News, Weather, Mozart, Sports, Eurovision Love Ænema & Perverted Videogames from Vleeptron

NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

My Photo
Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

29 March 2005

Cold War musical interlude

I've already posted the lyrics to "Be Prepared," Tom Lehrer's depraved Boy (and Girl) Scout song from around 1957. In the 1950s, Lehrer, a Harvard math professor, seemed to have no respect or reverence for patriotism, sexual mores, religion, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, our heroin and marihuana laws -- Jesus, I'm telling you, Tenure Is Powerful.

This guy would get up on stage in front of hundreds or thousands of people, and eventually was a regular on network prime-time television, and sing original songs about the most forbidden, lewd, blasphemous and perverted goings-on, and always smiling, or leering. His singing voice was what you'd expect a singing math professor to sound like.

It's not hard to find his mp3s. Although everything he released was in vinyl, affacianadi obsessively transferred his oeuvre to every new storage medium; I used to hang on the original anarchic Napster, and there was a very brisk trade in Lehrer songs. Napster was much more than Green Day and NIN and Phish and Prince.

Here, from smack dab in the middle of the Cold War, is Lehrer's World War III pop song. He figured the war was going to be so brief -- see the Fargo-Moscow ICBM flight time calculations in previous post -- that if it was going to have any songs at all, we'd better start writing and singing them before the war started.

There are some notes about geezersjit at the end.


So Long, Mom (a Song for World War III)

by Tom Lehrer (1965)
(guitar chords)

LEHRER: This year we've been celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the Civil War and the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of World War I and the twentieth anniversary of the end of World War II. So all in all, it's been a good year for the war buffs. And a number of LPs and television specials have come out capitalizing on all this nostalgia, with particular emphasis on the songs of the various wars.

I feel that if any songs are gonna come out of World War III, we'd better start writing them now. I have one here. Might call it a bit of pre-nostalgia.

This is the song that some of the boys sang as they went bravely off to World War III:*

So long, mom,
I'm off to drop the bomb,
So don't wait up for me.
But while you swelter
Down there in your shelter
You can see me
On your TV.

While we're attacking frontally
Watch Brinkally and Huntally**
Describing contrapuntally
The cities we have lost.
No need for you to miss a minute of the agonizing holocaust. Yeah!

Little Johnny Jones, he was a US pilot,
And no shrinking violet was he.
He was mighty proud when World War III was declared.
He wasn't scared, no siree!

And this is what he said on
His way to Armageddon:

So long, mom,
I'm off to drop the bomb,
So don't wait up for me.
But though I may roam,
I'll come back to my home
Although it may be
A pile of debris.

Remember, mommy,
I'm off to get a commie,
So send me a salami
And try to smile somehow.
I'll look for you when the war is over,
An hour and a half from now!


* In World War II, there was a popular song called Goodbye Momma, I'm Off to Yokahama. Alas, I haven't yet found the lyrics.

** Chet Huntley (1911-1974) and David Brinkley (1920-2003), co-anchors of famed "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" [NBC evening news] which ran from 1956-1970, and won Emmies in 1959 and 1960.


Post a Comment

<< Home