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Silent E and L-Y

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Silent E and L-Y

Postby Stargzer » Thu Mar 24, 2005 6:43 pm

On the subject of Spelling (not Tori or Aaron), I just ran across this Tom Lehrer song at a site while looking for some of his other lyrics.

Lehrer, who was also a Harvard mathematician, is better known for songs such as "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park."

Silent E (1971)

(This song was written for the PBS children's show "The Electric Company" in 1971. It appeared on an Electric Company album, and later a Sesame Street album. Both of these releases were stereo. It appears in mono as a bonus track on the CD of Tom Lehrer Revisited.)

Who can turn a can into a cane?
Who can turn a pan into a pane?
It's not too hard to see,
It's Silent E.

Who can turn a cub into a cube?
Who can turn a tub into a tube?
It's elementary
For Silent E.

He took a pin and turned it into a pine.
He took a twin and turned him into twine.

Who can turn a cap into a cape?
Who can turn a tap into a tape?
A little glob becomes a globe instantly,
If you just add Silent E.

He turned a dam - Alikazam! - into a dame.
But my friend Sam stayed just the same.

Who can turn a man into a mane?
Who can turn a van into a vane?
A little hug becomes huge instantly.
Don't add W, Don't add X, And don't add Y or Z,
Just add Silent E.


This one is also there:

L-Y (1972)

(This song was written for "The Electric Company" TV show in 1972, but was never released on record until it showed up in 1990 as a bonus track on the CD of Tom Lehrer Revisited.)


You're wearing your squeaky shoes,
And right there taking a snooze
Is a tiger, so how do you walk on by?
[loud whisper]
Silently, silently, Silent L.Y.

You're a secret agent man
Who's after the secret plan.
How do you act so they don't know you're a spy?
[acting suspiciously]
Normally [whistle], normally [whistle], Normal L.Y.

At an eating contest you boast
That you can eat the most.
How do you down your fiftieth piece of pie?
[nauseated]
Eagerly (ugh!), eagerly (yech!), Eager L.Y.

On the lake your boat upset,
And your clothes got soaking wet.
How do you stand and wait for them to dry?
[shivering]
D-d-d-d-d-d-patiently, D-d-d-d-d-d-patiently, D-d-d-d-d-d-patient L.Y.

In the public library
You fall and hurt your knee.
But the sign says QUIET PLEASE, so how can you cry?
[crying]
Quietly [sniff], quietly [sniff], Quiet L.Y.

As you walk along the street
A porcupine you meet.
How do you shake his hand when he says "hi"?
[warily]
Ah, carefully, carefully, Careful L.Y.

You enter a very dark room,
And sitting there in the gloom
Is Dracula.
Now how do you say goodbye?
Immediately, immediately, Immediate L.Y.
Bye bye!
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Apoclima » Thu Mar 24, 2005 6:57 pm

Obviously a very troubled, talented artiste!

Sad, yet funny!

I remember the "Silent E" song!

Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
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Postby Stargzer » Thu Mar 24, 2005 7:37 pm

Apoclima wrote:Obviously a very troubled, talented artiste!

Sad, yet funny!

I remember the "Silent E" song!

Apo


Talented, yes; troubled, no!

There was a short-leved politcal satire program back when I was a kid called [url]That Was The Week That Was[/url], or TW3 for short. The original was a British production (1962-1963), but an Americanized version came out in the US in 1964-1965. Lehrer wrote songs for the American show which appear on his That Was The Year That Was album, which provides an insight into life the early 1960s.

I think my favorites from that particular album are "National Brotherhood Week," "Pollution," "New Math," and Vatican Rag," but not necessarily in that order. I'd put "Vatican Rag" and "New Math" first, followed by "Pollution." Henri, on the other hand, would most likely identify with "Send In The Marines." :twisted:
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Apoclima » Thu Mar 24, 2005 8:05 pm

I'm sticking to my guns with "troubled." He was obviously troubled by what he saw in the world around him. Morbid and satirical, he paves a road that I can only follow so far before I must veer off to the right!

In short, the emergence of the New Left, which allowed for the success of the folk-protest song, effectively killed Lehrer's music. As the split between liberal and conservative became wider, the tension between the two sides increased, leaving little room for the cheerily humorous songs of Lehrer. And at the same, Lehrer was finding less and less to be humorous about. His brief dabbling in political cheerleading served only to increase Lehrer's conviction that it was time to move away from politics and song writing. "I worked for McCarthy in '68, and I certainly would not have voted for him. I would have voted for probably Kennedy, but Kennedy only came into the race after I had already done my dread work. But I did unfortunately meet Eugene McCarthy, that's one of things that decided me not to [vote for him]."


Tom Lehrer:
The Political Musician That Wasn't
By Jeremy Mazner


Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
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Postby Stargzer » Thu Mar 24, 2005 8:32 pm

Apoclima wrote:I'm sticking to my guns with "troubled." He was obviously troubled by what he saw in the world around him. Morbid and satirical, he paves a road that I can only follow so far before I must veer off to the right!
. . . Tom Lehrer:
The Political Musician That Wasn't
By Jeremy Mazner


Apo


I don't know for sure, but I think Lehrer must have been the inspiration for Mark Russell and the Captiol Steps.


From your link:

A song kidding about South Africa might still elicit some easy laughs, but one attempting to do the same to Israel would probably make half the audience walk out (or perhaps attack the other half)."


Sadly, this is probably all too true today.


From the home page of your link, this I didn't know:

Even before he came to Harvard, however, he was well known in academic circles for his masterly translation into Latin of The Wizard of Oz, which remains even today the standard Latin version of that work.
Regards//Larry

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-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Re: Silent E and L-Y

Postby KatyBr » Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:55 pm

Stargzer wrote:On the subject of Spelling (not Tori or Aaron), I just ran across this Tom Lehrer song at a site while looking for some of his other lyrics.
... "silent E".... "LY song"....


I think retirement has left you with entirely too much time on your hands,
Note: suggest to Mrs, Stargzer that she get Larry a bunch of power tools to keep him busy out there in the garage.

Katy
:roll: Aww Larry, I was just kidding.
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Re: Silent E and L-Y

Postby Stargzer » Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:38 am

KatyBr wrote: . . . I think retirement has left you with entirely too much time on your hands,
Note: suggest to Mrs, Stargzer that she get Larry a bunch of power tools to keep him busy out there in the garage.

Katy
:roll: Aww Larry, I was just kidding.


I just recently received my 30-year service pin from the Federal Government, complete with a "MADE IN HONGKONG" sticker on the front of the box (so much for Buy American, or even NAFTA!), but I'm still a short bit shy of 55 years of age as yet. Even then I still have a mortgage and two sets of kids' college loans to pay off before I can think about retiring . . . :cry:

. . . but as to too much time on one's hands, I'd look closer to home if I were you, to someone with 17.36% of total posts in a month-and-a-half, an average of 4.55 posts per day as of March 24. :D :lol: :P :wink: :!:
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby KatyBr » Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:46 am

but Larry, even tho' I'm retired I do not watch Sesame Street. And I do have lots to do, I've built 91 websites in the last three or four months,and my shop is fully stocked and used a lot, restarted my landscaping, Keep a home full time,and still have time to post.

Katy
And I was just joking. :lol:
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Postby Stargzer » Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:54 am

KatyBr wrote:but Larry, even tho' I'm retired I do not watch Sesame Street. And I do have lots to do, I've built 91 websites in the last three or four months,and my shop is fully stocked and used a lot, restarted my landscaping, Keep a home full time,and still have time to post.

Katy
And I was just joking. :lol:


So was I, or at least I thought the string of smiley's would have said so . . .

G'nite! I think the Old Beagle needs to go out. He has this habit of waiting until I'm ready to crash for the night. Sigh.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby anders » Fri Mar 25, 2005 8:40 am

Adding to the favourites list, having started as a chemist, I must of course mention the Elements, set to "a possibly recognizable tune". It is rumoured that TL used quite a selection of tunes for different performances. And the final rhyme is just grrrreat!

And don't forget the subtleties of the account of the academic career of Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky. Regarding the Russian quotes, these I know from nothing.
Irren ist männlich
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Postby tcward » Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:35 pm

Larry, thanks for posting those. I am a big fan of the "Silent E" song -- I still remember hearing it as a kid when the Electric Company was still broadcast.

-Tim
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