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In German, oder Englisch, I know how to count down

26 May 2009

… und I’m learning Korean, says Wernher von Braun.

Scratch swine flu off your list — we’re still all going to die, but now

We will all go together when we go
All suffused with an incandescent glow
No one will have the endurance
to collect on his insurance
Lloyd’s of Llondon will be lloaded when they go.

Who better to comment on the latest media hype than Tom Lehrer?

One of the big news items of the past year concerned the fact that China, which we called “Red China,” exploded a nuclear bomb, which we called a device. Then Indonesia announced that it was going to have one soon, and proliferation became the word of the day. Here’s a song about that:

First we got the bomb, and that was good,
‘Cause we love peace and motherhood.
Then Russia got the bomb, but that’s okay,
‘Cause the balance of power’s maintained that way.
Who’s next?

Last week the media hyped the missing link: the week before that it was, um, what was it again? And the week before that it was swine flu.

Now they are telling us on TV who’s within range of the North Korean bombs. But all the people who are complaining loudest are hanging on to theirs.

Tom Lehrer sang another song about National Brotherhood Week.

How about we call this international hypocrisy week?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Gus Gosling permalink
    27 May 2009 9:22 pm

    Ah, Tom Lehrer! Do you have a link to the ‘Vatican Rag’? Appropriate, no?

    • 27 May 2009 9:48 pm

      The Vatican Rag?

      I can’t quite see how it would be appropriate to Kim Jong Il and his “device”.

      Or were you thinking of

      ‘Mid the yuccas and the thistles
      I’ll watch the guided missals
      while the old FBI watches me

  2. Gus Gosling permalink
    28 May 2009 10:19 am


    Well, considering the blog’s overall theme, maybe (and it is, next to ‘Be Prepared’, my favourite Lehrer song).

    But, for this particular post the most appropriate song would be ‘We will all go together when we go’:

    When you attend a funeral,
    It is sad to think that sooner or
    Later those you love will do the same for you.
    And you may have thought it tragic,
    Not to mention other adjec-
    Tives, to think of all the weeping they will do.
    But don’t you worry.
    No more ashes, no more sackcloth.
    And an armband made of black cloth
    Will some day never more adorn a sleeve.
    For if the bomb that drops on you
    Gets your friends and neighbors too,
    There’ll be nobody left behind to grieve.

    And we will all go together when we go.
    What a comforting fact that is to know.
    Universal bereavement,
    An inspiring achievement,
    Yes, we all will go together when we go.

    We will all go together when we go.
    All suffuse with an incandescent glow.
    No one will have the endurance
    To collect on his insurance,
    Lloyd’s of London will be loaded when they go.

    Oh we will all fry together when we fry.
    We’ll be french fried potatoes by and by.
    There will be no more misery
    When the world is our rotisserie,
    Yes, we will all fry together when we fry.

    Down by the old maelstrom,
    There’ll be a storm before the calm.

    And we will all bake together when we bake.
    There’ll be nobody present at the wake.
    With complete participation
    In that grand incineration,
    Nearly three billion hunks of well-done steak.

    Oh we will all char together when we char.
    And let there be no moaning of the bar.
    Just sing out a Te Deum
    When you see that I.C.B.M.,
    And the party will be “come as you are.”

    Oh we will all burn together when we burn.
    There’ll be no need to stand and wait your turn.
    When it’s time for the fallout
    And Saint Peter calls us all out,
    We’ll just drop our agendas and adjourn.

    You will all go directly to your respective Valhallas.
    Go directly, do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dolla’s.

    And we will all go together when we go.
    Ev’ry Hottenhot and ev’ry Eskimo.
    When the air becomes uranious,
    And we will all go simultaneous.
    Yes we all will go together
    When we all go together,
    Yes we all will go together when we go.

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