The Masochism Tango Tom Lehrer Would Have Written If He Could

Even Lehrer him­self could­n’t have got­ten away with this back in the 1950s.

Tom Lehrer record­ed “The Masochism Tan­go” clear back in 1959, believe it or not. Giv­en that this was when the gov­ern­ment was stomp­ing on Irv­ing Klaw and Bet­tie Page for lin­gerie bondage pho­tos, it’s almost unbe­liev­able that he got away with it. Not only that, the song was record­ed and pub­lished again that same year — a live ver­sion this time.

Nev­er­the­less it was the 1950s, and even Tom Lehrer could­n’t get as risqué as he might have liked. And while “The Masochism Tan­go” has been cov­ered many times, I know of only one artist who has tried to improve on it — or at least rewrite it the way Lehrer might have if he could have got­ten away with it.

An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer

If you’ve nev­er heard “The Masochism Tan­go,” shame on you. Here it is in all its glo­ry from 1959’s An Evening Wast­ed With Tom Lehrer:

Stand up straight. You’re in the pres­ence of greatness.

I ache for the touch of your lips, dear,
But much more for the touch of your whips, dear.
You can raise welts
Like nobody else
As we dance to the masochism tango!

Let our love be a flame, not an ember,
Say it’s me that you want to dismember.
Black­en my eye,
Set fire to my tie
As we dance to the masochism tango!

At your command
Before you here I stand,
My heart is in my hand… (yecch!)
It’s here that I must be!

My heart entreats,
Just hear those sav­age beats,
And go put on your cleats
And come and tram­ple me!

Your heart is hard as stone or mahogany,
That’s why I’m in such exquis­ite agony.

My soul is on fire,
It’s aflame with desire,
Which is why I perspire
When we tango!

You caught my nose
In your left cas­tanet, love,
I can feel the pain yet, love,
Every time I hear drums.

And I envy the rose
That you held in your teeth, love,
With the thorns under­neath, love,
Stick­ing into your gums.

Your eyes cast a spell that bewitches.
The last time I need­ed twen­ty stitches
To sew up the gash
That you made with your lash,
As we danced to the masochism tango!

Bash in my brain,
And make me scream with pain,
Then kick me once again,
And say we’ll nev­er part.

I know too well
I’m under­neath your spell,
So, dar­ling, if you smell
Some­thing burn­ing, it’s my heart.
(Hic! ‘Scuse me!)

Take your cig­a­rette from its holder,
And burn your ini­tials in my shoulder.
Frac­ture my spine,
And swear that you’re mine
As we dance to the masochism tango!

Unfit to Practise

And here’s the nev­er-before-dared rewrite of “The Maso­cism Tan­go,” from Ama­teur Trans­plants’ Unfit to Prac­tise:

Bet­ter put on your head­phones for this. Espe­cial­ly if you’re at work.

Oh I’ll nev­er for­get how we met, dear,
On that spe­cial­ist site on the ‘Net, dear.
Where you taught me the uses
Of hand­cuffs and nooses
We danced to the masochism tango!

Oh you used to bring home those pipecleaners,
And stick half a dozen down my penis,
Then wrapped me in chains
Plugged you into the mains
And we danced to the masochism tango!

Each summer’s day
We’d go out­side and play
A morn­ing of croquet
And you’d brain me with the mallet.

I cooked you meals
Of fresh­ly-slaugh­tered veals
And shards of stain­less steels
That got lodged in your palette.

Oh the weight that you hung from my foreskin,
And the places you insert­ed corks in.
And the time that your trainers
Got lodged in my anus
We danced to the masochism tango!

You wore that dress
Made from barbed-wire mesh
That tore into your flesh
Whichev­er way you moved

It left me scarred
It made me bleed so hard
The late Mar­quis de Sade
Would sure­ly have approved

Oh we drank from the cup of depravity
Then you shoved the cup into my cavity.
Wedged a fork in my head
Wanked me off till I bled
And we danced to the masochism tango!

You sang me love songs so tender
Stuck my cock in the blender
And we danced to the masochism tango!