I Heart Indies

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tom Lerher

I thought of Tom Lehrer the other day, and decided to share this videos.  Lehrer, a math teacher at Harvard, wrote a series of classic satiric songs for a show called That Was the Week That Was.  I owned Lehrer's records and listened to them, as a friend expressed it, "until the needle wore through the other side."  Tom Lehrer was like a Mad Magazine parody brought to life, he was my introduction to Gilbert and Sullivan before I'd heard of Gilbert and Sullivan.  Listen to "The Vatican Rag;" can you imagine The Capitol Steps - that rather insipid parodic group - coming up with anything this inspired?  Many of his songs were topical, such as this one, but he also wrote morbid delights such as "I Hold Your Hand in Mine" and "My Hometown."  What's even better - I cannot say why this should matter - Lehrer looks exactly as I hoped.  When I first saw Robert Benchley, after reading his sprightly essays, I was taken aback by a pudgy, moustached man, instead of the wiry lunatic I imagined must travel on stilts.  I still haven't gotten over Garrison Kiellor.  But hearing Lehrer, you imagine a cross between Harold Lloyd and Groucho Marx.  And by golly, that's just what he looks like.

No comments:

Post a Comment