12. But little Arlo, I pray tell,
He didn't do no firkin',
'Cause he spent the night with A.O.L.,
On the Internet a-lurkin'.

13. And old Josh White he went bare,
A-prancin' through the hall,
Asking all the lassies there,
To taste his "One Meatball."

13. The Carter Family's drinking beer,
They were on a spree,
And every fifteen minutes,
They stopped to take A.P.

14. The singer-songwriters we saw,
Cavorting with their lovers,
Were singin' 'til their throats were raw,
But wouldn't do no covers.

15. Ed Cray had on a costume,
Inspired by the blues,
He dressed up as an old tomcat,
And gave erotic mews.

16. Said Berryman to Berryman,
"What _are_ they doing, dear?"
"Words fail me," answered Berryman,
"I see some mothers here."

17. If you went into the back room,
You might see Oscar Brand,
Working on a ballad,
With whatever came to hand.

18. Oh, Joanie Baez she was there,
Of non-violence she did speak,
So when a laddie bumped her rump,
She turned the other cheek.

19. Don Laycock joined the company,
His face was rather red,
For when they'd introduced him,
There was no more to be said.

20. Tom Lehrer gave a lecture,
That had everybody scared.
He stood on the piano,
And shouted, "Be prepared!"

21. "I've madeira on my waistcoat,"
Poor Flanders said to Swann.
"It worked so well the first time!
Well, let's be getting on."

22. And Robert smiled aboon the crew,
And doun his voice cam ringin',
"For a' that, there are some owre fou,
But wha's owre fou for singin'?"

23. Well, Louie Killen he was there,
His back agin' the wall,
He squeezed and squeezed and squeezed and squeezed,
But it wouldna go in at all.

24. And Ali Anderson he was there,
But he knew what to do.
His 'tina wouldna fit, so,
He's usin' his chanter noo.

25. The Kingston Trio they came in,
The night was very young,
When each one dropped his pants to show,
How Tom Dooley hung.

26. Jean Ritchie she spent the night,
A-ticklin' on her zither,
And all the lads who watched her there,
Couldn't help but shake and shiver.

27. Paul and Mary they came in,
In private he did meet her,
They had a "Puff" of some magic stuff,
And then brought out his Peter.

28. The traditional singer's wife,
Was sighin', "Dear, oh dear!
He never performed a' his life,
Wi'out his finger in his ear."

29. No one was shocked when Cecil Sharp,
Winked at Lester Flatt.
It scarcely seemed unnatural,
They they should have a chat.

30. Richard Dyer-Bennet,
Surprised everybody,
For his stones were like a baritone's,
But his voice a true castrati.

31. Bob Dylan kept his britches on,
So one would never know,
If his hung "Forever Young,"
Or on "Desolation Row."

32. But when he finally took 'em off,
How old Bobby grinned,
For all the gas that he passed,
Was "Blowing in the Wind."

33. Sid and Henry they were there,
A-makin' fast and free,
Though could not do that proper like,
But only parody.

34. Now Gordon Bok he came on down,
From Nor'east on the go.
When they asked him for his pleasure,
He answered, "Isle au Haut!"

35. Stan Rogers he was quick and sure,
And strong with what it takes,
But he wouldna take the lassies at a',
Not even "Between the Breaks."

36. Now k.d. lang she came and looked,
And said, "There's naught to fear,
From all these swinging blades afar,
If I can keep my Holly Near."

37. Lovely Hedy West was there,
Observin' with dismay,
After one quick peek she wished she were,
"Five Hundred Miles" away.

38. Dar Williams she stopped to give,
The older folkies hell,
But when they all exposed themselves,
Said, "My, you're aging well!"

39. Crystal Gale was at the ball,
And her old lover, too.
He sighed and said, "It's been a while,
Since I was 'Blue Bayou.'"

40. The Kingston Trio soon came in,
And everyone was keen,
To know amonst the three of them,
Which one slept in between.

41. And Cecil Sharp was taking notes,
While watching all the fun,
He's never tried himself but he,
Knows all the way's it's done.

42. Stephen, Stephen, he was limply,
Trying harder than most,
To get us all to write a verse,
But couldn't get a post.

By mutual agreement of the authors, this song is now and forever in the PUBLIC DOMAIN. No copyrights are claimed. Among those who contributed or polished up verses are: Joseph C. Fineman, Eric Berge, Sean Smith, Ada M. Prill, Donald Nichols, Abby Sale, Robert Derrick, Justan O. Thereditor, Leslie Evers, Barrie McCombs, and Stephen L. Suffet.

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 09:22 AM

THE FOLKSINGERS' BALL (link to DT entry)


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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: pavane
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 02:16 AM

Does anyone have the words to the song about decimalisation (of the British pound) that Tom Lehrer sang on British TV (The Frost program)? It must have been sometime in the 1960's.

I remember seeing the program, but can only hazily recall the last few words, which I think were ".. two fifths of a pound"

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: Pauline L
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 04:38 AM

...and I thought this thread was going to be about North Korea.

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 03:02 PM

Man--they don't write 'em like that anymore. Until Mr. (teacher)Lehrer puts pen to paper (or hand to keyboard?). Probably a good thing..... Tw

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Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer - Who's next?
From: Rowan
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 11:03 PM

I first heard Lobachevsky at high school in the 50s and was hooked. Later we found out that he was banned from performing Be Prepared on his Australian tour, so I learned and sang a few more. My teenaged daughters heard him interviewed on ABC Radio National and gave me the boxed CD set for Christmas. A great investment on their part 'cos they're into his songs too, now.

Cheers, Rowan

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