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Imagine this, no, really

In the 1950s and 60s, his songs stunned and delighted listeners with their irreverence, wit and nihilism. Then he gave it all up to teach mathematics. Lehrer is still alive at 96 – so I went in search of answers

by Francis Beckett

He’s packaging the songs up into a musical and so on and on. Lots about Lehrer.

Except, well, manages to miss that he wrote for Sesame St too – some of their more famous songs too……

9 thoughts on “Imagine this, no, really”

  1. What Julia said.

    It’s refreshing to learn that somebody who gave me so much blissfully intelligent pleasure as a teenager in the late 60s and 70s is still alive and well.

    I have no idea what his politics were or are as, unlike many lesser talents, he has not felt obliged to let us know. I hope and rather suspect that during his active years he may have had libertarian tendencies, However, even if the complete opposite was true he still merits a sincere Thank you Sir.

    His possibly tongue in cheek claim, infinitely more believable and self-effacing than that of the sanctimonious turd Al “Internet” Gore, to have merely invented the Jello Shot is yet another reason to revere this most civilised of men.

  2. Don’t forget Silent E. In the line He turned a Dam into a Dame, but my friend Sam stayed just the Same, the audacity of smuggling the use-mention distinction into the first grade classroom camouflaged as teaching the irrational triviality of english spelling must gladden the heart of any true educator.

  3. I can’t put it better than anybody else. Wonderful talent, great person.
    “It isn’t as though I have to do this, I could be making, oh, three thousand dollars a year just teaching”

  4. “he wrote for Sesame St too – some of their more famous songs too”

    Not the lyrics for the alphabet song? I’ve always wondered who wrote those.

  5. Dennis, Pointing Out The Obvious, Yet Again

    There was no nihilism in his work. If there had been, the satire wouldn’t have worked.

    The Guardian can fuck up anything.

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