Tom Lehrer described himself on the liner notes of his first album as “a bon vivant, man about town, idol of three continents and Madagascar, where half a million gibbering natives think I am God." To thousands of others, however, he is remembered as an irreverent and immensely popular singing satirist of the ’50s and ’60s, the man who brought the world songs like Pollution (Don’t drink the water, and don’t breathe the air).
Although no one has as yet suggested that the words of the Swedish national anthem be sung to the strains of the behemoth rock group ABBA’s hit single Fernando, it lies within the realm of possibility. Since winning the Eurovision Song Festival Contest before a worldwide TV audience of a half-billion in 1974, the quartet has expunged the word “impossible” from its vocabulary and become a national treasure.By MARSHA BOULTON6 min
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