Tom Lehrer Trivia Contest Answers

The Tom Lehrer Trivia Contest ended April 1, 1997. For those who missed it, the original posting of the rules is below.

The basic goal of the contest was to find all of the places in Tom's songs where he uses musical quotations from other songs. The winners were:

For the statistically-minded:

And now the moment you've all been waiting for...

The Answers!

Here are the 34 actual, intentional quotes, according to Tom himself. After reviewing the entries, there were a few others that were counted, which are listed below.

Unless marked [sung] these quotations appear in the piano accompaniment only. Authors are also given: w. = words; m. = music; wm. = words and music

Lehrer Song                         Original

I Wanna Go Back To Dixie            Dixie
                                        (wm. Daniel Emmett)
I Wanna Go Back To Dixie            Swanee [sung]
                                        (w. Irving Caesar, m. George Gershwin)
I Wanna Go Back To Dixie            That's What I Like About The South [sung]
                                        (wm. Andy Razaf)
I Wanna Go Back To Dixie            Home, Sweet Home [sung]
                                        (w. Henry Bishop, m. John Howard Payne)
The Wild West Is Where I Want To Be Home On The Range
                                        (w. Brewster Higley, m. Daniel Kelley)
Lobachevsky                         Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 [sung]
                                        (m. Franz Liszt)
The Irish Ballad                    Souvenir
                                        (m. Franz Drdla)
The Hunting Song                    Hunting Call, a/k/a Tantivy, or
                                      A-Hunting We Will Go
                                        (wm. unknown)
The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz          On The Beautiful Blue Danube, a/k/a
                                      The Blue Danube Waltz
                                        (w. Johann Strauss, Jr.)
Bright College Days                 The Whiffenpoof Song [sung]
                                        (w. Meade Minnigerode, George Pomery,
                                         m. Tad Galloway, Guy Scull)
A Christmas Carol                   Hark, The Herald Angels Sing [sung]
                                        (w. Charles Wesley,
                                         m. Felix Mendelssohn)
A Christmas Carol                   God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen [sung]
                                        (wm. unknown)
A Christmas Carol                   Angels We Have Heard On High [sung]
                                        (wm. unknown)
The Elements                        The Major General's Song [sung]
                                      (from The Pirates Of Penzance)
                                        (w. W. S. Gilbert, m. Arthur Sullivan)
In Old Mexico                       La Virgen de la Macarena
                                        (wm. B. B. Monterde, A. O. Calero)
In Old Mexico                       Capriccio Español
                                        (m. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)
Clementine                          Clementine
                                        (wm. Percy Montrose [although w. may
                                         actually be by H.S. Thompson])
Clementine                          Là ci darem la mano (from Don Giovanni)
                                        (w. Lorenzo da Ponte, m. W. A. Mozart)
Clementine                          Madamina, il catalogo è questo [sung]
                                      (from Don Giovanni)
                                        (w. Lorenzo da Ponte, m. W. A. Mozart)
Clementine                          52nd Street Theme [several, one sung]
                                        (m. Thelonius Monk)
It Makes A Fellow Proud To Be A Soldier Reveille
                                        (wm. unknown)
She's My Girl                       Can't Help Lovin' That Man
                                        (w. Oscar Hammerstein II,
                                         m. Jerome Kern)
We Will All Go Together When We Go  Down By The Old Mill Stream [sung]
                                        (wm. Tell Taylor)
The Folk Song Army                  Venga Jaleo (Spanish Civil War song)
                                        (wm. unknown)
The Folk Song Army                  If I Had A Hammer
                                        (wm. Lee Hays, Pete Seeger)
Send The Marines                    The Marines' Hymn
                                        (w. unknown, m. based on song from
                                         Geneviève de Brabant by Jacques
Pollution                           Can't Help Lovin' That Man [sung]
                                        (w. Oscar Hammerstein II,
                                         m. Jerome Kern)
Whatever Became Of Hubert?          Serenade [sung]
                                        (m. Franz Schubert)
Alma                                Das Lied von der Erde
                                        (m. Gustav Mahler)
Alma                                Symphony No. 2 (2nd movement)
                                        (m. Gustav Mahler)
Alma                                Symphony No. 4 (2nd movement)
                                        (m. Gustav Mahler)
Alma                                Symphony No. 9 (2nd movement)
                                        (m. Gustav Mahler)
Wernher von Braun                   Deutschland über alles
                                        (w. Hoffmann von Fallersleben,
                                         m. Joseph Haydn)
Wernher von Braun                   Ach, du lieber Augustin, a/k/a
                                      O, du lieber Augustin
                                        (wm. unknown)

The following songs, though not intentional quotations, were counted in the final scoring.
  1. Fight Fiercely, Harvard - The Thunderer's March (m. John Phillips Sousa): Tom thought that the lick he used to open this song was just standard, not attributed to anyone in particular, but a couple of people pointed out that its original source was this Sousa march.
  2. Bright College Days - Aura Lee (w. W.W. Fosdick, m. George R. Poulton): This was not an intentional quote, and Tom was unaware of it until a few people pointed it out. Since it was a song that he might've intentionally quoted here had he thought of it, he decided to accept it.
  3. The Elements - Shave And A Haircut (wm. unknown, though variously attributed): Many people submitted this as a quote. Tom wasn't going to count it because he said it was just a standard ending, but one person gave an author of Hale. It seems that Charles Hale MAY have been the first to use it, in his piece "At A Darktown Cakewalk", so Tom decided to count it.
  4. In Old Mexico - South Of The Border [sung] (wm. Jimmy Kennedy, Michael Carr): Tom thinks this was a coincidence, but the opening lyric of "In Old Mexico" uses the tune of "South Of The Border" for a few notes. Since it's the kind of song he would've quoted, and since he had just said the words "south of the border" in the spoken intro, he decided to count it.
  5. Clementine - My Name Is John Wellington Wells (from The Sorcerer) (w. W.S. Gilbert, m. Arthur Sullivan): Tom certainly intended the beginning of the Gilbert & Sullivan section of "Clementine" to be reminiscent of this tune, but he thought he had been careful enough not to quote any notes directly. However, in the end he decided it was close enough to include.
The following were frequently submitted, but were not accepted as valid answers.
  1. I Wanna Go Back To Dixie - Mammy: The quote that many people thought was "Mammy" was actually "Swanee".
  2. Lobachevsky - Stanislavsky: "Lobachevsky" was definitely inspired by "Stanislavsky" (he even mentions this in the spoken intro), but Tom was careful not to copy the notes. In fact, in the original recording, he says "What I'm going to do" which is a line from "Stanislavsky", and he elminated that in later recordings to make sure he couldn't in any way be sued for copyright infringement.
  3. A Christmas Carol - Jingle Bells: Tom intended the intro of this song to be similar to "Jingle Bells", but he did not copy the notes directly from "Jingle Bells", so it doesn't count.
  4. In Old Mexico - Malagueña: "La Virgen de la Macarena" is the standard bullfight fanfare, and is what Tom quoted. Many people had this confused with "Malagueña".
  5. Clementine - The Liberty Bell March (a/k/a Monty Python Theme): It does sound close to this, and I too thought this was a quote, but it was really intended to sound like Gilbert & Sullivan's "My Name Is John Wellington Wells" (see above).
  6. The Folk Song Army - Jimmy Crack Corn: He does mention this line from "The Blue Tail Fly" in "The Folk Song Army", but he does not use the music from the song at all, so it does not count.
  7. The Folk Song Army - Malagueña: People got this confused with the Spanish Civil War song, "Venga Jaleo".

Original Rules

Announcing the first internet Tom Lehrer Trivia Contest! Here's a challenge for the true Lehrophiles, with some excellent prizes to boot.

The contest is this:
Many of Tom's songs have musical quotations, either sung or in the piano accompaniment, which are taken from other musical pieces. For instance, "A Christmas Carol" contains the music for "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing" for a few seconds. What we're looking for is a list of all of Tom's songs which contain such musical quotations, along with the pieces from which he is quoting. (This example counts as an answer, so don't forget to include it in your list. Everyone should get at least one correct answer!)

  1. For each quoted piece, include the title in your message. It's OK if you don't know the author of the piece, but if you do, include that information also, since it will be used to break ties.
  2. Only deliberate quotations will be counted, not cases in which a short sequence of notes may happen to coincide with those of another piece. (Almost all of the deliberate quotations are related to the content of the songs in which they appear.)
  3. If lyrics from another piece are used, but neither the piano accompaniment nor the vocal uses the tune, it does not count.
  4. If a piece is quoted twice in the same Lehrer song, it will only be counted once, but if the same piece is quoted in two different Lehrer songs, it will be counted twice.
  5. The songs open for scrutiny are those 39 on the three Warner/Reprise compact discs: Tom Lehrer Revisited, An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer, and That Was The Year That Was. (If you need to know the track listings for these, they are available at the FAQ site Also, only the performances on the Warner/Reprise CDs can be used for this contest.
  6. Note that there are at least TWENTY (20) such musical quotes in these 39 songs, so it may take you a while to find them all.
The prize will be a real gem - the three entrants with the most correct answers will each get a set of three AUTOGRAPHED Tom Lehrer albums not currently available on CD in this form. The three albums are All are on Lehrer Records, and yes, you read right, each will be autographed by Tom himself!

The contest runs from January 16, 1997 to April 1, 1997. Entries must be received by midnight Eastern Standard Time on April 1, 1997. Winners will be announced on April 9, 1997 - Tom's 69th birthday. Winners will be notified via e-mail and a winners list will be posted to, along with the correct answers.

To enter, send an e-mail message to with LEHRER CONTEST as part of your subject line. In the body of the message, include your e-mail address and your answers. You should get a verification back within 24 hours that your submission went through. If you fail to receive a reply, please submit again. (Depending on how you send your e-mail, your address may or may not be listed in the header of the message. For this reason, please include a valid e-mail address in the body of your message, so I will know where to send the reply and the potential prize notification.)

If you enter early and then figure out some more later, you're welcome to resubmit your list. Only the last list from any one person will count, though. Please include again everything from your original submission, and note that you're resubmitting.

The contest rules will be posted in base eight (actually, every eight days) in the newsgroup, and are also available at the FAQ site mentioned above.

This should be a fun contest. Good luck to everyone!