Monday, July 11, 2011

30 Songs in 30 Days, Day 25: A Song That Makes You Laugh

Song: "New Math"
Writer: Tom Lehrer
Performer: Tom Lehrer
Album: That Was the Year That Was

I'm not sure when exactly my parents introduced Tom Lehrer to my sister and me. I have a feeling it must have been after Sunday dinner one night. I was way too young to get all of the jokes but I was old enough to appreciate the subversive nature of the humor. Eventually, I made tapes of the records and they became family favorites on road trips. I am especially fond of "New Math" for the joke about base-8. The video above provides the visual aid which the record lacked.

Later in his career, Lehrer wrote several songs for The Electric Company. Joe Raposo, the show's music director and writer of my Day 15 song, had been a friend of Lehrer's at Harvard.

Daniel Radcliffe, spreading the joy

Finally, I was hesitant to include this last clip. I wanted to use at least one video of Lehrer himself and this is, to my mind, his very best song. It does, however, violate one of my basic blogging rules of avoiding both religion and politics. It is all in good fun:


I hope you'll join us for the "30 Songs in 30 Days" challenge, inspired by the tumblr list. Our 30 Songs roster:

Stay on target...
Marc Whitman's Blog
Haley says "Hello" To You

It's never too late to post your own. Tomorrow is...

Day 26: A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument


  1. The Vatican Rag will be stuck in my head all day...

  2. The Vatican Rag! Why have I never heard this song before? Genuflect, genuflect, genuflect...