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.)
- "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park"
- "Bright College Days"
- "A Christmas Carol"
- "The Elements"
- "Oedipus Rex"
- "In Old Mexico"
- "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier"
- "She's My Girl"
- "The Masochism Tango"
- "We Will All Go Together When We Go"
A Trope Page Wasted with Tom Lehrer:
- 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".
- 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".
- 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". Overlaps with Incessant Music Madness.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.
- But I Digress: In a spoken interlude in "In Old Mexico":Rover was killed by a Pontiac, and it was done with such grace and artistry that the witnesses awarded the driver both ears and the tail (the audience laughs and cheers) but I digress (audience laughs again)
- Camp Cook: "It Makes a Fellow Proud to be a Soldier" has a verse for the base cook, who's a Lethal Chef: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.
- Commercialized 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.
- 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
- Cruel Twist Ending: "In Old Mexico" sees Tom watching a bullfight in Mexico. At last, the matador "did what we wanted him to" by raising his sword and killing the bull with a well-aimed strike. However, "in that moment of truth", Tom realizes that someone stole his wallet.
- 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
- Having a Heart: "The Masochism Tango".At your command
Before you here, I stand
My heart is in my hand
- 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".
- In the Style of:
- It Tastes Like Feet: From "She's My Girl":So though for breakfast she makes coffee that tastes like shampoo
- 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", as quoted above. Also, 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
- "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier", as quoted above. Also, in "She's My Girl" this is one of the girl's shortcomings:
- 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 an 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
- 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...
- "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 recognizable tune".
- The Masochism Tango: Trope Namer. The titular song is about a man asking his lover to do unspeakably painful things to him because he finds it enthralling.
- 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—
- "We Will All Go Together When We Go":
- 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" sees Tom rattling off the name of all of the elements on the periodic table set to a jaunty tune.
- 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 an 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".
- 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."
- 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 Overcorrectness: 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.
- Romanticized Abuse: "The Masochism Tango" follows a man who is enamored with his physically abusive partner.
- 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 someday, 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
- At the end of the same song, Lehrer describes his company captain thus: "He used to be, so rumor has / The Dean of Men at Alcatraz."
- 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.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: "Oedipus Rex" assumes that the listener will know about the Surprise Incest twist in the story of the title character. While a movie had come out about the legend not long before this album was released, the story goes as far back as Ancient Greece, so even someone more than fifty years later can still get it.
- 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.
- Vocal Range Exceeded: Tom struggles to hit the last note of "We Will All Go Together When We Go", being a little too low for him. Since he wrote the song for himself, he almost certainly intended that.
- 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.")