Fair Weather Friend, NewsRevue Lyric, 28 November 1992

In autumn 1992, I was still coming to terms with what worked and what didn’t work for NewsRevue. After all, I had only discovered the place that spring. It is part of the Bowden submission of January 1993 and I’m pretty sure it didn’t get used.

This lyric is not topical and really doesn’t belong in that show, although it might have done something in some other show – still might.

I quite like it, although on re-reading it all these years later (December 2016) I thought the lyric needed some work and that I might work up a variant for my baritone uke.

When I did so, with very minor changes (Spring 2017 – not reflected in the text below), Janie really liked it, finding it delightfully nasty.

“Were you really pissed off with someone or depressed when you wrote that?”, asked Janie.

“I don’t think so…I’d just started going out with you,” was my reply.

After a mini song contest on Good Friday 2017, I decided to lay a track down using the slightly amended lyric and Benjy the Baritone Ukulele:

 

♬ FAIR WEATHER FRIEND ♬

(To the Tune of “You’ve Got a Friend”)

 

VERSE 1

When you’re low and worried,

And you need some tender care,

And nothing, nothing appears to fit;

Close your eyes, envisage me,

You know I won’t be there,

And say to yourself, “Christ, s/he’s a selfish git”.

 

CHORUS 1

You can call out my name,

And if nothing better crops up,

I might be there,

To drive you round the bend;

When you throw a party I’ll show,

Send me free tickets, I’ll go,

I’m a scrounger (yes I am),

A fair weather friend.

 

MIDDLE BIT

Now ain’t it good to have,

A fair weather friend,

Cos some people get too close;

They’ll smother,

Like your mother,

And make you feel real guilty,

When you’re out with others.

 

CHORUS 2

You just call out my name,

But you don’t suppose I’ll show up,

Unless you’ve something,

I want that you’ll lend;

If there’s something in it for me,

I may pop around briefly,

I’m a bastard (yes I am),

A fair weather friend.

 

Ain’t it good to have,{fair weather friends}

You can piss on them,{fair weather friends}

Or they’ll crap on you,{fair weather friends}

Oh yeh.{fair weather friends}

 

copyright © Ian Harris 1992

 

Click here or below for a link to Carole King singing You’ve Got A Friend, with original lyrics.

 

 

White House, NewsRevue Lyric, 20 November 1992

This lyric is dated as above, so I must have written it soon after Bill Clinton was confirmed as President, but it didn’t get used until Mark Bowden’s run in early 1993, which possibly makes sense as that was around about the time that the Clintons actually moved in to the White House.

I commented on Mark’s working of this song when I wrote to him the day after his run started – click here for that letter.

It seems just a little strange posting this lyric now, in 2016, just after Trump has beaten Hillary to the White House. I wasn’t all that sure about the Clintons the first time around, was I?

Janie really liked this one. Not least because it is based on Our House by Crosby Stills Nash and Young which she really likes – click here or below for YouTube with tune and original lyrics.

♬ WHITE HOUSE ♬

(A song for Bill and Hillary Clinton to the Tune of “Our House”)

VERSE 1

HILLARY:I’ll light the fire, you use the powers,

As the Governor of State;

BILL:Sittin’ by the fire, with Gennifer Flowers,

While the wife’s out working,

She’ll be earning,

Ten times more than me, ee, ee,

All legally, ee, ee.

 

VERSE 2

HILLARY:Deep in the South {BILL:Deep in the South}

With gravy, grits and gingham dresses,

God, Guns, Geeks and Goops;

BILL:Joint in my mouth,{HILLARY:Joint in his mouth}

I smoke my spliff without inhaling,

Voters bought it,

They must be e-ven more stoned than me, ee, ee,

Ill-legally, ee, ee;

 

CHORUS 1

BOTH:Our house, is a very very very fine house,

Electric chairs will shock,

In down town Little Rock,

We rednecks kicked the shit out of George Bush;

We say, (cocking a snook)

Na, na, nananana, nananana, nanana nanana, nanananananananana,

(OptionalNa, na, nananana, nananana, nanana nanana, nanananananananana);

 

CHORUS 2

BOTH:The White House, is a very very very fine house,

White marble on the floor,

This sure beats Arkansas,

Though everything is hicky since George Bush….

….moved out;

 

VERSE 3

HILLARY:I’ll light the fire,

BILL:While I wear the pointed hat,

And sheets that we bought to-day-ay-ay-ay-ay.

My First NewsRevue Christmas Run Submission, To Jacqui Somerville, 8 November 1992

This submission helps me to realise which of my songs (at least those that had a bit of longevity to them) had been in the show during that first year of writing for NewsRevue.

I think this might have been the first time I submitted a table-style note in this fashion along with a cassette and wad of lyrics. Perhaps Jacqui suggested same when we met a few week’s earlier.

The old WordPerfect table doesn’t replicate, sadly, but I have tweaked to show the information reasonably clearly, I hope.

I cannot remember which were used, but I think I had perhaps three songs in that Christmas run – not bad for a newbie.

LIST OF SONGS SUBMITTED AND TAPE TRACK LISTING
JACQUI SOMERVILLE (XMAS) RUN

Song Title/OriginalTitle/Artist on Tape Aprox. No. of Performances
7+ 4-6 1-3 Nil*

Side A of Tape

Coal Digger/Goldfinger/Shirley Bassey 1-3^
Closed to You / Close to You/Carpenters 4-6^
Kate Adie / Dream Lover/Bobby Darin 7+^
Ultimate Love Song / Nothings Gonna Change My Love/Glenn Medeiros 4-6^
Mama Mia Farrow / Mama Mia/Abba 1-3^
You Can’t Hurry Trusts / You can’t Hurry Love/Supremes 7+^
Snowbush / Snowbird/Anne Murray 1-3^
Mick’s Unpleasant Things / My Favourite Things/Sound of Music Cast 1-3
Coppers Dressed as Hippies Teddy Bear’s Picnic/Henry Hall 7+
Eugene Terre’Blanche Sweet Gene Vincent/Ian Dury & Blockheads 4-6
We’re a Member As Well I Remember it Well/Gigi Cast 4-6
Midnight Plane to Jordan Midnight Train to Georgia/Gladys Knight & Pips Nil
Snatchbroker Snatchbroker Matchmaker Matchmaker/Fiddler on the Roof Cast 1-3
Stand By Your Bank Stand By Your Man/Tammy Winette 1-3
Steroids I Just Don’t Know What To Do/Dusty Springfield 4-6

Side B of Tape

Come Back Labour / Come Back My Love/Darts 1-3
Trucker Strikes / Summer Loving/Grease Cast 1-3
Maxwell’s Wife / Mack the Knife/Louis Armstrong 1-3
You’ll Never Watch a Game / You’ll Never walk Alone/Gerry & Pacemakers 7+
Mrs T / I Will Survive/Gloria Gaynor 7+
John Major Rock / Crocodile Rock/Elton John 4-6
Norman Lamont / Norweigan Wood/Beatles 4-6
Bye Bye NHS / Bye Bye Love/Simon & Garfunkle 4-6
As Time Goes By (Sketch and Medley) Falling in Love Again/Techno Twins / Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree/Andrew Sisters
We’ll Meet Again/Vera Lynn / Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2 Mov 2 1-3^

* but should have been in by now.

^ still running in the show at the moment 8 November 1992

 

White House, NewsRevue Lyric, 8 November 1992

Bill Clinton was elected President and I felt motivated to write about it straight away for NewsRevue. This lyric did very well in the show; but not until early the following year when Mark Bowden and his troupe used it, when the Clinton’s actually entered the White House.

Writing exactly 25 years later, it is an interesting reminder that most of us weren’t too sure about Bill Clinton at the very start, although what would we give to have someone of his stature, albeit flawed, in the White House today…

…his wife, for example?

I didn’t know how to spell “Hillary” back then but I’ll cut and paste the lyric as I wrote it.

The writing log says 8 November 1992 but the electronic file reads 20 November, so I must have tweaked slightly – perhaps in response to it not being used immediately. 

One slight regret about this lyric is that it has rather messed up my perception of “Our House” by Crosby Stills Nash and Young. It is a simply superb song (enjoy the link below whether you know the song or not), but for a quarter of a century now, hearing it has relentlessly made Bill and Hillary Clinton pop into my head.

WHITE HOUSE

(A song for Bill and Hilary Clinton to the Tune of “Our House”)

 

VERSE 1

HILARY:I’ll light the fire, you use the powers,

As the Governor of State;

BILL:Sittin’ by the fire, with Gennifer Flowers,

While the wife’s out working,

She’ll be earning,

Ten times more than me, ee, ee,

All legally, ee, ee.

 

VERSE 2

HILARY:Deep in the South {BILL:Deep in the South}

With gravy, grits and gingham dresses,

God, Guns, Geeks and Goops;

BILL:Joint in my mouth,{HILARY:Joint in his mouth}

I smoke my spliff without inhaling,

Voters bought it,

They must be e-ven more stoned than me, ee, ee,

Ill-legally, ee, ee;

 

CHORUS 1

BOTH:Our house, is a very very very fine house,

Electric chairs will shock,

In down town Little Rock,

We rednecks kicked the shit out of George Bush;

We say, (cocking a snook)

Na, na, nananana, nananana, nanana nanana, nanananananananana,

(OptionalNa, na, nananana, nananana, nanana nanana, nanananananananana);

 

CHORUS 2

BOTH:The White House, is a very very very fine house,

White marble on the floor,

This sure beats Arkansas,

Though everything is hicky since George Bush….

….moved out;

 

VERSE 3

HILARY:I’ll light the fire,

BILL:While I wear the pointed hat,

And sheets that we bought to-day-ay-ay-ay-ay.

If you click through this link – here – you can also read the lyrics…or just watch by clicking below:

A Long Weekend In Stratford-Upon-Avon, 29 October to 1 November 1992

Janie and I talk about our short trip to Venice in December 1992 as the first holiday we took together, which is sort-of true.

But before that, only a couple of months after getting it together, we took in some theatre and dining on a long weekend in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

My diary is not terribly helpful with the details:

In those days, bookings and arrangements would have been made by telephone, so there is no electronic trail to speak of. But I did save programmes and started retro-logging theatre visits a bit later in the 1990s. That, combined with our memories, gets us quite a long way towards remembering this trip, even as I write 25 years later.

29 October 1992

We drove up from London to Stratford-Upon-Avon, probably in quite good time (if Janie was already hopeless at packing she would have hidden this from me back then and been ready with her bags, even if had taken her hours to pack).

We would have driven up in Red Noddy, my (or I should say, at that time, still Binder Hamlyn’s) Honda Civic.

We checked in to The Shakespeare Hotel in Chapel Street and went to see a preview of The Changeling at The Swan – written up here – in the evening. We probably ate in Fatty Arbunkle’s that evening, one of the few places in Stratford that offered decent, Bistro-style food after theatre in those days. No photos from this trip, but Fatty’s (now long gone) looked like this wonderful watercolour from the outside. Inside were lots of pictures of silent movie stars, including Fatty Arbunkle himself, of course.

30 October 1992

I think we did a bit of gentle sightseeing during the day. Both of us had been to Stratford-Upon-Avon several times before, but neither of us had done much of the “Shakespeare trail” sightseeing stuff. So much so, that I recall we left some sightseeing stuff over for a future visit.

We weren’t going to the theatre this evening, so we booked a “top notch” place to eat; Lamb’s in Sheep Street. We had a very good meal on that visit and at the time of writing (October 2017) if TripAdvisor is to be believed it has become top notch again. But I do recall a subsequent visit (perhaps late 1990’s or more likely during the twenty-noughties) when the place was in dingy decline. Anyway, top notch it was for our first long weekend together.

31 October 1992

I think we chose to hold back on the sightseeing today (deferring to a future visit) to avoid the weekend crowds. So we mooched around and had a  light lunch, ahead of a marathon effort to see a preview of Antony and Cleopatra at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, where Janie recalls we ate and drank in situ, before during and after the performance.

1 November 1992

We drove home. The diary suggests that we went to see NewsRevue at the Canal Cafe Theatre that evening. I suppose I was hopeful to see some of my stuff in the show and I don’t suppose I was disappointed at that time. It might have been Janie;s first visit, although we shall do some archaeology into Janie’s old diaries in the fullness of time. Janie’s diary appointment notes might reveal more details about her NewsRevue experiences and perhaps also about our very first long weekend away together in Stratford-Upon Avon.