Song of the Day: Tom Lehrer, “New Math”

Tom Lehrer, whom Wikipedia calls "a retired American musician, singer-songwriter, satirist, and mathematician, having lectured on mathematics and musical theater," turns 93 today. He’s known outside academia as the writer of satirical topical songs. In the 1960’s he wrote songs for the American version of the TV show That Was The Week That Was. "New Math" was from his 1965 album That Was The Year That Was. I hope this doesn’t trigger anyone over the age of 60…

7 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Tom Lehrer, “New Math”

    1. As my grandfather (who was a math professor for years) used to say, 2+2=4 in New Math or Old Math. I learned both ways; I’m not sure kids learn either way now.


  1. Hi John – he is brilliant isn’t he … I’ve always loved his take on life (or maths) in this instance … all the best – Hilary


    1. I don’t remember the US version of “That Was The Week That Was,” for which he wrote a lot of the music. We had an overnight radio talk show and the host would play funny records between segments, and many were Tom Lehrer songs. After a while management at the station changed and he was ordered to play music from their playlists, and the show was no fun to listen to anymore…


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