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Happy Hanukkah, y’awl

Here’s a first-day-of-Hanukkah treat: Tom Lehrer has released his entire catalogue into the public domain, no strings.

I, Tom Lehrer, and the Tom Lehrer Trust 2007, hereby grant the following permissions:

All copyrights to lyrics or music written or composed by me have been relinquished, and therefore such songs are now in the public domain. All of my songs that have never been copyrighted, having been available for free for so long, are now also in the public domain.

It’s a very Tom Lehrer sort of thing to do.

The site opened November 1st and a notice says it won’t be up for long, so download ’em if you want ’em. (Note: if you go to download the albums as .rar files, The Remains of Tom Lehrer (disc 1) is missing. I’ve tried writing to them about it, but I can’t find contact info).

If you don’t know him (and we’re all a bit young for it) he was a mathematician who had success in the Fifties writing and performing biting and seriously funny satirical songs. There he is above singing National Brotherhood Week.

By the Seventies, he decided he didn’t want to do it any more and vanished, stage left. Went back to teaching math, leaving (barely) a trace. He’s 94.

A Christmas Carol

Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly,
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don’t say “when.”
Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens,
Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens,
Even though the prospect sickens,
Brother, here we go again.

On Christmas Day you can’t get sore,
Your fellow man you must adore,
There’s time to rob him all the more
The other three hundred and sixty-four.

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.

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!

So let the raucous sleigh bells jingle,
Hail our dear old friend Kris Kringle,
Driving his reindeer across the sky.
Don’t stand underneath when they fly by.

December 19, 2022 — 7:50 pm
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