Too Many Songs with Not Enough Pictures

Too Many Songs with Not Enough Pictures

by Tom Lehrer

Paperback

$18.90 $21.00 Save 10% Current price is $18.9, Original price is $21. You Save 10%.
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, February 26
MARKETPLACE
40 New & Used Starting at $1.99

Overview

The subversive songs of Tom Lehrer, the sardonic piano-wielding fugitive from Harvard, have corrupted generations of Americans since he first began recording and performing in the 1950s. His uniquely depraved wit has been forced again on an unsuspecting public' via Tom Foolery, the stage revue based on his ever-trenchant observation of the American scene. This new songbook, with old favorites unavailable for years as well as never-published songs, is the most comprehensive ever assembled. It contains the words, tunes, piano accompaniments, and guitar chords for these thirty-four classics:

The Irish Ballad
Fight Fiercely, Harvard!
Be Prepared
The Old Dope Peddler
The Wild West Is Where I
Want to Be
I Wanna Go Back to Dixie
Lobachevsky
The Hunting Song
I Hold Your Hand in Mine
My Home Town
L-Y
When You Are Old and Gray
The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz
Poisoning Pigeons in the Park
A Christmas Carol
Bright College Days
In Old Mexico
She's My Girl
The Elements
The Masochism Tango
National Brotherhood Week
MLF Lullaby
The Folk Song Army
Smut
Send the Marines
New Math
Pollution
So Long, Mom
Who's Next?
Wemher Von Braun
We Will All Go Together
When We Go
I Got It from Agnes
Silent E
The Vatican Rag

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394749303
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1981
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 622,698
Product dimensions: 8.48(w) x 10.84(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Thomas Lehrer is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician. Although best known for the pithy, humorous songs he recorded in the 1950s and 1960s, Lehrer discontinued his musical career in the early 1970s. His cult following led to a hit London revival of his music called Tom Foolery in the early 1980s and his songs were re-released digitally as recently as 2010.

Lehrer's academic career spanned fifty years, teaching at MIT, Harvard, Wellesley, and the University of California (Santa Clara). Although he also taught political science and liberal arts, his main focus was on mathematics, from which he retired in 2001. Lehrer has also lectured on mathematics and musical theater.

Read an Excerpt

FOREWORD
 
The songs in this book were written between World Wars II and III, and all but three of them are from the three LPs I recorded during that memorable period in history. Most of them were intended at the time of conception either as takeoffs on various song types of the day, particularly the more sentimental species, or as commentaries on current events, so that I regarded them as fugacious ephemera which by not should have been of artifactual interest only to scholars (although in what field I can’t imagine). It is therefore a source of considerable delight to me that publication of this agglomeration should be warranted at all at this late date. Any royalties will naturally be a source of even greater delight.
 
Three of the songs are not from my three records. Two of them, “Silent E” and “L-Y,” were written in the early seventies for an American television series called The Electric Company, which was produced by the Children’s Television workshop in a desperate attempt to help young children learn to read. An animated film accompanied each song. The third, “I Got It from Agnes,” is a recently revised version of a song I used to perform in night clubs in the fifties but did not record because it was what was called in those days a “party song,” i.e., a bit naughty. Today, of course, even though the revision made it naughtier, its innocence borders on naïvté.
 
The musical congeries that follows owes its existence in part to a rather curious event. An intrepid but not entirely ration young British producer named Cameron Mackintosh took it into his head that what had previously been done to every songwriter from Jacques Brel to Stephen Songheim might be done to me, namely, a stage production embalming my old songs. The result was a revue entitled Tomfoolery, which opened in London in 1980 and has since been produced in various other cities throughout the world without any noticeable ill effects. All the songs used in that show are in this book, including certain alternate lyrics which I wrote for the show.
 
Revisiting these lighthearted and heavy-handed songs (some say it’s the other way around) was somewhat like looking at one’s own baby pictures: was that me? (Before I began spending so much time in California, I would have said “Was that I?”) I haven’t written any songs of this type lately and probably won’t be doing so, this volume may be regarded as a definitive agglutination. (Well-wishers, however, are constantly suggesting hilarious subject matter, such as the Viet Nam war, the gradual destruction of the environment, our recent presidents, etc., so that I have often felt like a resident of Pompeii who has been asked for some humorous comments on lava.) Anyway, what good are laurels if you can’t rest on them?
 
This is my first foreword, so please forgive me if I’m not doing it right. I believe one is supposed to thank people, but I can’t think of anyone.
 
Except you, of course.
 
Tom Lehrer, April 1981
 
***
 
“The Irish Ballad”
Words and Music by Tom Lehrer
 
[musical score included]
 
1. About a maid I’ll sing a song
Sing rick-e-ty tick-e-ty tin.
About a maid I’ll sing a song
Who didn’t have her fam’ly long.
Not only did she do them wrong,
She did ev’ry one of them in (them in).
She did ev’ry one of them in.
 
2. One morning in a fit of pique,
Sing rick-e-ty tick-e-ty tin.
One morning in a fit of pique
She drowned her father in the creek.
The water tasted bad for a week,
And we had to make do with gin (with gin).
We had to make do with gin.
 
3. Her mother she could never stand,
Sing rick-e-ty tick-e-ty tin.
Her mother she could never stand
And so a cyanide soup she planned.
The mother died with the spoon in her hand,
And her face in a hideous grin (a grin).
Her face in a hideous grin.
 
4. She set her sister’s hair on fire,
Sing rick-e-ty tick-e-ty tin.
She set her sister’s hair on fire
And as the smoke and flame rose high’r.
Danced around the funeral pyre,
Playing a violin (-olin).
Playing a violin.
 
5. She weighted her brother down with stones,
Sing rick-e-ty tick-e-ty tin.
She weighted her brother down with stones
And sent his off to Davy Jones.
All they ever found were some bones,
And occasional pieces of skin (of skin).
Occasional pieces of skin.
 
6. One day when she had nothing to do,
Sing rick-e-ty tick-e-ty tin.
One day when she had nothing to do
She cut her baby bother in two.
And served him up as an Irish stew,
And invited the neighbors in (-bors in).
Invited the neighbors in.
 
7. And when at last the police came by,
Sing rick-e-ty tick-e-ty tin.
And when at last the police came by
Her little pranks she did not deny.
To do so, she would have had to lie,
And lying, she knew was a sin (a sin).
Lying she knew was a sin.
 
8. My tragic tale I won’t prolong,
Sing rick-e-ty tick-e-ty tin.
My tragic tale I won’t prolong
And if you do not enjoy my song—
You’ve yourselves to blame if it’s too long,
You should never have let me begin (begin).
You should never have let me begin.

Table of Contents

Foreword

Part One: From Songs by Tom Lehrer
The Irish Ballad
Fight Fiercely, Harvard!
Be Prepared
The Old Dope Peddler
The Wild West Is Where I
Want to Be
I Wanna Go Back to Dixie
Lobachevsky
The Hunting Song
I Hold Your Hand in Mine
My Home Town
L-Y
When You Are Old and Gray
The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz

Part Two: From An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer
Poisoning Pigeons in the Park
A Christmas Carol
Bright College Days
In Old Mexico
She's My Girl
The Elements
The Masochism Tango

Part Three: From That Was the Year That Was, etc.
National Brotherhood Week
MLF Lullaby
The Folk Song Army
Smut
Send the Marines
New Math
Pollution
So Long, Mom
Who's Next?
Wemher Von Braun
We Will All Go Together
When We Go
I Got It from Agnes
Silent E
The Vatican Rag

Discography
Lyrics
Index of Song Titles

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews