I have not often wondered precisely when it was that John Random took me to one side and explained the facts of NewsRevue song-writing life to me.
But my discovery of this little private joke lyric, dated 9 July 1992, is a piece of incontrovertible evidence. John must have taught me the facts of life a week or so before.
John explained to me that certain tunes were so over-used that NewsRevue aficionados would not consider their use under any circumstances. That was the reason, from his point of view, that, for example:
…had not been used and would not be used on his watch.
Indeed, John said, he considered such lyrics, set to excessively-used tunes, to be a form of torture.
Chattanooga Choo-Choo was another notable example that John specifically mentioned as excessively used and torturous.
I had no recollection of the following little lyric at all, so it was a surprise to me when I discovered it. I must have written this specifically as a joke for John and (presumably) handed it to him at the NewsRevue writers’ meeting that week, on 9 July:
SONG TO PERSECUTE YOU
(To the tune of “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”)
Pardon me John,
I wrote this song to persecute you;
To edit the Newsrevue.
The public pay,
Can hear the tunes they know and like;
So Chattanooga Choo-Choo,
Shouldn’t always hit the spike.
Copyright 1992 “The Chattanooga Choo-Choo Liberation Front”.
Here is a great Glenn Miller vid of the song, although you don’t get any words for two or three minutes…but it is worth the wait: