Happy Birthday Tom Lehrer!


Tom Lehrer

Mathematics is not fun. But mathematicians are. At least Tom Lehrer is. He was born on April 9th in 1928 and majored in mathematics at Harvard when he was 19. Besides studying he sang humorous songs for his friends and colleagues accompanying himself on the piano .

He has the talent to make a funny song out of every topic: herpes (“I Got It From Agnes”), tango (“The Masochist Tango”), nazi scientists (“Wernher von Braun”), funerals and the atomic bomb (“We Will All Go Together When We Go”), religion (“The Vatican Rag”, “A Christmas Carol”) or racism (“National Brotherhood Week”) and – of course – mathematics (“New Math”).

During the nineteen-fifties Tom Lehrer became very popular, but he stopped performing in the early nineteen-sixties because he allegedly was bored of singing the same songs again and again. His last record came out in 1965. He worked as a songwriter for a while but left the music business for good in the nineteen-seventies and started teaching mathematics.

I you feel like laughing check out this splendid collection of Tom Lehrer performances on YouTube or read his lyrics.

Rhino issued a Tom Lehrer box set that contains most of his recordings.

5 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Tom Lehrer!

  1. Pingback: Happy birthday Big Tom . . . « Frontier Former Editor

  2. Thank you for your visit and comment. As you could see in Nothingandall you can know (almost) everything what happened on this day in History. See you soon. Best regards from Portugal

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