TOM LEHRER


Oedipus Rex Lyrics

(Introduction, only on live album „An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer“, spoken:)
And now, may I have the next slide please?
...carried away there.
It seems that most of the songs that you hear these days
on the radio played by the disk jockeys, apart from rock
and roll and other children's records, tend to be motion
picture title songs. Apparently producers feel that we
will not attend their movies unless we have the titles
well drilled into our heads in advance. Of course, we
don't go anyway, but at least this way they make back on
the song some of what they've lost on the picture. But,
with the rise of the motion picture title song we have
such hits of the past few years as „The Ten Commandments Mambo“,
„Brothers Karamazov Cha-Cha“, „Incredible Shrinking Man I Love You“
...I'm sure you're all familiar with these.
But, a few years ago, a motion picture version appeared
of Sophocles' immortal tragedy „Oedipus Rex“. This picture
played only in the so-called art theaters, and it was not
a financial success. And I maintain that the reason it was
not a financial success... you're way ahead of me... was
that it did not have a title tune which the people could
hum, and which would make them actually eager to attend
this particular flick. So, I've attempted to supply this,
and here then is the prospective title song from „Oedipus Rex“:

From the Bible to the popular song
There's one theme that we find right along
Of all ideals they hail as good
The most sublime is motherhood

There was a man though, who it seems
Once carried this ideal to extremes
He loved his mother and she loved him
And yet his story is rather grim

There once lived a man named Oedipus Rex
You may have heard about his odd complex
His name appears in Freud's index
'Cause he loved his mother

His rivals used to say quite a bit
That as a monarch he was most unfit
But still in all they had to admit
That he loved his mother

Yes, he loved his mother like no other
His daughter was his sister and his son was his brother
One thing on which you can depend is,
He sure knew who a boy's best friend is

When he found what he had done
He tore his eyes out, one by one
A tragic end to a loyal son
Who loved his mother

So be sweet and kind to mother
Now and then have a chat
Buy her candy or some flowers
Or a brand new hat
But maybe you had better let it go at that

Or you may find yourself with a quite complex complex
And you may end up like Oedipus
I'd rather marry a duck-billed platypus
Than end up like old Oedipus Rex

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