Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tom Lehrer Is Geeky

I have loved Tom Lehrer since before I knew who he was. One of my high school science teachers played us "The Elements Song" in an attempt to get us excited about chemistry, and I'd run across "Masochism Tango" and "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" on several occasions. And then I bought a CD, and then I discovers clips on his shows on Youtube, and … well. Ze rrrest, eet vas heestory.

For those of you not in the know, Tom Lehrer was a Harvard mathematician-turned-comic musician, best known for the songs put out in the 1950s and 1960s. He's known for somewhat simplistic songs that satirize the pop culture, politics, and attitudes of the day. I think his songs are as current today as they were was then, which is both a tribute to him and a sad comment on how little's really changed in the last fifty years.

I'm not sure whether it's the satire, the music, or the inherent geekiness of so many of his songs that's truly hooked me, but as all good fans do, I occasionally try to hook others. As I am doing now.

Don't believe me about his geekiness? Listening to his songs will up your geek cred (kind of like Monty Python) and his songs, of course, tend to run to geeky topics. For instance:

And of course, who could forget "The Elements Song"? Not me!

Are you hooked yet?


Hannah said...

Love, love, love Tom Lehrer. My dad played me "New Math" when I was about nine years old. I think most of what I know from the sixties comes from "That was the Year that Was."

Metafrantic said...

I've loved Tom Lehrer since I was a little kid. Some of his songs did get dated, like "Werner Von Braun" and "Who's Next?" They're still fun, though.

And let's not forget "Be Prepared"!