From: firstname.lastname@example.org version 1.1, June, 9th 1993 transcribed by Birgit Klug & Eike Krömer, May 1993 in TeX Send bugs and comments to email@example.com converted to text file by Jeff Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org) March 27, 1995 If you do not enjoy this file, you will certainly not enjoy: LEHRER.DISCO LYRICS:LEHRER.REVISITED LYRICS:LEHRER.TW3 LYRICS:LEHRER.MISC LYRICS:LEHRER.DIFF all available via the Web and through the Dementia FAQ List mail server at email@example.com by mailing with the appropriate subject line.
Spring is here, a-suh-puh-ring is here. Life is skittles and life is beer. I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring. I do, don't you? 'Course you do. But there's one thing that makes spring complete for me, And makes every Sunday a treat for me. All the world seems in tune On a spring afternoon, When we're poisoning pigeons in the park. Every Sunday you'll see My sweetheart and me, As we poison the pigeons in the park. When they see us coming, the birdies all try an' hide, But they still go for peanuts when coated with cyanide. The sun's shining bright, Everything seems all right, When we're poisoning pigeons in the park. We've gained notoriety, And caused much anxiety In the Audubon Society With our games. They call it impiety And lack of propriety, And quite a variety Of unpleasant names. But it's not against any religion To want to dispose of a pigeon. So if Sunday you're free, Why don't you come with me, And we'll poison the pigeons in the park. And maybe we'll do In a squirrel or two, While we're poisoning pigeons in the park. We'll murder them all amid laughter and merriment, Except for the few we take home to experiment. My pulse will be quickenin' With each drop of strych'nine We feed to a pigeon. (It just takes a smidgin!) To poison a pigeon in the park.Thank you!
Well, a typical such song might be called Bright College Days, and might go like this:
Bright college days, oh, carefree days that fly, To thee we sing with our glasses raised on high. [holds up eyeglasses] Let's drink a toast as each of us recalls Ivy-covered professors in ivy-covered halls. Turn on the spigot, Pour the beer and swig it, And gaudeamus igit-ur. Here's to parties we tossed, To the games that we lost (We shall claim that we won them someday). To the girls, young and sweet, To the spacious back seat Of our roommate's beat up Chevrolet. To the beer and benzedrine, To the way that the dean Tried so hard to be pals with us all. To excuses we fibbed, To the papers we cribbed From the genius who lived down the hall. To the tables down at Maury's (Wherever that may be), Let us drink a toast to all we love the best. We will sleep through all the lectures, And cheat on the exams, And we'll pass, and be forgotten with the rest. Oh, soon we'll be out amid the cold world's strife. Soon we'll be sliding down the razor blade of life. ... Ready? ... But as we go our sordid separate ways, We shall ne'er forget thee, thou golden college days. Hearts full of youth, Hearts full of truth, Six parts gin to one part vermouth.
Christmas time is here, by golly, Disapproval would be folly. Deck the halls with hunks of holly, Fill the cup and don't say when. Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens, Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens. Even though the prospect sickens, Brother, here we go again. On Christmas Day you can't get sore, Your fellow man you must adore. There's time to rob him all the more The other three hundred and sixty-four. Relations, sparing no expense, 'll Send some useless old utensil, Or a matching pen and pencil. ("Just the thing I need, how nice!") It doesn't matter how sincere it is, Nor how heart felt the spirit, Sentiment will not endear it, What's important is the price. Hark, the Herald Tribune sings, Advertising wondrous things. God rest ye merry merchants, May ye make the Yuletide pay. Angels we have heard on high, Tell us to go out and buy! So let the raucous sleighbells jingle, Hail our dear old friend Kriss Kringle, Driving his reindeer across the sky. Don't stand underneath when they fly by.Actually, I did rather well myself this past Christmas. The nicest present I received was a gift certificate good at any hospital for a lobotomy... rather thoughtful.
[The tune is that of The Major-General's Song from Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates Of Penzance.]
There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium, And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium, And nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium, And iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium, Europium, zirconium, lutetium, vanadium, And lanthanum and osmium and astatine and radium, And gold, protactinium and indium and gallium, And iodine and thorium and thulium and thallium. There's yttrium, ytterbium, actinium, rubidium, And boron, gadolinium, niobium, iridium, There's strontium and silicon and silver and samarium, And bismuth, bromine, lithium, beryllium, and barium. Isn't that interesting? I knew you would. I hope you're all taking notes, because there's going to be a short quiz next period... There's holmium and helium and hafnium and erbium, And phosphorus and francium and fluorine and terbium, And manganese and mercury, molybdenum, magnesium, Dysprosium and scandium and cerium and cesium. And lead, praseodymium and platinum, plutonium, Palladium, promethium, potassium, polonium, And tantalum, technetium, titanium, tellurium, And cadmium and calcium and chromium and curium. There's sulfur, californium and fermium, berkelium, And also mendelevium, einsteinium, nobelium, And argon, krypton, neon, radon, xenon, zinc and rhodium, And chlorine, carbon, cobalt, copper, tungsten, tin and sodium. These are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard, And there may be many others but they haven't been discovered.And now, may I have the next slide please? ...carried away there.
[This always reminds me of Flanders & Swann's First and Second Law of Thermodynamics - a physics teacher once played both to our class.]
But, a few years ago, a motion picture version appeared of Sophocles' immortal tragedy Oedipus Rex. This picture played only in the so-called art theaters, and it was not a financial success. And I maintain that the reason it was not a financial success... you're way ahead of me... was that it did not have a title tune which the people could hum, and which would make them actually eager to attend this particular flick. So, I've attempted to supply this, and here then is the prospective title song from Oedipus Rex.
From the Bible to the popular song, There's one theme that we find right along; Of all ideals they hail as good, The most sublime is motherhood. There was a man though, who it seems, Once carried this ideal to extremes. He loved his mother and she loved him, And yet his story is rather grim. There once lived a man named Oedipus Rex, You may have heard about his odd complex. His name appears in Freud's index 'Cause he loved his mother. His rivals used to say quite a bit That as a monarch he was most unfit. But still in all they had to admit That he loved his mother. Yes, he loved his mother like no other, His daughter was his sister and his son was his brother. One thing on which you can depend is, He sure knew who a boy's best friend is. When he found what he had done, He tore his eyes out, one by one. A tragic end to a loyal son Who loved his mother. So be sweet and kind to mother, Now and then have a chat. Buy her candy or some flowers, Or a brand new hat. But maybe you had better let it go at that. Or you may find yourself with a quite complex complex And you may end up like Oedipus. I'd rather marry a duck-billed platypus Than end up like old Oedipus Rex.The outpatients are out in force tonight, I see, good! Now...
Dr. Gall's faith in his invention was so dramatically vindicated last year, as you no doubt recall, when, for the first time in history in a nationwide poll, the gall bladder was voted among the top ten organs. His educational career began, interestingly enough, in agricultural school, where he majored in animal husbandry, until they... caught him at it one day... whereupon he switched to the field of medicine, in which field he also won renown as the inventor of gargling, which prior to that time had been practiced only furtively by a remote tribe in the Andes who passed the secret down from father to son as part of their oral tradition.
He soon became a specialist, specializing in diseases of the rich. He was therefore able to retire at an early age... to the land we all dream about: sunny Mexico, of course, the last part of which is completely irrelevant, as was the whole thing, I guess, except it's a rather sneaky way of getting into this next type of popular song, which is one of those things about that magic and romantic land south of the border.
When it's fiesta time in Guadalajara, Then I long to be back once again In Old Mexico. Where we lived for today, never giving a thought to tomara. To the strumming of guitars, In a hundred grubby bars I would whisper "Te amo." The mariachis would serenade, And they would not shut up till they were paid. We ate, we drank, and we were merry, And we got typhoid and dysentery. But best of all, we went to the Plaza de Toros. Now whenever I start feeling morose, I revive by recalling that scene. And names like Belmonte, Domingu'in, and Manolete, If I live to a hundred and eighty, I shall never forget what they mean.For there is surely nothing more beautiful in this world than the sight of a lone man facing single-handedly a half a ton of angry pot roast!
Out came the matador, Who must have been potted or Slightly insane, but who looked rather bored. Then the picadors of course, Each one on his horse, I shouted "Olé!" ev'ry time one was gored. I cheered at the banderilleros' display, As they stuck the bull in their own clever way, For I hadn't had so much fun since the day My brother's dog Rover Got run over.Rover was killed by a Pontiac. And it was done with such grace and artistry that the witnesses awarded the driver both ears and the tail - but I digress.
The moment had come, I swallowed my gum, We knew there'd be blood on the sand pretty soon. The crowd held its breath, Hoping that death Would brighten an otherwise dull afternoon. At last, the matador did what we wanted him to, He raised his sword and his aim was true. In that moment of truth, I suddenly knew That someone had stolen my wallet. Now it's fiesta time in Akron, Ohio, But it's back to old Guadalajara I'm longing to go. Far away from the strikes of the A.F. of L. and C.I.O. How I wish I could get back To the land of the wetback, And forget the Alamo, In Old Mexico. Olé![This always reminds me of Flanders & Swann's Los Olividados.]
In a cavern, in a canyon Excavating for a mine, Dwelt a miner '49er, And his daughter, Clementine. (Chorus) Oh, my darling, Oh, my darling, Oh, my darling, Clementine. You are gone and lost forever, Dreadful sorry, Clementine. Light she was and like a fairy, And her shoes were number nine, Herring boxes without topses, Sandals were for Clementine. (Chorus) Drove she ducklings to the water Ev'ry morning just at 9, Struck her foot against a splinter, Fell into the foaming brine. (Chorus) Ruby lips above the water, Blowing bubbles soft and fine. As for me, I was no swimmer, So I lost my Clementine. (Chorus)And now, Mr. Lehrer's version...
I should like to consider the folk song, and expound briefly on a theory I have held for some time, to the effect that the reason most folk songs are so atrocious is that they were written by the people. If professional songwriters had written them instead, things might have turned out considerably differently. For example, consider the old favorite, with which, I'm sure, you're all familiar, Clementine, you know:
In a cavern, in a canyon, dadada dadadada......a song with no recognizable merit whatsoever - and imagine what might have happened if, for example, Cole Porter had tried writing this song. The first verse might have come out like this:
In a cavern, in a canyon, Excava-ha-ha-hating for a mine, Far away from the boom-boom-boom of the city She was so pretty - what a pity, Clementine. Oh Clementine, can't you tell from the howls of me This love of mine calls to you from the bowels of me. Are you discerning the returning Of this churning, burning, yearning for you...oo oo...ah ah...... well, supposing at this point that Mozart (or one of that crowd) had tried writing a verse, the next one might have come out as a baritone aria from an Italian opera, somewhat along these lines:
Era legera e come un fairy E suo shoes numero nine, Herring bo-ho-ho-hoxes senza to-ho-ho-hopses, Sandalae per Clementina si, per Clementina si, Per Clementina sandalae, per Clementina sandalae, per Clementina. Clementina, Clementina, Clementina... Herring boxes senza topses sandalae per Clementina, Herring boxes senza topses sandalae per Clementina, [ ?? ] Clementina, [ ?? ] Clementina, cara Clementina, cara Clementina-na-na-na-na-na-na-na!Supposing at this rather dramatic juncture in the narrative, one of our modern cool school of composers had tried writing a verse, the next one might have come out like this:
A one, a two, a three... Drove those ducklings to the water... yeah brach! doddley doo doo uh ah! Ev'ry morning like 9am...ooh pah! de do de do do do, biddley da! Got hung up on a splinter, got a-hung up on a splinter... cloo ge mop! Huh huh! do de do de do do do Fell into the foamy brine, dig that crazy Clementine, man!To end on a happy note, one can always count on Gilbert and Sullivan for a rousing finale, full of words and music and signifying - nothing.
That I missed her depressed her young sister named Esther, This mister to pester she tried. Now her pestering sister's a festering blister, You're best to resist her, say I. The mister resisted, the sister persisted, I kissed her, all loyalty slipped. When she said I could have her, her sister's cadaver Must surely have turned in its crypt. Yes, yes, yes, yes! But I love she and she loves me. Enraptured are the both of we. Yes I love she and she loves I And will through all eternity!- see what I mean?
Be that as it may, some of you may recall the publicity a few years ago attendant upon the Army's search for an official Army song to be the counterpart of the Navy's Anchors Aweigh and the Air Force's Up In The Air, Junior Birdman song. I was in basic training at the time, and I recall our platoon sergeant, who was an unfrocked Marine... (Actually, the change of service had come as quite a blow to him because it meant that he had to memorize a new serial number which took up most of his time.)
At any rate, I recall this sergeant's informing me and my roommates of this rather deplorable fact that the Army didn't have any official...excuse me, didn't have no official song and suggested that we work on this in our copious free time. Well, I submitted the following song, which is called It Makes A Fellow Proud To Be A Soldier which, I think, demonstrates the proper spirit, you'll agree. However, the fact that it did not win the contest I can ascribe only to blatant favoritism on part of the judges.
The heart of every man in our platoon must swell with pride, For the nation's youth, the cream of which is marching at his side. For the fascinating rules and regulations that we share, And the quaint and curious costumes that we're called upon to wear. Now Al joined up to do his part defending you and me. He wants to fight and bleed and kill and die for liberty. With the hell of war he's come to grips, Policing up the filter tips, It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier! When Pete was only in the seventh grade, he stabbed a cop. He's real R.A. material, and he was glad to swap His switchblade and his old zip gun For a bayonet and a new M-1. It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier! After Johnny got through basic training, he Was a soldier through and through when he was done. Its effects were so well rooted, That the next day he saluted A Good Humor man, an usher, and a nun. Now, Fred's an intellectual, brings a book to every meal. He likes the deep philosophers, like Norman Vincent Peale. He thinks the army's just the thing, Because he finds it broadening. It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier! Now, Ed flunked out of second grade, and never finished school. He doesn't know a shelter half from an entrenching tool. But, he's going to be a big success, He heads his class at OCS. It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier! Our old mess sergeant's taste buds had been shot off in the war. But his savory collations add to our esprit de corps. To think of all the marvelous ways They're using plastics nowadays. It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier! Our lieutenant is the up-and-coming type, Played with soldiers as a boy, you just can bet. It is written in the stars He will get his captain's bars, But he hasn't got enough box tops yet. Our captain has a handicap to cope with, sad to tell. He's from Georgia, and he doesn't speak the language very well. He used to be, so rumor has, The Dean of Men...at Alcatraz. It makes a fellow proud to be, What as a kid I vowed to be, What luck to be allowed to be a soldier. (At ease!)
Sharks gotta swim, and bats gotta fly, I gotta love one woman till I die. To Ed or Dick or Bob, She may be just a slob, But to me, well, She's my girl. In winter, the bedroom is one large ice cube, And she squeezes the toothpaste from the middle of the tube! Her hairs in the sink Have driven me to drink, But she's my girl, she's my girl, she's my girl, And I love her. The girl that I lament for, The girl my money's spent for, The girl my back is bent for, The girl I owe the rent for, The girl I gave up Lent for Is the girl that heaven meant for me. So though for breakfast she makes coffee that tastes like sham-poo, I come home for dinner and get peanut butter stew, Or, if I'm in luck, It's broiled hockey puck, But, oh well, what the hell, She's my girl, And I love her.
I ache for the touch of your lips, dear, But much more for the touch of your whips, dear. You can raise welts Like nobody else, As we dance to the Masochism Tango. Let our love be a flame, not an ember, Say it's me that you want to dismember. Blacken my eye, Set fire to my tie, As we dance to the Masochism Tango. At your command Before you here I stand, My heart is in my hand... Yeech! It's here that I must be. My heart entreats, Just hear those savage beats, And go put on your cleats And come and trample me. Your heart is hard as stone or mahogany, That's why I'm in such exquisite agony. My soul is on fire, It's aflame with desire, Which is why I perspire when we tango. You caught my nose In your left castanet, love, I can feel the pain yet, love, Ev'ry time I hear drums. And I envy the rose That you held in your teeth, love, With the thorns underneath, love, Sticking into your gums. Your eyes cast a spell that bewitches. The last time I needed twenty stitches To sew up the gash That you made with your lash, As we danced to the Masochism Tango. Bash in my brain, And make me scream with pain, Then kick me once again, And say we'll never part. I know too well I'm underneath your spell, So, darling, if you smell Something burning, it's my heart... [hiccup] 'Scuse me! Take your cigarette from its holder, And burn your initials in my shoulder. Fracture my spine, And swear that you're mine, As we dance to the Masochism Tango.
Henry was financially independent, having inherited his father's tar-and-feather business, and was therefore able to devote his full time to such intellectual pursuits as writing. I particularly remember a heartwarming novel of his about a young necrophiliac who finally achieved his boyhood ambition by becoming coroner. ... (The rest of you can look it up when you get home.)
In addition to writing, he indulged in a good deal of philosophizing. Like so many contemporary philosophers, he especially enjoyed giving helpful advice to people who were happier than he was. And one particular bit of advice which I recall - which is the reason I bring up this whole dreary story - is something he said once, before they took him away to the Massachusetts State Home for the Bewildered.
He said: "Life is like a sewer - what you get out of it depends on what you put into it." It's always seemed to me that this is precisely the sort of dynamic, positive thinking that we so desperately need today in these trying time of crisis and universal brouhaha. And so with this in mind, I have here a modern, positive, dynamic, uplifting song, in the tradition of the great old revival hymns. This one might more accurately be termed a survival hymn. It goes like this:
When you attend a funeral, It is sad to think that sooner o' Later those you love will do the same for you. And you may have thought it tragic, Not to mention other adjec- Tives, to think of all the weeping they will do. (But don't you worry.) No more ashes, no more sackcloth, And an arm band made of black cloth Will some day nevermore 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 will all 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, Lloyd's of London will be loaded when they go. Oh we will all fry together when we fry. We'll be french fried potatoes by and by. There will be no more misery When the world is our rotisserie, Yes, we will all fry together when we fry. Down by the old maelstrom, There'll be a storm before the calm. And we will 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. Oh we will all char together when we char. And let there be no moaning of 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. Oh, 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 dollars. And we will all go together when we go. Every Hottentot and every 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.
Eike Krömer Institut für Theoretische Physik firstname.lastname@example.org Universität Hannover "...but plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize, only be sure to always call it please - research" (Tom Lehrer: Lobachevsky)