Written by Ralph E. Shaffer

Friday, 24 November 2017

Santa Cruz, CA. Musicologists rummaging through the Tom Lehrer manuscripts at U C Santa Cruz have found what appears to be an original humorous ditty that has never been performed.

"The Urinary Tract," which consists only of lyrics and is without a melody, was stuffed into an envelope between two other Lehrer favorites, 'The Elements" and "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park."

While Lehrer's name is not on the manuscript and the humor is less ribald than his other works, the subject and the meter fit his style. Lehrer, 89, did not respond to inquiries regarding the song.

The matter will be the center of attention at the annual Lehrer Fan Club convention next winter.

Several fans have already put the words to music.

Here is the text as it appeared in type, not in Lehrer's hand writing:


Oh, I spend each day examining the urinary tract
And so carefully explaining it with humor and with tact
From the nephrons in the kidneys to the bladder down below
Your urea travels silently and all by gravity flow.

First, it leaves the glomerulus through a little renal pipe
Then it enters a ureter tube, and moves on without a gripe
Soon it gathers in the bladder which inflates like a balloon
And it serves you as a holding tank, a kind of dark lagoon.

To stop premature emission there's a sphincter valve in place
But as you are growing older there's a problem you may face
There'll be leakage through the sphincter that a washer cannot fix
And a pill might cause a blockage so that course I'd surely nix.

So you now are up to speed about your urinary tract
And you surely know the diff'rence 'tween what's gossip and what's fact
When you feel the urge to go that's not a matter for debate
Excuse yourself...don't hesitate... or your friends will see your fate!

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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