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Happy 92nd birthday, Tom Lehrer – and congratulations on your viral song!

Blog | By Valerie Grove | Apr 09, 2020

The coronavirus (Credit: Scientific Animations)

Of all the clever parodies and jokey songs about Lockdown that have been doing the rounds (The Beatles' I Gotta Wash My Hands; Simon & Garfunkel We’re All Home-bound; the Bee Gees' Staying Inside etc), most of us agree that the funniest is a YouTube clip from 1965 showing the great satirist Tom Lehrer at his piano singing ‘I got it from Agnes...’

'I got it from Agnes /She got it from Jim / We all agree it must have been Louise who gave it to him/ Now she got it from Harry/ Who got it from Marie/ And everybody knows that Marie/ Got it from me'.

The charming veteran Harvard professor of mathematics, who was 92 on Maundy Thursday, might be amused to know that his 55-year-old song remains suitably contagious (277,394 views, at the latest count).