Tom Lehrer is a brilliant, prolific satirist, pianist, professor, and mathematician. He also wrote some of the funniest songs ever to be recorded. These are my favorites.
  1. The Elements
    Oh, you didn't know chemistry could be alliterative and fun to listen to? In this song, Lehrer recites all the elements known at the time of writing (1953), up to 102 (nobelium). He also rhymes "Harvard" and "discovered." This song helped me pass high school chemistry.
  2. Poisoning Pigeons in the Park
    From an album entitled, An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer. Choice lyric: "When they see us coming, the birdies all try an' hide/But they still go for peanuts when coated with cyan-hide."
  3. Be Prepared
    Before The Boy Scouts of America were widely criticized for blatant homophobia, Tom Lehrer wrote this little ditty about them.
  4. The Masochism Tango
    As you listen, imagine my dad explaining what the word "masochism" means to a curious eight-year-old me while listening to this in the car on the way to school.
  5. New Math
    Deliciously celebrates and eviscerates "New Math," a short-lived but dramatic change to the approach of teaching math in American grade schools in the 1960s.
  6. The Old Dope Peddler
    A parody of Charles Tobias' and Nat Simon's "The Old Lamp-Lighter." So radical for the time that the BBC banned it from broadcast. Fun lyrics like, "He gives the kids free samples because he knows full well/that today's young innocent faces will be tomorrow's clientele!"
  7. Who's Next?
    Refers to getting the bomb.
  8. She's My Girl
    "Her hairs in the sink have driven me to drink"
  9. Hanukkah in Santa Monica
    Best holiday song ever. "Those eastern winters, I can't endure 'em/ So every year I pack my gear and come out here to Purim."
  10. Oedipus Rex
    He really loved his mother.