Thank you, Mr. Lehrer!
Last year, I fired off a quick letter to Tom Lehrer, seeking his permission to node his lyrics. (By hand, no less!) That letter, and his reply are reproduced below. The upshot is that he said yes. So if the excellent writeup by FatAlbertTheta makes you want to read some real Lehrer lyrics, you should scroll to the end where there is a discography linked to some CST Approved nodes.
12th October 2004
Dear Mr. Lehrer,
I am a member of the internet community called 'Everything2'. The purpose of 'Everything2' is to act as a database that is user-created, dynamic, and includes, well, everything.
Although the focus of the site is original writing by its members, we strive to add other content that we find helpful amusing or important. I believe that the lyrics to many of your songs are such content.
There are write-ups on the site on nuclear proliferation, Vatican II, and many other topics that could be enlivened by your lyrics.
It is the policy of Everything2 to not simply assimilate copyrighted material. I write to ask you for your permission to reproduce the lyrics of your songs on the website.
I would explicate the lyrics, describe their historical context and the tunes that accompany them. They would continue to bear your copyright assertion, but could be read by a wider audience. Site visitors would create connections between the songs and their related topics as they browsed around.
For more information, please visit http://everything2.com. Everything2 is a non-commercial site which exists solely on the basis of the contributions of its users. Your assistance and cooperation would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks for your time. Please advise me as to whether you will permit your works to be used on the site.
('spiregrain' on the website)
29 November 2004
I have just received your letter of the 12th October, which was (eventually) forwarded to me from Santa Cruz, where I winter (and occasionally spring). My apologies for the delay.
You certainly have my permission to display my lyrics on your website and to say whatever you want about them. Even if I cared to object, it would be pointless for me to do so, since--- as you may already know--- all my lyrics are already out there for all to see. Just google "tom lehrer lyrics" and you will see what I mean.
Anyway, thanks for asking. And good luck with your website. Sounds like fun.
You can see the the letters here:
Those nodes in full
If you have any Lehrer lyrics languishing in your Node Heaven, node away, and let me and the Content_Salvage team know. Sverre, Silverai_me and I have prepared many of Lehrer's songs for submission and I'll be adding them here as they're done.
♪ A Christmas Carol ♪ An Irish Ballad ♪ Be Prepared ♪ Boston ♪ Derivative Song ♪ Everybody Eat ♪ The Elements ♪ Fight Fiercely, Harvard ♪ I got it from Agnes ♪ I Hold Your Hand In Mine ♪ I Wanna Go Back to Dixie ♪ It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier ♪ MLF Lullaby ♪ My Home Town ♪ National Brotherhood Week ♪ New Math ♪ Oedipus Rex ♪ The Old Dope Peddler ♪ Poisoning Pigeons in the Park ♪ Professor's Song ♪ SAC Song ♪ So Long, Mom (A Song for World War III) ♪ SN (Snore, Sniff & Sneeze) ♪ That's Mathematics ♪ Thanksgiving ♪ There's a Delta For Every Epsilon ♪ The Wild West Is Where I Want To Be ♪ The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz ♪ Wernher von Braun ♪ When You Are Old And Grey ♪ Who's Next? ♪
I've tried to include the key recordings from the Lehrer cannon here. There is a much more detailed listing at http://php.indiana.edu/~jbmorris/FAQ/lehrer.disco.html .
- Songs by Tom Lehrer, (LP March 1953, and double EP in 1955, UK LP in 1958 with different track order, and pressed again as a 12" in 1959)
- More of Tom Lehrer, (1959, UK and US)
- An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer, (1959 US, and 1960 UK)
- This is a live version of the "More of Tom Lehrer" recording above, from a concert at Sanders Theater at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in March 1959.
- Songs By Tom Lehrer (EP 1960 Australia)
- Tom Lehrer Revisited (1960 US, Australia and UK- the UK version in a different order, based on recordings from different concerts, The Australian version having a different selection of recordings again, and called "Tom Lehrer Discovers Australia")
- Poisoning Pigeons in the Park / The Masochism Tango (Single, 1960 US and UK)
- That Was the Year That Was (UK and US, 1965)
- An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer (promo EP, 1966)
- Pollution / Who's Next? (45rpm single, 1969)
- The Electric Company (1972 US TV series, featuring songs by Lehrer)
- Silent E
- The Hound Song
- Snore, Sniff, and Sneeze
- Why Not Fight?
- The Menu Song
- Without An S
- Finch and Dinch
- The Mumble Song
- Tomfoolery Original London Cast Revue (1980)
Some of the familiar Lehrer songs, lent west-end glamour by Cameron Mackintosh. Also the first recording of I Got It From Agnes.
- Alberta Theatre Projects and Arts Club Theatre, Vancouver present Tomfoolery (1981)
- Odds and Sods