Oedipus Rex Song, by Tom Lehrer, 1959
Oedipus Rex by Tom Lehrer, 1959
Album: An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer, Reprise/Warner Bros. Records, recorded on March 20-21, 1959 in Sanders Theater at Harvard.
From the Bible to the popular song,
There's one theme that we find right along;
Of all ideals they hail as good,
The most sublime is motherhood.
There was a man though, who it seems,
Once carried this ideal to extremes.
He loved his mother and she loved him,
And yet his story is rather grim.
There once lived a man named Oedipus Rex,
You may have heard about his odd complex.
His name appears in Freud's index
'Cause he loved his mother.
His rivals used to say quite a bit
That as a monarch he was most unfit.
But still in all they had to admit
That he loved his mother.
Yes, he loved his mother like no other,
His daughter was his sister and his son was his brother.
One thing on which you can depend is,
He sure knew who a boy's best friend is.
When he found what he had done,
He tore his eyes out, one by one.
A tragic end to a loyal son
Who loved his mother.
So be sweet and kind to mother,
Now and then have a chat.
Buy her candy or some flowers,
Or a brand new hat.
But maybe you had better let it go at that.
Or you may find yourself with a quite complex complex
And you may end up like Oedipus.
I'd rather marry a duck-billed platypus
Than end up like old Oedipus Rex.