Comments for An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer.

1. The Audubon Society is an American group who look out for animal-kind, similar to the RSPCA (Royal Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals). (Hilary D, Julie Tyler)

2. In 1998 Tom did a performance of Poisoning Pigeons in the Park for a one-off show dedicated to Cameron Mackintosh and he substituted sparrow for squirrel. (Luke Owen)

3. From the Latin song Gaudeamus Igitur:
Gaudeamus igitur,
Juvenes dum sumus
Post iucundam iuventutem
Post molestam senectutem
Nos habebit humus
Nos habebit humus
Let us be joyful (raucious)
(For) While we are young(sters)
After pleasurable youth
After unpleasant old age
the earth shall have us
the earth shall have us
(Gerrit-Willem Oberman)

4. This stanza is a play on the Whiffenpoof Song. Mory's is an old (but still operating) New Haven dining club which originally restricted its membership to Yale faculty and students. It is located at 306 York Street, New Haven. (Ben Warfield).

5. This tune is I am the Very Model Of A Modern Major General from Gilbert and Sullivan's operette The Pirates Of Penzance. (Daniel Marsh)

6. The Ten Commandments (from the Bible), The Brothers Karamazov (a book by Fyodor Dostoyevsky), and The Incredible Shrinking Man were all recent films. (David Kirkpatrick, John Gowland)

7. Freud coined the term "Oedipus complex" where a child or man is in love with his mother. (Daniel Marsh)

8. (Spanish) I love you. (Daniel Marsh)

9. Mexico's water supply is notoriously tainted. (Daniel Marsh)

10. Spanish bull fighter, who is said to have invented modern bull fighting. (John Gowland).

11. Spanish bull fighter who died a tragic death. (John Gowland)

12. Mounted men with long spears, they stab the bull to wound it and make it properly angry. The horses are armored, and can take quite a beating. (Daniel Marsh)

13. Men with what amounts to large batons with sharp ends and ribbons tied to the other side. They run up and hurl the baton at the bull's back to anger the bull. (Daniel Marsh)

14. If a Matador puts on a particularly spectacular performance, the spectators may award him parts of the bull such as the ears or the tail. (Daniel Marsh)

15. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. They were the two largest American labor unions. In 1955 they merged to form the AFL-CIO. (Daniel Marsh)

16. A Mexican, so called because the Rio Grande is between Mexico and Texas, and many illegal immigrants swim it. (Daniel Marsh)

17. "Remember the Alamo" was a rallying call during wars with Mexico. (Daniel Marsh)

18. What a disaster. (Francesco Tarantelli)

19. Possibly a reference to Macbeth:

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. (5.5.28)
(John Pariseau)

20. "Unfrocked" refers to removing a station. To unfrock someone is usually said of clergy, when they lose their position. (The frock is the dress they wear.) The Marines are considered elite forces, so the Regular Army would be considered a step down. (Daniel Marsh)

21. Regular Army, as opposed to any special units. (Daniel Marsh)

22. An M-1 is one of the earlest assault rifles. (Hilary D)

23. An entrenching tool is a collapsible shovel, which will easily fit into a pack. (Hilary D)

24. Officers Candidate School.

25. Collecting cereal box tops was a common way to get prizes from the owning companies in Lehrer's time. (Daniel Marsh)

26. One of the most famous insurance companies in the world. (Daniel Marsh)

27. I.C.B.M stands for Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile. (Hilary D)

28. Valhalla is the hall of the dead warriors in Norse Mythology. (Daniel Marsh)

Back to Bright Tom Lehrer Days. This page was last updated on Feb 9, 2022.