Comments for Tom Lehrer Revisited.

1. Millard Fillmore was the thirteenth president of the United State. I have no idea what he did in 1835. He was alive, a lawyer, and involved in politics, but not yet president.

2. There actually exists a translation published by Scholar Press in 1987: The Classical Wizard - Magus Mirabilis in Oz, translated by C.J. Hinke and George Van Buren. (James Barrett)

3. There's a song Waiting for the Robert E. Lee that refers to a paddlewheel steamer that had a regular route on the Mississippi River. (Peter Kaiser)

4. This line has also been reported as "And the jasmine and the tear gas smell just fine."

5. In the period after the Civil War, many southern states enacted a poll tax. This meant you had to pay to vote. This was to prevent blacks, who had recently been granted the power to vote but were very poor, from voting. (Daniel Marsh)

6. Hominy is known as mealie meal in South Africa. (John Gowland)

7. A kind of corn bread usually made without milk or eggs.

8. These lines are also reported as:

I wanna start relaxin'
Down in Birmingham or Jackson
When we're havin' fun, why no one interferes.
This is a reference to the civil rights events that happened in 1963 and 1962 respectively. In 1962, James Meredith was the first black person to enroll at the University of Mississippi in Jackson. The National Guard had to be brought in to allow him to actually do so. In 1963, Martin Luther King and several ministers demonstrated in Birmingham, Alabama. The police stopped the demonstration with firehoses and dogs.

9. B.V.D.'s is an American expression for men's underwear. It comes from the company founded by Bradley, Voorhees & Day.

10. This song was listed, on the cover of the UK release, as "The Old Pope Peddler." (Hilary D)

11. This must be the ultimate Tom Lehrer FAQ. As far as anybody can tell this line is the joke and there is no real line. If you have something that would fit and sound funny I'll gladly add it here though.
This line has also been reported as: I better leave this line out... just to be on the safe side. (Steve Allen-Shinn)
Shall I? No, I'd better not. (Daniel Marsh)

12. 1879-1972, American composer; b. Prague. He lived in the U.S. after 1906. Best known of his 33 light operas are The Firefly (1912), Rose Marie (1924), and The Vagabond King (1925).

13. These lines have also been reported as:

Keep that pot hidden where you're sure
that it will not be found,
And be careful not to turn on
when the scoutmaster's around,

Back to Bright Tom Lehrer Days. This page was last updated on Jun 19, 2005.