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The Professor's Song

This song is by Tom Lehrer.

If you give me your attention, I will tell you what I am
I'm a brilliant math'matician - also something of a ham
I have tried for numerous degrees, in fact I've one of each
Of course that makes me eminently qualified to teach
I understand the subject matter thoroughly, it's true
And I can't see why it isn't all as obvious to you
Each lecture is a masterpiece, meticulously planned
Yet everybody tells me that I'm hard to understand
And I can't think why

My diagrams are models of true art, you must agree
And my handwriting is famous for its legibility
Take a word like "minimum" (to choose a random word)
This was performed at a blackboard, and the professor wrote:

For anyone to say he cannot read that, is absurd
The anecdotes I tell get more amusing every year
Though frankly, what they go to prove is sometimes less than clear
And all my explanations are quite lucid, I am sure
Yet everybody tells me that my lectures are obscure
And I can't think why

Consider, for example, just the force of gravity:
It's inversely proportional to something - let me see
It's r^3 - no, r^2 - no, it's just r, I'll bet
The sign in front is plus - or is it minus, I forget
Well, anyway, there is a force, of that there is no doubt
All these formulas are trivial if you only think them out
Yet students tell me: "I have memorized the whole year through
Ev'rything you've told us, but the problems I can't do!"
And I can't think why!


Written by:

Tom Lehrer

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