Free Tom Lehrer!

Tom Lehrer, the 92-year old musical satirist (and inventor of the jello shot), has released all of the lyrics to his musical works into the public domain. In the absence of this release, his words would have remained copyrighted until at least 70 years after his death.

“I, Tom Lehrer, and the Tom Lehrer Trust 2000, hereby grant the following permission:

  • All the lyrics on this website, whether published or unpublished, copyrighted or uncopyrighted, may be downloaded and used in any manner whatsoever, without requiring any further permission from me or any payment to me or to anyone else.
  • Some lyrics written by Tom Lehrer to copyrighted music by others are included herein, but of course such music may not be used without permission of the copyright owners. (The translated songs may be found in their original languages on YouTube.)
  • In other words, all the lyrics herein should be treated as though they were in the public domain.
  • In particular, permission is hereby granted to anyone to set any of these lyrics to their own music and publish or perform their versions without fear of legal action.
  • This permission applies only to the lyrics on this website. Most of the music written by Tom Lehrer will be added gradually later with further disclaimers.
  • Note: This website will be shut down on December 31, 2024, so if you want to download anything, don’t wait too long.”
Head over to Professor Lehrer’s site for the song lyrics. (Music to be added later.)

Alan N. Walter