As Time Goes By or They Flew From Tuscany, NewsRevue Sketch and Medley, 2 October 1992

This version of the sketch/medley came between the prophetic pre Black Wednesday original version – click here

…and the improved version that was eventually used.

This version for completists only – hence published as an aside.

AS TIME GOES BY or THEY FLEW FROM TUSCANY (A Sketch and Medley of Sterling 1940’s Songs)




John Major (Johnny)

Virginia Bottomley (Gini)

Gillian Shepherd (Jilly)

Norman Lamont (Fartface)




(VOICEOVER:And now, for those of you who missed the early evening show – here is an exert from “As Time Goes By”)


(The pianist tinkles away at the Second Movement of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto – a la Brief Encounter.  The music is adagio sostenuto, the voices are staccato.  Paula Tappenden knows all about it.  We start with just Johnny and Gini on stage.)






GINI:Oh Johnny.  What’s happened to the economy?


JOHNNY:Gerry’s giving us a bally barney, Gini.  The pound’s doing terribly.


GINI:What about Yankee Doodle Dandy?


JOHNNY:Gerry’s giving Yankee Doodle Dandy a bally barney too, Gini.  The dollar’s doing awfully.


GINI:Oh Johnny,  this darned economy’s simply ruining all our lives.  I’m sorry.  I’m acting like a bally fool.


(Enter Jilly)


JILLY:Hello Gini.


GINI:Hello Jilly.  Do you know my friend Johnny?


JILLY:Hello Johnny.


JOHNNY:Hello Jilly.  What do you do for the old effort?


JILLY:I’m in employment.


JOHNNY:Gosh, that is unusual these days.


JILLY:In the ministry.  Gosh, Johnny, economy’s going horribly.




JILLY:Awfully.  Where’s Normy?


JOHNNY:Out there in the treasury battling it out with Gerry.


GINI:Oh God, I hope he isn’t going to do something silly.


(Enter Normy)


JOHNNY:Here he comes now, and I rather think we’re all going to do something silly.


JILLY:You don’t mean……


NORMY:Yes, we’re all going to sing a medley.



(In the Style of Marlene Dietrich to the tune of “Falling in Love again”)


I often stop and wonder, why stripy shirted men,

Financial markets plunder, sell pounds and buy yen.

We offer them low taxes, but still those city sharks,

With mobile phones and faxes, dump pounds for Deutchmarks.


Falling in ERM,

Sterling’s down the drain,

Valueless again,

So don’t hold it.


Falling in ERM,

Sterling is the pits,

Norman’s got the shits,

And can’t help us.



(To the tune of “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree”)


Don’t fuck up the economy with anyone else but me,

Anyone else but me, anyone else but me (no, no no);

Don’t fuck up the economy with anyone else but me,

We’re screwed financially.


We’ve devalued the currency with countries like Germany,

We’ll struggle internally, from now till eternity (no no no);

We’ve devalued the currency to purchasing parity,

With Spain and Italy.



To the tune of “We’ll Meet Again”)


We’ll ERM don’t know why don’t know when,

But I know we’ll ERM our money pay.

Make Sterling true to the Mark and ECU,

Till the interest rate is ten percent a day.


Now we are not in at all,

But the pounds in free fall,

While the Deutchmark’s still strong;

And though Sterling’s now small,

Some of us still recall,

When we used to belong.


We’ll ERM don’t know why don’t know when,

It’ll cost us fourteen billion a day.

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