by Tom Lehrer


For many years now, Mr. Danny Kaye, who has been my particular idol since childbirth, has been doing a routine about the great Russian director Stanislavsky and the secret of success in the acting profession. And I thought it would be interesting to st... to adapt this idea to the field of mathematics. I always like to make explicit the fact that before I went off not too long ago to fight in the trenches, I was a mathematician by profession. I don't like people to get the idea that I have to do this for a living. I mean, it isn't as though I had to do this, you know, I could be making, oh, 3000 dollars a year just teaching.

Be that as it may, some of you may have had occasion to run into mathematicians and to wonder therefore how they got that way, and here, in partial explanation perhaps, is the story of the great Russian mathematician Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky.

Who made me the genius I am today
The mathematician that others all quote
Who's the professor that made me that way
The greatest that ever got chalk on his coat

One man deserves the credit
One man deserves the blame
and Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name, oy
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobache...

I am never forget the day I first meet the great Lobachevsky
In one word he told me secret of success in mathematics

Let no one else's work evade your eyes
Remember why the good Lord made your eyes
So don't shade your eyes
But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize
Only be sure always to call it please research

And ever since I meet this man my life is not the same
And Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name, oy
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobache...

I am never forget the day I am given first original paper to write
It was on analytic and algebraic topology of locally Euclidean metrization of infinitely differentiable Riemannian manifold
Bozhe moi
This I know from nothing
But I think of great Lobachevsky and I get idea, haha

I have a friend in Minsk
Who has a friend in Pinsk
Whose friend in Omsk
Has friend in Tomsk
With friend in Akmolinsk
His friend in Alexandrovsk
Has friend in Petropavlovsk
Whose friend somehow
Is solving now
The problem in Dnepropetrovsk

And when his work is done
Haha, begins the fun
From Dnepropetrovsk
To Petropavlovsk
By way of Iliysk
And Novorossiysk
To Alexandrovsk to Akmolinsk
To Tomsk to Omsk
To Pinsk to Minsk
To me the news will run
Yes, to me the news will run

And then I write
By morning, night
And afternoon
And pretty soon
My name in Dnepropetrovsk is cursed
When he finds out I published first

And who made me a big success
And brought me wealth and fame
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name, oy
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobache...

I am never forget the day my first book is published
Every chapter I stole from somewhere else
Index I copy from old Vladivostok telephone directory

This book, this book was sensational
Pravda, ah, Pravda, Pravda said (nonsense in Russian)
It stinks
But Izvestia, Izvestia said (nonsense in Russian)
It stinks

Metro-Goldwyn-Moskva bought the movie rights for six million rubles
Changing title to 'The Eternal Triangle'
With Brigitte Bardot playing part of hypotenuse

And who deserves the credit
And who deserves the blame
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name

Lobachevsky is the sixth (6th) song on the Tom Lehrer Revisited album, the sixth (6th) son on the Song & More songs By Tom Lehrer album, and the sixth (6th) song on disc on and the sixth (6th) song on disc two of the Remains Of Tom Lehrer album. It is an original song by Tom Lehrer.

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