On Frances Kolarek, Tom Lehrer and a Suggestion

Collington Blogster Frances Kolark, who blogs each week on the official Collingon Blog, has recently posted an excellent piece on the value of singing and of human connection in enhancing cognitive prowess.

She is so right – read the whole thing here:

Old songs, old favorites, we sing them over and over. And here I go again, because Richard A. Friedman, a widely published professor of clinical psychology at Weill Cornell Medical College is singing MY song.
In a recent article in The New York Times Sunday Review he extols the virtue — nay, the necessity — of exercising the mind and the body, as well as cultivating close social ties. A duet!

Chatting with folks at dinner about the singers and comedians they know and love, it seems to me what an astonishing number of Collingtonians have in common is love of Tom Lehrer, and his satirical songs.  Many will find “The Elements” and “New Math” aids to memory.  (The Elements link here is particularly worth a listen, because it contains an additional ending, compared to the version on the album “An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer”)  Other songs are more biting.

Indeed, songs with irony and satire might be a particular aid to cognition, since they require the brain to hold different perspectives at the same time.

Anyway, my modest proposal is for a Tom Lehrer singalong to get that memory and irony juices flowing for all of us.  Who’s up for organzing it?

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