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.


London, UK
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.

Yours sincerely,
Kenneth Kilfedder
K. KILFEDDER
('spiregrain' on the website)


29 November 2004

Dear Kenneth,
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.

Sincerely yours,
Tom Lehrer


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 CarolAn Irish BalladBe PreparedBostonDerivative SongEverybody EatThe ElementsFight Fiercely, HarvardI got it from AgnesI Hold Your Hand In MineI Wanna Go Back to DixieIt Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a SoldierMLF LullabyMy Home TownNational Brotherhood WeekNew MathOedipus RexThe Old Dope PeddlerPoisoning Pigeons in the ParkProfessor's SongSAC SongSo Long, Mom (A Song for World War III)SN (Snore, Sniff & Sneeze)That's MathematicsThanksgivingThere's a Delta For Every EpsilonThe Wild West Is Where I Want To BeThe Wiener Schnitzel WaltzWernher von BraunWhen You Are Old And GreyWho's Next? ♪

Selected Discography

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 .