Sunday morning music


While chatting with a younger reader over the past week, I discovered to my horror that she’d never heard of Tom Lehrer.  This is, of course, entirely un-American of her, and inconceivable to any child of the Cold War era.  To remedy that, I promised her I’d put up a selection of Mr. Lehrer’s comedy songs this weekend.  This is a concert recorded in 1959.

Evergreen musical humor!



  1. In junior high I had a general music class where the teacher encouraged us to bring records (it was a few years ago) to share with the class. I was not permitted to share Tom Lehrer. You would think a teach who'd taught general music to Joan Baez would be a bit more open.

  2. Ah Tom Lehrer, what a talent! He is 93 and living in California, I think. He would have been a great professor to have in college. His "Elements" song is a masterpiece of diction and memory. I went to see Tomfoolery years ago in Boston, and the performance was outstanding.
    Great fun.
    I am reminded of Flanders and Swann, whom you may know as well.

  3. "Be Prepared" isn't quite as funny now, and I about fell over my senior year of college when we started covering the narrator's math topic from "Lobachevsky"

  4. A psychologist acquaintance of mine, Dr. Redacted, borrowed my bound copy of all of Lehrer's so-called music. The Doc acquired a bloody stump of a severed hand (alas, rubber) and held it to his cheek at the "annual-something-meeting" while waltzing and singing "I Hold Your Hand in Mine". He was quite the hit. Took me almost a year to get the darn book back from him…

  5. 13 years in aerospace working on satellites and nuclear missiles and The Ballad of Dr. Werner Von Braun was always a hit.

    One of the truly great American composers.

  6. That Was the Year That Was was in my best friends families set of albums and we loved it.
    To this day I still love that album, particularly The ballad of Alma

    Alma, tell us,
    All modern women are jealous!
    Though you didn't even use Ponds,
    You got Gustav and Walter and Franz.

    That was particularly beloved as Ponds was mostly manufactured in the town I grew up in.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *