Without an 'S,' this spot will go to pot!
February 8, 2008 8:29 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find lyrics to the Tom Lehrer song "Without an S," performed on "The Electric Company" by Rita Moreno?

On an early season of "The Electric Company," Rita Moreno did a parody of the Vincent Youmans ballad "Without a Song." The comic lyric, beginning "Without an S," is by Tom Lehrer. The running gag in the lyric is that the removal of the letter "s" would change a word's meaning, e.g., "sin would be in."

I've looked on lyric sites, sheet music sites, video sharing sites, Tom Lehrer fan sites. Perhaps because the music is under copyright, these lyrics just don't seem to be out there. Can anyone help with a link, a text file, or a clip from the original show?
posted by La Cieca to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow. I can't find anything. Not even here. I have the first season of EC at home but won't be at home for several hours. If you don't get an answer before then I'll go through a few episodes and see what I can find. This is bothering me now.
posted by rokabiri at 9:19 AM on February 8, 2008


I have the supposed complete Tom Lehrer collection, nothing seems to fit...

Only Electric Company things listed:

L-Y
Silent E
O-U (the hound song)
S-N (snore, sniff, and sneeze)
N Apostrophe T

So it's either one of those or they missed something in 'The Remains of Tom Lehrer' collection.
I'll listen and see if any seem to match... It's been a while, but I loves my Tom Lehrer... Looks like the CD set has all the lyrics.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:11 AM on February 8, 2008


probably you mixed up 'S' with 'E'....

silent e.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:27 AM on February 8, 2008


Lehrer actually wrote 11 songs for The Electric Company.
4 of these he wrote and sung:
Silent E
L-Y
O-U (The Hound Song)
SN (Snore, Sniff, and Sneeze)

6 others were written by Tom and sung by others (including Without an S)
Why Not Fight? (a/k/a "The Fight Song")
N'T
The Menu Song
Finch and Dinch
The Mumble Song
Without An S

The 11th he wrote but it wasn't used on the show:
Why Must You Whine?

The Lehrer collection contains the ones he wrote and sung plus I believe he recorded N'T just for that release. As far as the lyrics, I think the best bet is to track down someone with lots of old recordings and see if they can dig it up - most of the others have found their way onto Youtube.
posted by langeNU at 10:34 AM on February 8, 2008


And share if you find them. :) Big TL fan here.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:37 AM on February 8, 2008


oh, and N'T is on his collection...
posted by zengargoyle at 10:37 AM on February 8, 2008


oh, nevermind, missed that part. Mod's delete..
posted by zengargoyle at 10:39 AM on February 8, 2008


OMG youtube to the rescue
posted by zengargoyle at 10:42 AM on February 8, 2008


Zengargoyle - Saw that one but but I don't think that is Tom's song (I've never heard it) - if you read the "About this video" it says specifically that this one isn't Tom's, and that "Without an S" is the only one not available on Youtube :(
posted by langeNU at 10:51 AM on February 8, 2008


Someone in the past contacted him and he said it was ok to post lyrics to his songs, it just seems that no one's done it yet.

On preview: Seconding that the YouTube is not the song that the OP is looking for.
posted by iconomy at 10:56 AM on February 8, 2008


From:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsy87NEljC4&feature=related



Be kind to the letter “S”
Be good to the letter “S”
‘Cause we’d all me in a mess
if we didn’t have S
to put at the end of a word
Yes we’d all me in a mess
if we didn’t have S
to put at the end of a word

Instead of chairs,
There’s be chair
Instead of suits
There’s be suit
Instead of bags,
There’d be bag
Instead of cymbals,
There’d be cymbal

Be kind to the letter “S”
Be good to the letter “S”
‘Cause we’d all me in a mess
if we didn’t have S
to put at the end of a word
Yes we’d all me in a mess
if we didn’t have S
to put at the end of a word
posted by ManInSuit at 1:49 PM on February 8, 2008


Bah. Sorry - I got excited and rushed in. My answer isn't the right one.

Sheepishly,
Sheepishly,
Sheepish-L-Y
posted by ManInSuit at 1:54 PM on February 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


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