Tom Lehrer—Genius!

For some reason I was drawn to look at and listen to the multitude of YouTube animations of Tom Lehrer’s song “The Elements”. Only a genius could have written and sung that song, and I comment it to your most serious contemplation.

But more important is a relatively new collection of music videos showing Lehrer himself singing various of his hits of the 1960’s and 70’s. I remember my physics teacher at St. John’s Prep introducing me to Tom Lehrer, and I was absolutely smitten. Had I actually seen a performance, my smittenness would have been complete. While no one can sneer in their music better than Tom Lehrer, but when you actually see him singing, the sneer becomes complete.

Below you should find a YouTube embedment of “Wernher von Braun”, one of his masterpieces. Watch the sneer!

Lehrer ended his singing days at the behest of his academic superiors (actually, they were his inferiors, I think), and ended up a professor of mathematics at CalTech. He is still alive, in his early 80’s, and long may he wave!

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