portrait of Tom Lehrer
Performing at UCLA ("Greek Week" 1960)

All archives
Previous Issue (8 April 2003) | Current month | Next Issue (10 April 2003)

Quotes of the Day for 9 April 2003 – Tom Lehrer

Thomas Andrew Lehrer was born at New York City on this day in 1928. While a student at Harvard he composed and performed an array of caustic and satiric tunes at parties. After graduation he taught math at Harvard, leaving five years later to take his expanded repertoire on the road, and recorded his first album. In the course of working at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Harvard, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and occasionally as a composer and performer, he released only three albums - although his first one was released three times (the original studio version in 1953, a live version in 1959, and a stereo version in 1966). He has been called the greatest musical satirist ever, and I concur. When the New York Times reviewed his early work saying, "Mr. Lehrer's muse does not suffer from such inhibiting factors as taste," Lehrer proudly printed it on the album cover. I trust he'll spend part of this birthday afternoon poisoning pigeons in the park.

Van's signature

You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.


The quotes:

I'd like to take you now, on wings of song as it were, and help you forget for a moment, perhaps, your drab, wretched lives.

One of the many fine things one has to admire is the way the Army has carried the American democratic ideal to its logical conclusion, in the sense that not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, and color, but also on the grounds of ability.

I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!

In my youth there were words you couldn't say in front of a girl; now you can't say 'girl.'

If anyone disagrees with anything I say, I am quite prepared to not only retract it, but also to deny under oath I ever said it.

When correctly viewed, everything is lewd.
     - All from Tom Lehrer


Do you see an error on this page? A typo, a character that is messed up, a misattribution? Please let us know!