Tom Lehrer, fully Thomas Andrew Lehrer

Lehrer, fully Thomas Andrew Lehrer

American Comedic Songwriter-Singer, Satirist, Pianist and Mathematician

Author Quotes

Any ideas expressed on this record should not be taken as representing Mr. Lehrer's true convictions, for indeed he has none. "If anyone objects to any statement I make," he has said, "I am quite prepared not only to retract it, but also to deny under oath that I ever made it." [liner notes]

I always like to make explicit the fact that before I went off not too long ago to fight in the trenches, I was a mathematician by profession. I don't like people to get the idea that I have to do this for a living. I mean, it isn't as though I had to do this, you know, I could be making, oh, three thousand dollars a year just teaching.

If after hearing my songs just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend or perhaps to strike a loved one it will all have been worth the while.

Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.

Speaking of love, one problem that recurs more and more frequently these days, in books and plays and movies, is the inability of people to communicate with the people they love: husbands and wives who can't communicate, children who can't communicate with their parents, and so on. And the characters in these books and plays and so on, and in real life, I might add, spend hours bemoaning the fact that they can't communicate. I feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up.

When they see us coming, the birdies all try an' hide, but they still go for peanuts when coated with cyanide. My pulse will be quickenin', with each drop of strych-a-nine, we feed to a pigeon it just takes a smidgen to poison a pigeon in the park.

Apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

I am never forget the day I first meet the great Lobachevsky. In one word he told me secret of success in mathematics: Plagiarize! Plagiarize, let no one else's work evade your eyes, remember why the good Lord made your eyes, so don't shade your eyes, but plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize...

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

No one is more dangerous than someone who thinks he has "The Truth". To be an atheist is almost as arrogant as to be a fundamentalist. But then again, I can get pretty arrogant.

Step up and shake the hand of someone you can't stand, you can tolerate him if you try!

When you attend a funeral, it is sad to think that sooner o' later those you love will do the same for you. And you may have thought it tragic, not to mention other adjec-tives, to think of all the weeping they will do. (But don't you worry.)

Bad weather always looks worse through a window.

I didn't feel the need for anonymous affection, for people in the dark applauding. To me, it would be like writing a novel and then getting up every night and reading your novel. Everything I did is on the record and, if you want to hear it, just listen to the record.

If I can't get people to commit themselves on whether or not there is a square root of two, then I won't touch on God or anything here

Oh we will all fry together when we fry. We'll be french fried potatoes by and by. There will be no more misery when the world is our rotisserie, yes, we will all fry together when we fry.

Take your cigarette from its holder, and burn your initials in my shoulder. Fracture my spine,

When you get to fifty-two food becomes more important than sex.

Be prepared, and be careful not to do your good deeds when there's no one watching you.

I do have a cause though. It's obscenity. I'm for it.

If you're looking for adventure of a new and different kind, and you come across a Girl Scout who is similarly inclined, don't be nervous, don't be flustered, don't be scared. Be prepared!

Oh, soon we'll be out amid the cold world's strife. Soon we'll be sliding down the razor blade of life. Oooh.

Tell you if your sin's original. If it is, try playin' it safer, drink the wine and chew the wafer, two, four, six, eight, time to transubstantiate!

With audiences nowadays I see it with these late-night people, Jay Leno, David Letterman and so on the audience applauds the jokes rather than laughs at them, which is very discouraging.

Brush your teeth with the best toothpaste,

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Lehrer, fully Thomas Andrew Lehrer
Birth Date

American Comedic Songwriter-Singer, Satirist, Pianist and Mathematician