Monday, September 10, 2007

It's not against any religion, to want to dispose of a pigeon

Tom Lehrer about to poison Pigeons in a Park (not really)

Well, it's probably against aspects of many of them but only if you interpret it that way...

All credit to my wonderful parents that unlike many of those I went to school with (whether friends or not) that instead of subjecting their children to turgid rock or sickly stuff like Celine Dion, somehow the might of the mighty Tom Lehrer sunk his way into my subconscious at a very early age, and my brother's at an even younger. What with my Mum dropping me on my head as a baby, growing up with Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister and eating meat until I was's amazing I'm still here.

Tom Lehrer sent up the American Establishment in a musical style not hugely dissimilar to Ben Folds jamming with Jello Biafra and with a humour that makes many punk bands seem frankly po-faced. Hell, the man could sing about incest ('Oedipus Rex'), Vatican II ('The Vatican Rag') or Masochism ('the masochism Tango') and still be bloody funny.

Read about Tom Lehrer at Wikipedia.

Check out these mp3s, and see what you've been missing all these years.

first up, one to make you realise that you might know one of his songs

Tom Lehrer -'The Elements.' mp3

One of his most famous songs;

Tom Lehrer -'Poisoning Pigeons In The Park.' mp3

Families? who needs 'em!

Tom Lehrer -'The Irish Ballad.' mp3

'Fracture your spine and say you'll be mine, as we dance to

Tom Lehrer -'The Masochism Tango.' mp3

And of course, in the fifties, nuclear war was the only way to go (actually, that might still be true)

Tom Lehrer -'We Will All Go Together When We Go.' mp3

If you like this, and have discovered that North Americans Do do irony after all, then go buy The Remains Of Tom Lehrer CD boxset.


So It Goes said...

Wondrous irony from a guy who was under no illusions what kind of reaction he'd get to his work: calling one of your albums 'The Worst Of Tom Lehrer' disarms criticism really. 'We will all go...' is just the best of the bunch: 'you will all go to your respective valhallas: do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars'. Timeless and still funny.

So It Goes said...

P.S. Hope you don't mind me pointing this out, but my site is actually called 'Teenage Kicks' alter ego is So It Goes. Cheers!

Ed said...

No problems, have updated the links!

Thanks for letting me know, and glad you like the Tom Lehrer stuff.


The DoorKeeper said...

excellent stuff - I have a little ten inch Decca (uk) lp of the Worst of.. which I'm very proud of.

I recommend the live LPs over the studio albums - the same quality of musicianship and the between song patter is hilarious. An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer was the first one.

Matthew said...

Ed you splendid, splendid man! Can't believe you left off Vatican Rag or National Brotherhood Week though. Or, well... actually how on earth did you keep it down to five?

Ed said...

Doorkeeper -have the live albums on the boxset, it's all very cool stuff. hang onto that 10"!

Matthew -thought this might be up your street, Mr. Toad. Was tempted to post more, but did actually want to encourage people to go and investigate rather than just downloading it. Pleased to see it does seem to have struck some sort of chord with people!