Follow TV Tropes

Following

Music / An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/220px_an_evening_wasted_with_tom_lehrer.jpg
Advertisement:

An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer and More of Tom Lehrer are the second and third albums by humorous singer-songwriter Tom Lehrer.

Both released in 1959, they contain the same songs, with More being a vanilla studio album and Evening being a Live Album with additional banter between the songs. (In this respect, More of Tom Lehrer actually contains less of Tom Lehrer, but its title refers to it being a follow-up to his first studio album, Songs by Tom Lehrer.)

Advertisement:

Track list

Side One

  1. "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park"
  2. "Bright College Days"
  3. "A Christmas Carol"
  4. "The Elements"
  5. "Oedipus Rex"
  6. "In Old Mexico"

Side Two

  1. "Clementine"
  2. "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier"
  3. "She's My Girl"
  4. "The Masochism Tango"
  5. "We Will All Go Together When We Go"


This album contains examples of:

  • Alma Mater Song: Parodied in "Bright College Days".
  • Anti Christmas Carol: "A Christmas Carol".
    Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens
    Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens
    Even though the prospect sickens
    Brother, here we go again
  • Anti-Love Song: "She's My Girl" is a gender flip of the kind of love song "where the girl who sings them tells you that, although the man she loves is antisocial, alcoholic, physically repulsive, or just plain unsanitary, that, nevertheless, she is his because he is hers, and like that".
  • Advertisement:
  • Armed Farces: "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier".
    One of the many fine things one has to admit is the way that 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.
  • Auto Erotica: One of the happy memories recalled in "Bright College Days" involves something that occurred in "the spacious back seat / of our roommate's beat-up Chevrolet".
  • Bastard Girlfriend: "The Masochism Tango".
  • Beastly Bloodsports: "In Old Mexico" includes a lengthy reminiscence of an afternoon at the bullfighting.
    Out came the matador,
    Who must have been potted or
    Slightly insane, but who looked rather bored.
    Then the picadors of course,
    Each one on his horse,
    I shouted "Olé!" every time one was gored.
  • "Begone" Bribe: "In Old Mexico":
    The mariachis would serenade
    And they would not shut up till they were paid
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: From the introduction to "In Old Mexico":
    He majored in animal husbandry until they... caught him at it one day.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" starts off like a lovely ode to springtime and young love, but when he suddenly starts the chorus, the song takes a major left turn into this trope, along with some Lyrical Dissonance because of the song still being sung the same way, despite the lyrics.
  • Camp Cook: "It Makes a Fella Proud to be a Soldier" has a verse for the base cook:
    Our old mess sergeant's tastebuds had been shot off in the war
    But his savory collations add to our
    esprit de corps
    To think of all the marvelous ways
    They're using plastics nowadays
    It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier.
  • Cargo Envy: "The Masochism Tango":
    And I envy the rose
    That you held in your teeth, love,
    With the thorns underneath, love,
    Sticking into your gums.
  • Competition Coupon Madness: Parodied in "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier":
    Our lieutenant is the up-and-coming type
    Played with soldiers as a boy, you just can bet
    It is written in the stars, he will get his captain's bars
    But he hasn't got enough box tops yet!
  • Convenience Store Gift Shopping: "A Christmas Carol":
    Relations sparing no expense'll
    Send some useless old utensil
    Or a matching pen and pencil
    "Just the thing I need. How nice."
    It doesn't matter how sincere it
    Is, nor how heartfelt the spirit
    Sentiment will not endear it
    What's important is the price
  • Eye Scream: "Oedipus Rex", just like in the original play:
    And when he found what he had done
    He tore his eyes out, one by one
  • Expository Theme Tune: Parodied. "Oedipus Rex" was a modest proposal for a title tune "which the people could hum" for the film of the eponymous play.
  • Gallows Humor: "We Will All Go Together When We Go" is a touching, hilarious example of this kind of humor, applied to Cold War fears of nuclear annihilation:
    We will all go together when we go
    All suffused with an incandescent glow
    No one will have the endurance
    To collect on his insurance
    Lloyd's of London will be loaded when they go
  • Green Christmas: A major theme of "A Christmas Carol".
    Hark, the Herald Tribune sings,
    Advertising wondrous things.
    God rest ye merry, merchants,
    May you make the Yuletide pay.
    Angels we have heard on high
    Tell us to go out and buy.
  • Having a Heart: "The Masochism Tango".
    At your command
    Before you here, I stand
    My heart is in my hand
    [spoken] (Yecch!)
  • Hollywood New England: "The Elements":
    These are the only ones of which the news has come to Hahvard
    And there may be many others but they haven't been discahvard
  • I Love the Dead: As part of the intro to "We Will All Go Together When We Go", Lehrer describes a "heartwarming novel" a purported friend of his had written about "a young necrophiliac who grows up to achieve his boyhood ambition of becoming coroner".
  • Incessant Music Madness: "In Old Mexico":
    The mariachis would serenade
    And they would not shut up till they were paid
  • In the Style of...: In "Clementine", Lehrer works his way through the folk song, switching to a different musical style for each verse, starting with Cole Porter, passing through opera and bebop, and finishing up by finishing off Gilbert and Sullivan.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: The audience gives an audible hiss during the introduction to "In Old Mexico" when Lehrer mentions that a tribe in the Andes passed the secret of gargling down from father to son as part of their "oral tradition".
  • Lethal Chef:
    • "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier":
      Our old mess sergeant's taste buds had been shot off in the war
      But his savory collations add to our esprit de corps
      To think of all the marvelous ways
      They're using plastics nowadays!
    • In "She's My Girl", this is one of the girl's shortcomings:
      So though for breakfast she makes coffee that tastes like shampoo
      I come home for dinner and get peanut butter stew
      Or if I'm in luck
      It's broiled hockey puck
  • Letters 2 Numbers: In the intro to "We Shall All Go Together When We Go", Lehrer recalls "a fellow I used to know whose name was Henry, only to give you an idea of what a individualist he was, he spelled it H-E-N-3-R-Y — the three was silent, you see."
  • List Song: "The Elements" is a list of all of the chemical elements known at the time, set to "a possibly recognizable tune": "The Major-General's Song" from The Pirates of Penzance.
  • Literal Metaphor: "The Masochism Tango":
    At your command
    Before you here, I stand
    My heart is in my hand
    [spoken] (Yecch!)
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" is a bright, happy, song about Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • "Oedipus Rex":
      There was a man though, who, it seems
      Once carried this ideal to extremes,
      He loved his mother and she loved him
      And yet his story is rather grim...

      [merry melody]
    • "We Will All Go Together When We Go" is a cheery, toe-tapping number about the complete extinction of the human race. And how that's a good thing because it means there'll be nobody left alive to feel sad about it afterward.
      We will all go directly to our respective Valhallas
      Go directly, do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dollahs
  • Major General Song: Lehrer describes "The Elements" as "the names of the chemical elements set to a possibly recognisable tune".
  • Midword Rhyme:
    • "We Will All Go Together When We Go":
      When you attend a funeral
      It is sad to think that sooner or l—
      Ater those you love will do the same for you
      And you may have found it tragic
      Not to mention other adjec—
      Tives to think of all the weeping they will do
    • "Bright College Days" does this bilingually:
      Turn on the spigot,
      Pour the beer and swig it,
      And gaudeamus igit—
      ur
      .
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Played for laughs in "We Will All Go Together When We Go", when contemplating the demise of the entire human race:
    We will all bake together, when we bake
    There'll be nobody present at the wake
    With complete participation
    In this grand incineration
    Nearly three billion hunks of well-done steak!
  • Motor Mouth: "The Elements".
  • Mutually Assured Destruction: The subject of "We Will All Go Together When We Go".
  • My Nayme Is: In the intro to "We Shall All Go Together When We Go", Lehrer recalls "a fellow I used to know whose name was Henry, only to give you an idea of what a individualist he was, he spelled it H-E-N-3-R-Y — the three was silent, you see."
  • Namesake Gag: The introduction to "In Old Mexico" includes a reference to "the late Doctor Samuel Gall, inventor of the gall bladder".
  • Oedipus Complex: Has a song about the Trope Namer. Lehrer probably deserves an award for rhyming "Rex" with "Complex".
  • Our Product Sucks:
    • The title of the album.
    • The liner notes include a selection of negative reviews, such as "plays the piano acceptably", and "Mr. Lehrer's muse is not fettered by such inhibiting factors as taste."
  • Painful Rhyme:
    • "A Christmas Carol":
      It doesn't matter how sincere it
      Is, nor how heartfelt the spirit
      Sentiment will not endear it
      What's important is the price
    • "The Masochism Tango":
      Your heart is hard as stone or ma-hah-gany
      That's why I'm in such exquisite ah-gony
    • "We Will All Go Together When We Go":
      When you attend a funeral
      It is sad to think that sooner or l—
      Ater those you love will do the same for you
      And you may have found it tragic
      Not to mention other adjec—
      Tives to think of all the weeping they will do
  • Parental Bonus: The lead-in to "In Old Mexico" includes the line "... Where he majored in animal husbandry, until they ... caught him at it one day..." which kids probably won't get, but to adults is racy even by today's standards.
  • Parental Incest: "Oedipus Rex", the "tragic tale of a loyal son who loved his mother".
  • Patter Song:
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: The song "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier" describes a variety of incompetent and inappropriate recruits Lehrer supposedly encountered during a stint in the Army. In the spoken introduction, he remarks:
    One of the many fine things one has to admit is the way that 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.
  • Science Marches On: Some live versions of "The Elements" are followed with what Lehrer claims are the original lyrics by Aristotle:
    There's earth and air and fire and water (song ends)
  • Settle for Sibling: Lehrer's version of "Clementine" ends with the narrator hooking up with Clementine's sister after Clementine's death. (As indeed does the original, but Lehrer's version goes into more detail.)
    When she said I could have 'er
    Her sister's cadaver
    Must surely have turned in its crypt!
  • Shave and a Haircut: "The Elements" ends with a shave-and-a-haircut riff.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: One of the numerous dysfunctional soldiers mentioned in "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier" is Pete. He stabbed a cop in seventh grade, and joined the Army because they'd give him better weapons than he could get on the street. He's described as "real RA material".
  • Someday This Will Come in Handy: In the intro to "The Elements":
    Tom Lehrer: This may prove useful to some of you some day, perhaps, in a somewhat bizarre set of circumstances...
  • Something About a Rose: "The Masochism Tango" mentions the lady in question dancing with a rose between her teeth.
    With the thorns underneath, love, digging into your gums
  • Southern-Fried Private: In "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier".
    Our captain has a handicap to cope with, sad to tell
    He's from Georgia, and he doesn't speak the language very well
  • South of the Border: "In Old Mexico" manages to pack just about every feature of this trope into one four-minute song.
  • Spoof Aesop: At the end of "Oedipus Rex":
    So be sweet and kind to mother
    Now and then have a chat
    Buy her candy or some flowers
    Or a brand new hat
    But maybe you had better let it go at that...
  • Surprise Incest: In "Oedipus Rex", although not explicitly, because the audience is presumed to know the story already; it's merely alluded to in the line "When he found what he had done".
  • Take That, Audience!: At the end of "Oedipus Rex", his response to the audience applauding is "The outpatients are out in force tonight, I see".
  • Title Theme Tune: Parodied in "Oedipus Rex". In his spoken-word introduction, he explains that he feels the 1957 film version of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex did not fare well with audiences because it "did not have a title tune which the people could hum, and which would actually make them eager to attend this particular flick". He then attempts to "supply this need" with a "prospective title song".
  • To the Tune of...: "The Elements" takes its melody from Gilbert and Sullivan's "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General".
  • Trading Bars for Stripes: "It Makes A Fellow Proud To Be A Soldier":
    When Pete was only in the seventh grade, he stabbed a cop
    He's real R.A. material and he was glad to swap
    His switchblade and his old zip gun
    For a bayonet and a new M-1
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: "We Will All Go Together When We Go" does this repeatedly, getting higher and higher and getting into some very silly keys.
  • Visual Pun: After singing the line "To thee we sing with our glasses raised on high" in "Bright College Days", Lehrer would take off his eyeglasses and raise them.
  • Wacky Fratboy Hijinks: "Bright College Days".
  • World War III: "We Will All Go Together When We Go" ("a rousing, uplifting song that's sure to cheer you up.")

Top

Example of:

/

Feedback