Last year’s birthday post was, In Which the Birthdays Suck. That was unkind. There were a number of interesting people: Carl Perkins, Jim Fowler, and Steve Gadd. But I rightly noted that Hugh Hefner was a very creepy guy. I implied it about Nathaniel Branden. And I noted that Joe Scarborough was an idiot. But I totally missed a truly great man.
Tom Lehrer is 86 years old today. He is probably the most famous mathematician in the world. Strangely, he never managed to complete his PhD work, most likely because he was to distracted by his other passion: music. And not just any music. He’s quite an accomplished light opera pianist, singer, and most of all, songwriter. But we really only know of him because of recordings. He hasn’t done anything in music for over four decades. In his entire career, he performed publicly only 109 times and wrote only 37 songs. But what performances and songs they were!
Here are two of his songs: “National Brotherhood Week” and “When You Are Old And Gray.” Enjoy:
Happy birthday Tom Lehrer!