Science Music from the Sixties

I might be the last one to the party on this, but I have recently discovered the eccentric musical world of Tom Lehrer, and what a wonderful world it is.

More nerdy tunes after the jump.

A Harvard-educated math professor, Lehrer wrote and performed hilarious songs on topics ranging from math and science to philosophy and current events, showcased most famously on the NBC show That Was the Week That Was in 1965. Officially retiring from music in the late sixties, he continues to teach math at the University of California Santa Cruz.

Another mathematical gem (apologies for the low volume):

A bit of religious tongue-in-cheek humor, which got the Catholic church up in arms at the time:

Lehrer’s influence is widespread and enduring, acting as inspiration to people like musical satirist Weird Al, SETI scientist H. Paul Shuch, and, apparently, a certain young British actor:

I was never all that interested Daniel Radcliffe’s work before, but I may have just fallen in love.

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.

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  1. I listened to Tom Lehrer obsessively when I was in college. One day a friend of my parents was singing The Irish Ballad and I joined in — she couldn’t believe that people from my generation were still listening to Tom Lehrer…. Nice to know that the current generation is still keeping the flame alive.

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