Friday, August 03, 2012

Music Friday With Satirist Tom Lehrer and 'The Elements' Song

Welcome to Music Friday, when we bring you the very best tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today's special treat is the animated version of "The Elements" song by satirist and lecturer Tom Lehrer. Originally written and performed in 1959 when only 102 elements were known, the Harvard-educated Lehrer sings the whole periodic table – in 85 seconds – to the tune of the "Major-General's Song" from The Pirates of Penzance.

In this video, animator Timwi uses Visual C# Express, AviSynth and VirtualDub to brilliantly bring Lehrer's song to life.

For fans of the most common jewelry metals, gold makes its appearance at the 22 second mark, followed by silver (:34), platinum (:53), palladium (:54), titanium (:56), rhodium (1:09) and tungsten (1:10). Once again we offer you the lyrics if you'd like to sing along. Good luck keeping up with Mr. Lehrer.

"The Elements"

Written and performed by Tom Lehrer.

There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium,
And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium,
And nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium,
And iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium,
Europium, zirconium, lutetium, vanadium,
And lanthanum and osmium and astatine and radium,
And gold and protactinium and indium and gallium,
And iodine and thorium and thulium and thallium.

There's yttrium, ytterbium, actinium, rubidium,
And boron, gadolinium, niobium, iridium,
And strontium and silicon and silver and samarium,
And bismuth, bromine, lithium, beryllium, and barium.

There's holmium and helium and hafnium and erbium,
And phosphorus and francium and fluorine and terbium,
And manganese and mercury, molybdenum, magnesium,
Dysprosium and scandium and cerium and cesium.
And lead, praseodymium, and platinum, plutonium,
Palladium, promethium, potassium, polonium,
And tantalum, technetium, titanium, tellurium,
And cadmium and calcium and chromium and curium.

There's sulfur, californium, and fermium, berkelium,
And also mendelevium, einsteinium, nobelium,
And argon, krypton, neon, radon, xenon, zinc, and rhodium,
And chlorine, carbon, cobalt, copper, tungsten, tin, and sodium.

These are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard,
And there may be many others, but they haven't been discovered.

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