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Tom Lehrer Places His Songs into the Public Area & Makes Them Free to Obtain (for a Restricted Time)


“Christmas time is right here, by golly / Disapproval could be folly / Deck the halls with hunks of holly / Fill the cup and don’t say ‘when.’” So sings musical satirist Tom Lehrer on his hit 1959 album An Night Wasted with Tom Lehrer — which was recorded in March of that 12 months, not that it stopped him from taking an out-of-season jab on the holidays. “Kill the turkeys, geese and chickens / Combine the punch, drag out the Dickens / Although the prospect sickens / Brother, right here we go once more.” If it appears to you that he takes a dim view of Christmas, you need to hear how he sings about all the things else.

Now, extra simply than ever, you may hear how Lehrer sings about all the things else, by merely downloading his music from his site. “All copyrights to lyrics or music written or composed by me have been relinquished, and due to this fact such songs are actually within the public area,” he writes. “All of my songs which have by no means been copyrighted, having been out there totally free for thus lengthy, are actually additionally within the public area.” Briefly, he provides, “I now not retain any rights to any of my songs.” We posted concerning the launch of these songs themselves into the Public Area a pair years in the past, however final month Lehrer made the songs out there on-line–for a restricted time.

Not solely is An Night Wasted with Tom Lehrer free to stream or obtain on TomLehrerSongs.com — full with tracks not out there even on Spotify — so is its follow-up Revisited, That Was the Yr That Was (that includes performances of the songs he wrote for the American model of That Was the Week That Was) and the three-disc assortment The Stays of Tom Lehrer. Collectively these albums include all of the music Lehrer recorded earlier than he stood up from the piano and have become a professor, first of political science and later of arithmetic (although he did train some musical theater as nicely.)

Given his secular Jewish origins and his apparent disdain for the Mammonistic vacation season (not less than “as we rejoice it in the USA”) Lehrer would absolutely get fun from us taking this free launch of all his music as a Christmas present. And but, like all the very best Christmas items, it has each a floor worth and a deeper one. Regardless of their topical late-fifties-early-sixties references to issues like “new math” and Vatican II, his songs can nonetheless make us snicker at the moment. However they will additionally present youthful generations a satirical sensibility they’ve by no means recognized: culturally literate, dry with well-placed plunges into the lowbrow, transgressive with out low-cost crudity, all supported by musical aplomb. Perhaps Lehrer determined to make his music free as a result of now, in his tenth decade, he can make certain that no person will surpass him. Discover his music right here.

Associated content material:

Tom Lehrer Releases His All of Catchy and Savage Musical Satire Into the Public Area

Hear Tom Lehrer Sing the Names of 102 Chemical Components to the Tune of Gilbert & Sullivan

Tom Lehrer’s Mathematically and Scientifically Inclined Singing and Songwriting, Animated

Rejoice Harry Potter’s Birthday with Music. Daniel Radcliffe Sings Tom Lehrer’s Tune “The Components”

Primarily based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His initiatives embody the Substack e-newsletter Books on Cities, the e-book The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll via Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Observe him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.



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