As Tech Reunions approach, we start to get nostalgic here in the Alumni Association. So I was delighted to learn of the ditty known as “My Mother Was a Tech Coed,” first sung at the 1954 Tech Show, which was a staging of a musical comedy called Suspended in Air.
According to the Institute Archives, from 1899 to 1969 the annual Tech Show was quite a production. At first it was an operetta, minstrel show, or vaudeville revue. This morphed into elaborate and expensive original muscial comedy productions staged in Boston. In 1955, the show moved to the newly opened Kresge Auditorium until the final staging. In 1970, the Tech Show merged with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society and the MIT Classical Music Society to form the MIT Musical Theater Guild.
A reviewer for The Tech dubbed "My Mother Was a Tech Coed," a song-and-dance routine performed by George Marcou ’53, MCP ’55; George Perry ’56; and David Rados ’55; the best number in the show, saying that while it was undoubtedly corny, "it was also tuneful, fast moving, and a delight to watch and listen to."
My Mother Was a Tech Coed
She never held me on her knee But she was all the world to me That lady with the pointed head My Mother was a Tech coed.
Couldn't cook, she couldn't sew, But she could fix a radio She used T-squares to make a bed My Mother was a Tech coed.
She gave her fingernails a hue By dipping them in Thymol Blue Her lips were dyed with Cresol Red. My Mother was a Tech coed.
She wasn't lovely or even cute, But she stayed in the Institute. She wasn't lovely or for real, She had a dy-dx appeal.
When she went to a dress affair, She pressed her jeans and combed her hair. She thought a big fur coat would shed. My Mother was a Tech coed.
Her cocktails were a potent brew She learned the trick in 5.02 She always bought her cakes and bread. My Mother was a Tech coed.
She hung her slide rule by the door, Hung curtain rods with 2.04 At Christmas time we had a tree She fixed the lights with 8.03.
Though Daddy was a Harvard guy, He loved Ma and her formulae. In Kresge Chapel they were wed My Mother was a Tech coed.
As she approached maternity, She also got her Ph.D. And started working on pre-med My Mother was a Tech coed.
Then followed many happy years With fireside tales by Francis Sears With calculus she was well bred My Mother was a Tech coed.
And now that she is up in heaven She fixed the streets with D11. She was queen of the grey and red. My Mother was a Tech coed.
"She couldn't cook, she couldn't sew but she could fix the radio" the lady with a pointed head, my mother was a tech coed."