Harry Potter sings “The Elements”

OK, OK, technically speaking it’s Daniel Radcliffe–the actor who portrays Harry Potter in the eponymous films–who is doing the singing. But we’d still like to give 50 points to Gryffindor for hearing the Englishman belt out the tune on The Graham Norton Show…and for knowing who Tom Lehrer is.

Author: Bethany Halford

Share This Post On


  1. This video is yet another example how the song is terribly clever, but *not funny*. People are laughing and clapping because it’s a feat of memorization and pronunciation. There’s some humo(u)r in the delivery, of course, but he might as well sing the London phone book or drink a gallon of water in 2 minutes.

  2. CJ is correct…it is a challenge of memorization and pronunciation and as chemists we embrace this as part of our “language” and humor. The Periodic Table is likely recognizable to the majority of our culture and even though many of the later elements might not be in our daily vocabulary my guess is that well over 50% of them are recognized by most people. The song is now on the iPad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPUWbVLzVZI&feature=related) and at the end of the YouTube Periodic Table of Videos, by Lehrer himself (http://tinyurl.com/328q99k). More people will know Lehrer’s song as a result of these formats of exchange….how many will know what the ORIGINAL tune is accompanying the elements…