Come Back Labour, NewsRevue Lyric, 18 July 1992

I remember so clearly having a drink with this super cast; Jonathan Linsley, Dot Atkinson, Vanessa and a spindly chap (was he named Paul?) who did Mick Jagger very well. Paula Tappenden was directing.

I asked them if they had any special requests.

Spindly chap wanted to sing a doo-wap song.

The girls wondered whether I could make a really taboo subject such as cancer amusing.

That weekend I attempted both. Only one worked.

This one worked and ran in the show for quite some time. I still like the song, although the line about John Smith possibly having a dicky heart went off as soon as he did actually have a massive heart attack and die. Kinda spoilt the joke.

COME BACK LABOUR

(To the Tune of “Come Back My Love”)

(You’ll have to supply most of the “do-wops” yourselves)

 

(John Smith is reading a boring speech about Labour Party policy – all the others are fidgeting and looking intensely uncomfortable)

 

SMITH:….once we’ve controlled unemployment, then we can concentrate on inflation and the balance of trade.

 

Clause Four of the Labour Party constitution has for many years been a vital issue……..

 

KINNOCK:John, for crying out loud.  This isn’t what Labour needs.  The people need a rallying cry to bring them back to the party.  A new vision, a new voice, a new tune.

 

SMITH:Och, Neil, maybe you’re right.

 

INTRO – JOHN SMITH ON LEAD VOCALS

Woh, oh, oh;

Come back Labour, don’t fade away,

Come back voters, come back to stay;

It’s our darkest hour, been so long without power,

We need to win so badly:

 

Wop {do,do,do} do de wang {do,do,do} do de wop, do de wang, do de wop.

 

CHORUS 1 – OTHER SINGERS START TAKING OVER (TO JOHN’S ANNOYANCE)

Oh won’t you come back Labour, don’t fade away,

We need new ideas, we need to pray;

We bicker too much and when we have a putsch,

The Liberals look happy.

 

Jim Callaghan, he was a man,

The British voters just couldn’t stand,

We failed in the South, put our Foot in our mouth,

And lost even more badly.

 

MIDDLE BIT 1 – JOHN IS BEING UPSTAGED

Now every party makes, some mistakes, in its choice of leader,

But Labour has a knack for, choosing an unelectable bleeder,

{Wo-ah, wo-ah, wo-ah}

 

CHORUS 2

Come back Wilson, whatcha leave for?

We last won elections in ’74,

We’ve floundered so much, we need your winning touch,

Cos since we’ve done so badly.

 

INSTRUMENTAL WITH LOTS OF “WOP A DO WOPS” AND THAT SORT OF THING

JOHN SMITH:Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce:

Neil Kinnock on keyboards,

Margaret Beckett on do-dos,

Harriet Harman on wop-bops,

David Blunkett on eye-drops,

And me, John Smith, on (pointedly) lead vocals.

 

MIDDLE BIT 2 – JOHN SMITH IS BRIEFLY BACK ON LEAD VOCALS

The papers spread the myth, that John Smith, isn’t up to the fast pace,

But in the Labour Party, they know that my heart is in the right place,

{CHORUS: and beating.}

 

CHORUS 3 – BUT IT WAS FUTILE, JOHN IS MARGINALISED AGAIN

Come back Kinnock, don’t go away,

We want you back, we want you to stay,

We all liked your style, tho’ you lost every while;

We’re used to doing badly,

{KINNOCK:Re-re-re-really?}

We keep on doing sadly,

{KINNOCK:You mean it?}

We want to win so badly.

 

OUTRO

KINNOCK:Oh, I can make one of my rabble rousing speeches, like the one in Sheffield.

ALL:Perhaps we’d better stick with John Smith for a while.

Here are Darts singing Come Back My Love.

…and the lyrics can be found here.

Comments on Ogblog pieces are always welcome - please write something below if you wish.