Lobachevsky

by Tom Lehrer

Who made me the genius I am today,
The mathematician that others all quote?
Who's the professor who 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.
Hai!
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:
Plagiarize!

Plagiarize.
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.
Hai!
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.
Borzhemoi!
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.
Hai!
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: perzhnavisk
It stinks.
But Izvestia! Izvestia said: parachnavor
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.
Hai!

 

 

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