Tom Lehrer on Political Science

For those too young to remember him, Tom Lehrer, an MIT mathematician, wrote and recorded some wonderful songs in the 1950s and 1960s satirizing various aspects of life, politics, and society.

At MIT, Lehrer regularly taught a quantitative methods course for political scientists, and based on that experience he composed a song about political science. (Are there any other songs about political science?) Yes, yes, I know: the name of the song he bintroduces a half-minute or so into this YouTube clip is “Sociology,” not “Political Science,” but it’s really about political science, as he explains.

If this brings back old memories for you, good. If you’re hearing it for the first time, even better.

[Hat tip to Harvey Feigenbaum]

3 Responses to Tom Lehrer on Political Science

  1. M. Townes May 28, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    Randy Newman. “Political Science”. Actually about foreign policy, not the discipline.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGO42gvCSPI

  2. gricoc May 29, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    Wilco play a song called “Political science”, and there’s also Radiohead’s “Electioneering”

  3. Kevin May 29, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    Ryan Adams has a creepily brilliant song “Political Scientists.”

    He sings, “Someplace on the edge of town / Is where they live / Political scientist.” There’s also some wailing “There’s no guarantees” over and over.

    Listen here:
    http://www.last.fm/music/Ryan+Adams/_/Political+Scientist

    Or read lyrics here:
    http://www.answeringbell.com/Answering%20Bell/Songs/political_scientist.htm