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Too Many Songs by Tom Lehrer with Not Enough Drawings by Ronald Searle Paperback – October 12, 1981


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The subversive songs of Tom Lehrer, the sardonic piano-wielding fugitive from Harvard, have corrupted generations of Americans since he first began recording and performing in the 1950s. His uniquely depraved wit has been forced again on an unsuspecting public' via Tomfoolery, the stage revue based on his ever-trenchant observation of the American scene. This new songbook, with old favorites unavailable for years as well as never-published songs, is the most comprehensive ever assembled. It contains the words, tunes, piano accompaniments, and guitar chords for these thirty-four classics:

The Irish Ballad

Fight Fiercely, Harvard!

Be Prepared

The Old Dope Peddler

The Wild West Is Where I

Want to Be

I Wanna Go Back to Dixie

Lobachevsky

The Hunting Song

I Hold Your Hand in Mine

My Home Town

L-Y

When You Are Old and Gray

The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz

Poisoning Pigeons in the Park

A Christmas Carol

Bright College Days

In Old Mexico

She's My Girl

The Elements

The Masochism Tango

National Brotherhood Week

MLF Lullaby

The Folk Song Army

Smut

Send the Marines

New Math

Pollution

So Long, Mom

Who's Next?

Wemher Von Braun

We Will All Go Together

When We Go

I Got It from Agnes

Silent E

The Vatican Rag

About the Author

Thomas Lehrer is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician. Although best known for the pithy, humorous songs he recorded in the 1950s and 1960s, Lehrer discontinued his musical career in the early 1970s. His cult following led to a hit London revival of his music called Tom Foolery in the early 1980s and his songs were re-released digitally as recently as 2010.

Lehrer's academic career spanned fifty years, teaching at MIT, Harvard, Wellesley, and the University of California (Santa Clara). Although he also taught political science and liberal arts, his main focus was on mathematics, from which he retired in 2001. Lehrer has also lectured on mathematics and musical theater.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1st edition (October 12, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394749308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394749303
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

That said, the book is well worth a buy -- Lehrer makes a great addition to any repertoire.
Thomas
Any satire loving person, or just anyone with a sense of humour and love of music, will make great use of this book.
Tom Logan
I'd like to see this book republished so I could make a pest of myself trying to get all my friends to buy it.
Loren D. Morrison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book a great deal, and here is why. There are thirty-four songs of his in this book and in most of the songs the piano part is very close to what Tom Lehrer played on his albums. The book contains piano, guitar chords, and the vocal score. I highly recommend this book over the hardback book, "The Tom Lehrer Song Book." This other book only contains twelve songs and I believe it costs more. You will get every cent of your money's worth with "Too Many Songs by Tom Lehrer." The only reason I don't give it five stars is that it does not have all of his songs.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By djh on September 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
For anyone that has ever heard a Tom Lehrer song and become an instant devotee this book will assuredly help his retirement fund - and good luck to him. For many, Tom Lehrer was (and still is) one of the best and blackest satirists of the 1940's - 1960's. The humour and vitriol in his songs is as fresh as ever in this book and you too will find yourself wanting to Poison Pigeons in the Park, Be Prepared, dance either the Masochism Tango or the Vatican Rag and generally All Go Together When We Go.
There is no neat way of explaining Tom Lehrer thankfully. Just buy it.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By G. Sager on March 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
I liked the book, as a whole, but if you are planning to buy it, the songs, OEDIPUS, ALMA, MAKES A FELLA PROUD TO BE A SOLDIER, CLEMENTINE are missing. Also, in MY HOME TOWN the line omitted in all recordings is also omitted. A last comment, many of the scores are different from those used by Mr. Lehrer in performances.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kelly L. Norman VINE VOICE on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
Yes, this is the book you definitely want to have! Every Tom Lehrer song you can think of--and probably many you can't-are here in a fairly easy piano format. If you can't play piano, you can probably read the lyrics. If you can't read the lyrics, you're probably not reading this, but you can still see the drawings by Ronald Searle, which are pretty funny in their own right. If you can't see the drawings by Ronald Searle, I can't help you.

The lyrics are also contained, of course. And besides the satirical songs Mr. Lehrer recorded in the sixties, the book also contains the songs he wrote for the Electric Company in the seventies, like "Silent E" ("Who can turn a can, into a cane", etc.) and "L-Y".

The only problem I have with this book is that I believe all music books that are meant to be used for playing instruments should be spiral bound or otherwise fixed such that they don't fall apart. Since this one has a regular glued binding, of course after a few rounds with "A Song for World War III" and "New Math", all the pages fell out. So to the publisher: please make a spiral bound edition! Then I will give this book 5 stars!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. L. Brash on January 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought the song book along with "The Remains of Tom Lehrer" (three CD's and a biographical book). A great purchase for us dead-hard Lehrer fans.

I was delighted that I bought the song book as I can now sing (out of tune) and strum my guitar (rather badly) to many of his infamous songs and annoy the hell out of my children.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
My father first encountered Tom Lehrer in college, and I grew up listening to his sarcastic melodies. When I began my bright college days, I found many like-minded Lehrer fans there. This songbook provides hours of boistrous belting with friends, offering lyrics to indoctrinate the ignorant few and sheet music for the ivory tickler of your club. Do not be afraid to imbellish the score, create your own harmony, or ignore intonation altogether; but remember of course to sing with your glasses raised on high.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hartwell on December 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Well, it did, the first time I put it on the music holder. The binding split and a third of the pages fell out.

Despite that, I've kept it all these years. It's a good collection and fun to bring out when better piano players than I are invited to dinner. It's especially good when my invitee can sight-read and is not familiar with Tom Lehrer's works--last time this happened, she nearly fell off the bench laughing halfway through "The Vatican Rag".

Frankly I think Ronald Searle's drawings are ugly enough to make babies cry, but maybe that's what Tom had in mind, so I guess it's ok.

So I can't recommend this edition for the binding (another reviewer aptly suggested a spiral binder) but if there's no better collection of these great songs, by all means, buy this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dawn McFadden on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I ordered this for the pianist in the family, my 15-year-old son, but we're all just loving these very funny, very satirical songs. Though it's been 40 years since Tom Lehrer recorded them, they hold up well, and the music is pretty easy for an intermediate pianist to play.
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Too Many Songs by Tom Lehrer with Not Enough Drawings by Ronald Searle
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