Lehrer, who was also a Harvard mathematician, is better known for songs such as "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park."
This one is also there: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?
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 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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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"?
Ah, carefully, carefully, Careful L.Y.
You enter a very dark room,
And sitting there in the gloom
Now how do you say goodbye?
Immediately, immediately, Immediate L.Y.