Famous Quotes & Sayings

Tom Lehrer Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Tom Lehrer.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pinterest Share on Linkedin

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1824385

Everything is so weird in politics that it's very hard to be funny about it, I think. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1881762

I'm not interested in promoting myself or revealing to total strangers anything about me. That's not my job. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1509122

It is a sobering thought that when Mozart was my age, he had been dead for two years. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2189448

Life is like a sewer - you get out of it what you put into it. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1286743

Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 622047

If after hearing my songs just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend or perhaps to strike a loved one it will all have been worth the while. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1000413

Some of you may have met mathematicians and wondered how they got that way. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1486676

No one is more dangerous than someone who thinks he has The Truth. To
be an atheist is almost as arrogant as to be a fundamentalist. But
then again, I can get pretty arrogant. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2161507

You can raise welts like nobody else, as we dance to the Masochism Tango. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1667188

I don't have the temperament of a performer, and I certainly couldn't do it every night. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 431259

Disclaimer: If anyone disagrees with anything I say, I am quite prepared to not only retract it, but also to deny under oath I ever said it. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1000733

Speaking of love, one problem that recurs more and more frequently these days, in books and plays and movies, is the inability of people to communicate with the people they love; husbands and wives who can't communicate, children who can't communicate with their parents, and so on. And the characters in these books and plays and so on (and in real life, I might add) spend hours bemoaning the fact that they can't communicate. I feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1882120

If you visit American city, You will find it very pretty. Just two things of which you must beware: Don't drink the water and don't breathe the air. Pollution, pollution, They got smog and sewage and mud. Turn on your tap and get hot and cold running crud. See the halibuts and the sturgeons Being wiped out by detergents. Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly, But they don't last long if they try. Pollution, pollution, You can use the latest toothpaste, And then rinse your mouth with industrial waste. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1100849

The people who were in college in the '50s were my first real audience, and their kids, the people who found my records in the cabinet during their 'Mad 'magazine years picked me up also. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 915691

Hark, the Herald Tribune sings, Advertising wondrous things! — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1001715

The reason most folksongs are so atrocious is that they were written by the people. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 179325

There's something mathematically satisfying about music: notes fit together and harmony and all that. And mathematics has to do with abstractions and making connections. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1521500

I have always found it interesting ... that there are people who regard copyright infringement as a form of flattery. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1329579

I've heard it quoted that I was dead. You can't believe anything you read. That was just an off-hand remark somebody picked up, and now it's been quoted and quoted, and therefore misquoted. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2161323

The civil liberties types who are fighting this issue have to fight it, owing to the nature of the laws, as a matter of freedom of speech and stifling of free expression and so on. But we know what's really involved, dirty books are fun. That's all there is to it. But you can't get up in a court and say that. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1970250

The audience usually has to be with you, I'm afraid. I always regarded myself as not even preaching to the converted, I was titillating the converted. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 773614

Once all the Germans were warlike and mean But that couldn't happen again We taught them a lesson in nineteen eighteen And they've hardly bothered us since then — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2046006

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics/ And the Catholics hate the Protestants/ And the Hindus hate the Muslims/ And everybody hates the Jews. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1974618

The audiences like to think that satire is doing something. But, in fact, it is mostly to leave themselves satisfied. Satisfied rather than angry, which is what they should be. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 75351

Counting in octal is just likst counting in decimal
if you don't use your thumbs. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 88444

I ache for the touch of your lips dear, but much more for the touch of your whips dear. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 94325

It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 130340

I loved high school, but I wouldn't want to do it again. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 133106

Soon we'll be out amid the cold world's strife. Soon we'll be sliding down the razor blade of life. But as we go our sordid sep'rate ways, We shall ne'er forget thee, thou golden college days. Hearts full of youth, Hearts full of truth, Six parts gin to one part vermouth. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 155519

Don't write naughty words on the wall if you can't spell! — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 159013

For there is surely nothing more beautiful in this world than the sight of a lone man facing single-handedly a half a ton of angry pot roast! — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 199160

Don't drink the water and don't breathe the air! — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 229913

They love us everywhere we go. So when in doubt, send the Marines. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 231678

Think as you work, for in the final analysis, your worth to your company comes not only in solving problems, but also in anticipating them. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 242118

I think that if people are having trouble communicating with one
another, the least they can do is SHUT UP. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 259435

If I see a movie star in the department store buying something, I'll kind of sidle up and see what they're saying, what they look like, how they sound. That's an invasion of privacy. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 318932

Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 334627

San Francisco is a city of twenty-something millionaire white kids named Doug. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 347028

Base eight is just like base ten really, if you're missing two fingers. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 389439

Laughter is involuntary. If it's funny you laugh. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 421624

I don't think this kind of thing [satire] has an impact on the unconverted, frankly. It's not even preaching to the converted; it's titillating the converted. I think the people who say we need satire often mean, 'We need satire of them, not of us.' I'm fond of quoting Peter Cook, who talked about the satirical Berlin cabarets of the '30s, which did so much to stop the rise of Hitler and prevent the Second World War. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 440928

Oh we will all fry together when we fry. We'll be french fried potatoes by and by. There will be no more misery When the world is our rotisserie, Yes, we will all fry together when we fry. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 442137

In my youth there were words you couldn't say in front of a girl; now you can't say 'girl.' — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 475234

If I can't get people to commit themselves on whether or not there is a square root of two, then I won't touch on God or anything here — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 528085

I'm very proud of myself on my, whatever the literacy is, I'm pretentious, totally pretentious. I like to say 'hmm', for example. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 624139

When I was in college, there were certain words you couldn't say in front of a girl. Now you can say them, but you can't say 'girl.' — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 637185

The people who came to hear me perform or to buy my records were not the type who would be offended. But I gather that there were other people who were offended. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 675484

I'm not tempted to write a song about George W. Bush. I couldn't figure out what sort of song I would write. That's the problem: I don't want to satirise George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporise them. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 725023

From the three, you then use one to make eight ones. You add those ones to the three, and you get one-three base eight, or, in other words, In base ten you have eleven, and you take away seven. And seven from eleven is four. Now go back to the sixty-fours, you're left with two. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 752044

When you attend a funeral, It is sad to think that sooner o' Later those you love will do the same for you. And you may have thought it tragic, Not to mention other adjec- Tives, to think of all the weeping they will do. (But don't you worry. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 752169

Well, you ask a silly question, and you get a silly answer. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 757748

Eddie Izzard is wonderful, I think, but I've only seen that one HBO special he did. He's one of the few people who talk about stuff other than girlfriends and relationships and flatulence and genitalia. There are very few of them who actually talk about real stuff. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 809855

If the hoods don't get you, the monoxide will. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 923597

The real issues I don't think most people touch. The Clinton jokes are all about Monica Lewinsky and all that stuff and not about the important things, like the fact that he wouldn't ban landmines ... I'm not tempted to write a song about George W. Bush. I couldn't figure out what sort of song I would write. That's the problem: I don't want to satirize George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporize them. And that's not funny ... OK, well, if I say that, I might get a shock laugh, but it's not really satire. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 927806

Things are much more complicated. Feminism versus pornography, for example. There are a lot of feminists who think it is bad, but others think it's good. I have become, you might call it mature - I would call it senile - and I can see both sides. But you can't write a satirical song with 'but on the other hand' in it, or 'however'. It's got to be one-sided. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 935967

The Army has carried the American ... ideal to its logical conclusion. Not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and color, but also on ability. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 944617

Once you've heard the joke, it's not funny anymore, but it's the way it's told. And I think that's the same with the music: The reason some of my songs have lasted longer is there's a lot of stuff packed in there. You want to hear them more than once. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 967069

On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 991387

Life is like a sewer: what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1054162

Bad weather always looks worse through a window. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1082404

Always predict the worst, and you'll be hailed as a prophet. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1087345

You can't be satirical and not be offensive to somebody. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1101207

People are stupider than anybody. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1103377

And although I'm all for freedom of expression and against censorship, there are certain things I'm not willing to go to jail for. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1118662

And we will all go together when we go. What a comforting fact that is to know. Universal bereavement, An inspiring achievement, Yes, we will all go together when we go. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1190950

My last public performance for money was in 1967. For free, it was 1972, with the exception of two little one-shot, one-song things. But that's just for friends, out of friendship for the people involved, and also because it was fun. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1216967

I always prided myself on at least trying to be literate and use the right words, and if the audience didn't get it, then they could go home and look it up. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1223736

I would do nightclubs and concerts - particularly concerts, which is mostly what I did - and only people who already agreed with me would show up. People weren't going to come and inadvertently turn on their television set and find this offensive stuff coming out. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1262022

The poor folks hate the rich folks, and the rich folks hate the poor folks. All of my folks hate all of your folks, it's American as apple pie. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1268317

When someone makes a move Of which we don't approve, Who is it that always intervenes? U.N. and O.A.S., They have their place, I guess, But first send the Marines! — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1308558

I didn't feel the need for anonymous affection, for people in the dark applauding. To me, it would be like writing a novel and then getting up every night and reading your novel. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1326601

Well I wasn't really attacking the religious beliefs, I was attacking the formality of the rituals of the Catholic church; however, people took it wrongly. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1332407

I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1377231

I figure I wrote 37 songs in 20 years, and that's not exactly a full-time job. It wasn't that I was writing and writing and writing and quit. Every now and then I wrote something, and every now and then I didn't. The second just outnumbered the first. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1390974

I think the people who say we need satire often mean, 'We need satire of them, not of us. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1420987

I wasn't really a performer by temperament. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1425808

I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that! — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1448393

Angels we have heard on High Tell us to go out and Buy. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1464170

All books can be indecent books
Though recent books are bolder,
For filth, I'm glad to say, is in
The mind of the beholder.
When correctly viewed,
Everything is lewd.
I could tell you things about Peter Pan
And the Wizard of Oz, there's a dirty old man ... — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1482189

I thought about majoring in Math, Chemistry and English, but Math had the fewest requirements, so I went with it. I knew I wanted to teach, and Math was my field, so I studied Math. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1487223

Be prepared, and be careful not to do your good deeds when there's no one watching you. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1543075

There's ten stuffed heads in my trophy room right now, two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1554017

An actress must never lose her ego - without it she has no talent. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1627556

You can make fun with Saddam Hussein jokes ... but you can't make fun of, say, the concentration camps. I think my target was not so much evil, but benign stupidity people doing stupid things without realising or, instead, thinking they were doing good. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1751453

I find that if you take the various popular song forms to their logical extremes, you can arrive at almost anything from the ridiculous to the obscene-or, as they say in New York, sophisticated. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1778661

When you get to fifty-two food becomes more important than sex. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1834473

Plagiarize, plagiarize, / Let no man's work evade your eyes, / Remember why the good Lord made your eyes, / Don't shade your eyes, / But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize. / Only be sure to call it research. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1855086

I stopped performing because I don't have the temperament of a performer. You have to want to do the same thing over and over again. Once I got it right, I didn't want to do it again. I always use the analogy of a novelist who has to read his novel in public night after night. I just didn't want to do it. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1886792

People would go anywhere to see a famous person in the flesh, no matter what they do. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1907204

Apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play? — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 1921667

Comedy is very important, yes. For one thing, it keeps you sane. But it's not really a conversion. I mean, it's marginally a conversion, because if people tune in or go to a nightclub or even watch television, and hear that a lot of other people are laughing at something you thought was not funny, at least it'll force you to reconsider. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2026525

If a person feels he can't communicate, the least he can do is shut up about it. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2084033

I'm not an original composer. The tunes are not stolen from other tunes necessarily except in a few cases, but they're in the style of songs that I grew up with. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2113037

One of the problems I see with these comics on television, particularly cable television, is, since you can say anything in terms of sex and scatological references and so on, therefore, you should do it. So they all limit themselves to these subjects and this vocabulary. My objection is that it is a lack of articulateness. Irreverence is easy, but what is hard is wit. Wit is what these comedians lack. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2123370

We are the folk song army, every one of us cares. We all hate poverty, war, and injustice unlike the rest of you squares. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2136656

When you're in a public profession like I was, and you stop doing it like I did, people think you're either crazy or dead. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2154297

But in the new (math) approach, the important thing is to understand what you're doing, rather than to get the right answer. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2164110

I always like to make explicit the fact that before I went off not too long ago to fight in the trenches, I was a mathematician by profession. I don't like people to get the idea that I have to do this for a living. I mean, it isn't as though I had to do this, you know, I could be making, oh, three thousand dollars a year just teaching. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2226201

When correctly viewed, everything is lewd. — Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer Quotes 2237701

Counting in octal is just like counting in decimal, if you don't use your . — Tom Lehrer