Tom Lehrer’s math songs

After writing about some well known people with degrees in mathematics, I was moved to re-listen to some old Tom Lehrer songs on YouTube. I decided I’d post some links to his more mathematical songs here. Enjoy.

First, “Lobachevsky,” a song about the Russian mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky and his discovery of non-Euclidean geometry, which some historians claimed was actually due to Gauss (this claim of plagiarism now seems to have been thoroughly refuted):

Here are some other videos:

Here are some audio-only songs:

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10 Comments

  1. neop87 says:

    In the subject of math songs, my favorite one is definitely Finite Simple Group of Order Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTby_e4-Rhg

    1. That is a fantastic song. The first time I saw it I thought, “I know those stairs!” Sure enough, it is Lunt Hall at Northwestern University, where I went to graduate school. Many of the audience members are my professors.

  2. Travis says:

    You might also check out the Pysical Revue at http://www.haverford.edu/physics-astro/songs/lehrer/physrev.htm#songs, which includes live performances from a 1952 gig at Harvard. I usually play “Any questions?” for my calculus classes right before I administer the final exam.

    1. Thanks, Travis! I just added it and the Slide Rule Song to the post above.

  3. Gene Chase says:

    The version of New Math that you post is truncated. It includes only the first (decimal) half. The second (octal) half is what makes it so funny. I recommend replacing that link with this one, twice as long.

    1. Thanks, Gene! I replaced my link with yours.

  4. Gene Chase says:

    Oops … wanted to check the “follow-up” box.

  5. Kathy THomis says:

    My Geometry students have a math video project each year. This is the first year I feel that one of my groups have plagerised their music. I really feel I have heard this song before: It is about Pythagorean Theorem sung to the tune of Jesus loves me.

    If anyone else knows of this song, please let me know the exact website.
    Thanks amillion.

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