Letter To Ben Murphy Re Mr Barrymore, 29 January 1995

I assume Mr Barrymore is the comedian Michael Barrymore.

Strange that Ben Murphy asked me to do stuff about a TV personality, as I had no TV in the 1990s so presumably was writing to some sort of characteristic brief provided by Ben.

Also strange to uncover this stuff today, as the same comedian’s name came up earlier today, in conversation at Lord’s with “real tennis Tony”. Yet that name probably hadn’t entered my consciousness in decades.

Letter and some fairly inexplicable quickies follow. I don’t think Ben used any of this stuff; perhaps the odd scrap live.

Ben Murphy                                                 29 January 1995

(Wells address redacted)
Dear Ben

AT LAST – SOME STUFF

I have not had much time for writing or thinking since we last spoke, but here is an update of some stuff and my thoughts so far for Mr Barrymore. I’ll try and come up with some more soon but don’t hold your breath.

You were going to send me some of your tapes for punting around to hopefuls in the States etc. – is that still a happening thing?

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Cheers.
Yours sincerely
Ian Harris

Encs.

…and the relevant enc…

BARRYMORE IDEAS
GRAND ROLEX WATCH

My grand Rolex watch was too large for my wrist,
So it sat there for years in my drawer;
I daren’t put it on just in case I get pissed,
Or get mugged when I walk out the door.

T’was a gift from me dad,
Who was always such a lad,
But gawd knows how he paid for this clock.

(look at watch in anger)
Now it’s stopped, short, never to go again,
(smash watch)
It’s fake from Bangkok.

 

STATIONARY TRAIN

The stationary train sat on the track, didn’t move;
The stationary train sat on the track, didn’t move;
The passengers knocked the ale back,
While tannoy voice blamed it on Railtrack, leaves and crew, crew, crew, crew, crew.

The tannoy said (crackle crackle) “we apologise to passengers for blah blah blah), didn’t move,
The tannoy said (crackle crackle) “would passengers waiting blah blah blah), didn’t move,

 

THERE’S A KIND OF HUSH

There’s a kind of hush,
All over the world tonight……..
(Voice off): So shut up then!!!
IF I HAD A STAMMER

Guitarist gently strums the pleasant riff from this song.
He encourages the audience to sing along with him on the oohh oohhs each time.

QUICKIE 1 – STAMMER

Oohh oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh oohh, oohh, oohh,
Oohh oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh oohh, oohh, oohh;
If I had a stammer,
I’d stammer in the morning,
I’d s s s s s s;

 

QUICKIE 2 – HAMMOCK

Oohh oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh oohh, oohh, oohh,
Oohh oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh oohh, oohh, oohh;
If I had a hammock,
I’d (snorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)

 

QUICKIE 3 – WHAMMER (not for children or people of a nervous disposition)

Oohh oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh oohh, oohh, oohh,
Oohh oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh oohh, oohh, oohh;
If I had a whammer,
I’d (makes wanking gesture) in the morning,
I’d (makes wanking gesture) in the evening,
All over this hand.

 

QUICKIE 4 – HUMMER

Oohh oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh oohh, oohh, oohh,
Oohh oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh oohh, oohh, oohh;
If I were a hummer,
I’d hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm,
Hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm,
Hm, hm, hm, hm, hm.

 

QUICKIE 5 – GRAMMAR

Oohh oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh oohh, oohh, oohh,
Oohh oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh oohh, oohh, oohh;
If I had no grammar,
I’d in the morning grammar,
I’d evening in the grammar…..(ends in confusion)

Letter To Michael Eriera, NewsRevue, 29 January 1995

Oh dear, what a vague letter. Fortunately for me, Michael Eriera really liked my stuff – indeed I worried sometimes that he overused my material – so I’m sure my vagueness didn’t spoil my chances that run.

Michael Eriera                      29 January 1995

(Finchley N12 address redacted)
Dear Michael

SONGS

I know I sent you some stuff and I know I promised you some more. I can’t remember what I sent or what I promised, so here is a big pack of lots of stuff. Do chase me for more if there’s anything else you liked that you can think of.

Hope all is well and I’ll speak to you soon no doubt.
Cheers.
Yours sincerely
Ian Harris

encs

Virginia, NewsRevue Lyric, 3 July 1994 and 29 January 1995

I know what you are thinking.

Why did the author of the lyric You Can’t Hurry Trusts want to write another lyric on a similar topic two years later?

Well, my only excuse for the 1994 lyric below was that NewsRevue was always hungry for new material, even for news stories that ran and ran, even when the existing material was very strong.

My excuse for the January 1995 version was that Bart’s (St Bartholemew’s Hospital) proposed closure was news.

I think only the second version was used in the show, briefly.

Here’s the 1994 version:

VIRGINIA
(To the Tune of “Cecilia”)
CHORUS 1

DOCTORS: Virginia, you’re breaking our hearts,
You’re closing more hospitals daily;
Oh Virginia, we’re down in your leagues,
We’re begging you please, do not close,
PATIENT: Do not close.

VERSE 1

A DOCTOR: Doing sums from dawn till night,
While Virginia’s in the Isle of Wight;
(DOCTORS: ….doing sums…..)
PATIENT: I got up cos I got bored,
But when I went back to bed she had closed down my ward.

CHORUS 2

DOCTORS: Virginia, we’re only two star,
You’re shaking our confidence daily;
PATIENT: Oh Virginia, I’m down on my knees,
My callipers seized and withdrawn, just withdrawn.

DOCTORS: Ba ba ba ba ba, ba ba ba ba ba ba ba.

CHORUS 3

DOCTORS: Jubilation, we’re three star again,
We do all our work in out patients;
PATIENT: Ruination, I won’t walk again,
They do all their work without patients.

(Doctors merrily pick up the poor hopeless patient and carry him offstage while oh-oh-oh-ing the merry “jubilation” tune)

Here’s the Bart’s closure remix from January 1995:

VIRGINIA – BARTS CLOSURE ETC REMIX
(To the Tune of “Cecilia”)
CHORUS 1

DOCTORS: Virginia, you’re breaking our hearts,
You’re closing more hospitals daily;
Oh Virginia, we’re down in your leagues,
We’re begging you please, do not close,
PATIENT: Do not close.

VERSE 1

A DOCTOR: Doing sums from dawn till night,
While Virginia’s in the Isle of Wight;
(DOCTORS: ….doing sums…..)
PATIENT: I got up cos I got bored,
But when I went back to bed she had closed down my ward.

CHORUS 2

DOCTORS: Virginia, you’re closing down Barts,
You’re causing more casualties daily;
PATIENT: Oh Virginia, I’m down on my knees,
My callipers seized and withdrawn, just withdrawn.

DOCTORS: Ba ba ba ba ba, ba ba ba ba ba ba ba.

CHORUS 3

DOCTORS: Consternation, made losses again,
We’ll save if we treat in out patients;
PATIENT: Ruination, I won’t walk again,
They do all their work without patients.

(Doctors merrily pick up the poor hopeless patient and carry him offstage while oh-oh-oh-ing the merry “jubilation” tune)

Here’s Simon & Garfunkle singing Cecilia, with lyrics on the screen:

OJ’s Girl, NewsRevue Lyric, 28 January 1995

Like the story upon which the lyric is based, this ran and ran all year, with a few tweaked versions along the way. One of my most successful NewsRevue lyrics.

Here is the first (January) version of this lyric:

OJ’S GIRL
(To the Tune of “Bobby’s Girl”)

VERSE 1

VOICE OVER: (You’re not alive anymore, you’re not alive anymore)
GIRL: When people ask of me,
What would you do differently,
If you weren’t a stiff anymore;
VOICE OVER: (You’re not alive anymore)
GIRL: I know just what to say,
I answer right away,
I’d keep away from that vicious boor.

CHORUS 1

GIRL: I wouldn’t be OJ’s girl,
I wouldn’t be OJ’s girl,
That’s a pretty dangerous thing to be;
Cos if you are OJ’s girl,
If you are OJ’s girl,
You’re a victim of brutality.

VERSE 2

LAWYER: When people ask of me,
How will you get wealthy;
Now you’re not a beak anymore
VOICE OVER: (You’re not a beak anymore)
LAWYER: I know just what to be,
To make huge legal fees,
There’s just one case that I’m rooting for.

CHORUS 2

LAWYER: I wanna get OJ’s brief,
I wanna get OJ’s brief,
That’s the most important thing to me;
And if I get OJ off,
If I get OJ off,
What a heap of cash my fees will be;

{LAWYER: What a heap of cash my fees will be.}
{GIRL: What a heap of shit that guy must be.}
{Jointly }

Here’s the Marcie Blane original, with lyrics:

Here’s a longer version I put together in April 1995 – I think most casts persevered mostly with the January version at that time:

OJ’S GIRL – VERSION TWO: UPDATE AND REMIX
(To the Tune of “Bobby’s Girl”)

VERSE 1 – THE VICTIM

VOICE OVER: (You’re not alive anymore, you’re not alive anymore)
GIRL: When people ask of me, what would you do differently,
If you weren’t a stiff anymore;
VOICE OVER: (You’re not alive anymore)
GIRL: I know just what to say, I answer right away,
I’d keep away from that vicious boor.

GIRL: I wouldn’t be OJ’s girl, I wouldn’t be OJ’s girl,
That’s a pretty dangerous thing to be;
Cos if you are OJ’s girl, if you are OJ’s girl,
You’re a victim of brutality.

VERSE 2 – THE DEFENCE LAWYER

LAWYER 1: When people ask of you, what would you like to do;
Now you’re on TV every day.
VOICE OVER: (You’re on TV every day)
LAWYER 2: I’ll act flamboyantly, and make huge legal fees,
If this one case I can swing my way.

LAWYER 2: I wanna get OJ off, I wanna get OJ off,
That’s the most important thing to me;
And if I get OJ off, if I get OJ off,
What a heap of cash my fees will be;
{LAWYER 1: What a heap of cash his fees will be.}
{GIRL: What a heap of shit that guy must be.}
{Jointly }

OPTIONAL EXTRA VERSE – THE DUMB CRIMINOLOGIST

CRIMINOLOGIST: When people ask of me, how will you make a fee,
Now you’re not a criminologist any more;
VOICE OVER: (You’re not a criminologist any more)
CRIMINOLOGIST: I know just what to do, to dump me in the poo,
There’s just one trick that I have in store.

CRIMINOLOGIST: I wanna stitch OJ up, I wanna stitch OJ up,
That’s the most important thing to me,
And if I stitch OJ up, if I stitch OJ up,
What a twit I’ll look like on TV.
ALL: What a witness he turned out to be,
Now that OJ may get off scott free!!

And finally, here is the third version from November that year, which I think extended the lyric’s life a while longer:

OJ’S GIRL – POST TRIAL REMIX
(To the Tune of “Bobby’s Girl”)

VERSE 1

VOICE OVER: (You’re not alive anymore, you’re not alive anymore)
GIRL: When people ask of me,
What would you do differently,
If you weren’t a stiff anymore;
VOICE OVER: (You’re not alive anymore)
GIRL: I know just what to say,
I answer right away,
I’d keep away from that vicious boor.

CHORUS 1

GIRL: I wouldn’t be OJ’s girl,
I wouldn’t be OJ’s girl,
That’s a pretty dangerous thing to be;
Cos if you are OJ’s girl,
If you are OJ’s girl,
You’re a victim of brutality.

VERSE 2

LAWYER: When people asked of me,
How will you get wealthy;
If your client clearly broke the law?
VOICE OVER: (Allegedly broke the law)
LAWYER: I knew just what to be,
To make huge legal fees,
There was one case that I rooted for.

CHORUS 2

LAWYER: I went and got OJ’s brief,
I went and got OJ’s brief,
That’s the most important thing to me;
And when I got OJ off,
When I got OJ off,
What a heap of cash I made in fees;

{LAWYER: What a heap of cash I made in fees.}
{GIRL: What a heap of shit that guy must be.}
{Jointly }

Clause Four, NewsRevue Lyric, 10 January 1995

I marked this one copyright 1994/1995, so it must have been more or less complete on my jotter over Christmas.

Not a very Socialist principle, that, copyright; owning the means of theatrical production and intellectual property exchange.

The story ran and ran; I also think this lyric had a good long stint in several runs.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BREAK OUR TIES WITH CLAUSE FOUR?
(To the Tune of “What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?”)
VERSE 1 – LEFTIES (PROBABLY WITH SKINNERITE NORTHERN ACCENTS)

(You’ll have to supply most of the do-wops yourselves, but here’s some to get you going)
Do-wop be-do-be-do-be, do-wop be-do-be-do-be, do-wop be-do-be-do-be do:

Why do you want to make those jibes at Clause Four,
When you don’t know what it says?
It makes us mad,
It makes us sad,
To think of common ownership that we’ve never had.

You’re fooling yourself, young Tony,
Oh, you’ll lead us wrong and then you’ll go away;
We’ll shake us fist,
You’re never a Socialist,
You’re more, we insist,
Conservative Unionist.

So why do you want to break our ties with Clause Four,
When you don’t know what it says?

VERSE 2 – BLAIR AND HIS ATTENDANT CRONIES

Do-wop be-do-be-do-be, do-wop be-do-be-do-be, (key change) do-wop be-do-be-do-be do:
Why do you have to vocalise on Clause Four,
When we don’t know what it says?
It makes teeth grate,
It’s out of date,
It makes me think of martyrs at the Tollpuddle gate.

We’ll never be the common owners,
Of the methods of production and exchange,
So please don’t fight,
You’re sounding off Trotskyite;
And don’t go and write,
A Socialist Composite.

But why do you want to keep those ties with Clause Four,
When we don’t mean what it says (da-da-dum)
We don’t mean (dum-da-dum-da-dum) what it says,
Do-wop be-do-be-do-be, do-wop be-do-be-do-be, do-wop be-do-be-do-be do
No way!!

It might remind you of this Emile Ford and The Checkmates classic:

You can click here to read the Emile Ford lyrics.

VAT Invoice To “Whoops Vicar, Is That My Dick”, 9 January 1995

I am delighted to report that, during my VAT invoicing period in late 1994 early 1995 – explained here – I invoiced Whoops Vicar too.

Everyone who has ever raised a VAT invoice should raise at least one worded like the invoice below:

INVOICE – FILE COPY
VAT REG NO GB 646 1995 04

Date: 9 January 1995

FAO Risk Theatre Company Limited
c/o John Random            Tax point: 9 January 1995
c/o Canal Cafe Theatre
Delamere Terrace
London
W2
INVOICE TO: Risk Theatre Company Limited
ACCOUNT REF: RT01
INVOICE NO: 02010

In respect of songs and sundry patter for the 1994 run of Whoops Vicar, Is That My Dick.
£

ROYALTIES 11.07
VAT @ 17.5% 1.93

————-
TOTAL £13.00
========
This amount has been received, with thanks.

 

Submission To Vicky Jeffries, NewsRevue, 9 January 1995

I remember Vicky as a very good performer and I think she made a decent fist of directing too. I wonder what became of her?

I think I might have been pushing my luck a bit pointing out that I recommended her, but there we go. I think it worked, though, as my material at that time was going through a bit of a Z/Yen start-up lull, but quite a lot of this stuff (the better pieces) did get used.

Usual caveats about Amipro tables losing their formats for Ogblog blah blah.

Vicky Jeffries
News Revue

LIST OF SONGS SUBMITTED AND TAPE TRACK LISTING
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1995 RUN

Dear Vicky

Its good to learn that you are back. I hope Harriet has told you that I suggested your name for directing this run. So think of me as you wade through all the material you must be receiving!!

This starter pack consists mainly of brand new songs, with one or two rewrites of previously unperformed ones. If you want me to work on a rewrite of an old chestnut of mine that you might have uncovered in the archive, just let me know.

Call me and let me know if you are short of any subjects or styles and I shall try to oblige. Also, if any of these need a bit of rewrite then I am happy to change them on request.

Good luck and I very much look forward to seeing you again soon.

Song Title / Original Title/ Artist on Tape

Aprox. No. of Performances 7+ 4-6 1-3 New

Side 1

privatise / bright eyes/art garfunkle – New

the peanut farmer / the peanut vendor/alvin “snake eyes” tyler – New

tory rebel (co-written with d a barham) / rebel rebel/david bowie – New

intel / inchworm/danny kaye – New

gillian shepherd / jennifer eccles/hollies – New

veal meat again / we’ll meet again/vera lynn – New

newt gingrich / moon river/danny williams – New

virginia / cecilia/simon & garfunkle – New

i’ll never find another job / i’ll never find another you/seekers – New

qe2 (co-wrttten & sent in by d a barham) / sos/abba – New

Side 2

jeffrey archer medley / we’re in the money/goldiggers
i say a little prayer/aretha franklin – New

Veal Meat Again, NewsRevue Lyric, 8 January 1995

Prior to my attempt at destroying “We’ll Meet Again” with my “Wheel Vera Lynn” lyric, I had a go at the old classic in the matter of Dutch veal a few months earlier.

I think this might have been used briefly. Certainly the Wheel Vera Lynn one was a big NewsRevue hit.

I subsequently met William Waldegrave en passant occasionally; he and his family lived locally in those days and were big fans of the Park Inn restaurant. If May had a function there, the Waldegraves tended to show.

VEAL MEAT AGAIN
(To the Tune of “We’ll Meet Again”)

INTRO – CALVES

Let’s say goodbye with a smile, calves,
Just for a while, calves,
We’re en route.
Don’t let departing distress you,
We’ll all impress you,
En croute.

CHORUS 1 – WILLIE WALDEGRAVE

Veal meet again,
Don’t know where don’t know when,
But I’ll sell veal meat again some market place.
Keep them in stew, while they’re rare or they’re blue,
I’ll pretend I think the Dutch are a disgrace.

MIDDLE EIGHT – STILL THE IDIOT WALDEGRAVE

So will you calves all be brave for Will’yim Wald’grave,
With Dutch courage and spice;
Please don’t stay looking puce, lilly liver’s no use,
It might depress your price.

CHORUS 2 – CALVES

Veal meat again,
On a Dutch boat and train;
And you know we’ll be in pain,
Stuck in a crate.

MIDDLE EIGHT – BACK TO WILLIE

So will you go to yer grave cursing me, Waldegrave,
Selling you down the shops;
You’ll be happy I know, that you all got to go,
And be veal escalopes.

CHORUS 3 – CALVES

Veal meat again,
Shipped back by boat and train,
Cos you know we’ll meet again,
On British plates.

Here is Vera Lynn singing We’ll Meet Again with the lyrics on the screen:

Tory Rebel, NewsRevue Lyric Written Jointly With Debbie (DA) Barham, 3 January 1995

Debbie Barham was one of the most talented young writers to enter our NewsRevue orbit back in the early-mid Nineties. She really was just a kid when she first showed up; pretending to be a drop-out after a year at University whereas she was actually a fifteen year old runaway from school and family. Her untimely demise was a genuine tragedy.

But by late 1994/early 1995 she and I had started corresponding by e-mail and attempted to write a little bit together, with very limited success.

This lyric is one of just a couple of joint submissions we made to NewsRevue. I don’t remember it making the cut.

 

TORY REBEL
(To the Tune of “Rebel Rebel”)
VERSE 1

REBELS: We’ve got John Major in a whirl,
(Cos) Theresa Gorman’s our kind of girl;
MAJOR Hey guys, you’re so far right,
Hey guys, please party tonight;
REBELS: We hate Frogs, Krauts and Wops we shun,
We love hanging even more than the Sun;
MAJOR You sound off like Attilla the Hun,
How many of you are with me?
REBELS None!

MIDDLE BIT

REBELS: We’ll stick our ground, ‘cos we’re no drips,
MAJOR: We’re cracking down with our Tory whips.

CHORUS 1

ALL: Tory rebels,
MAJOR You’re past your best,
ALL Tory rebels,
REBELS: John Major’s a mess;
ALL: Tory rebels,
REBELS You look forlorn,
MAJOR Tough shit, you’re whip’s withdrawn.

CHORUS 2

ALL Tory rebels,
REBELS: We’ve earned some credit,
ALL Tory rebels,
REBELS: From Thatcher and Tebbit;
ALL Tory rebels,
MAJOR: Most people know,
You’re as bent as Portillo.

Here is Bowie singing Rebel Rebel with lyrics in English and Italian – that might get up the Eurosceptics’ noses…

 

Gillian Shepherd, NewsRevue Lyric, 2 January 1995

Hmmm, I’m not too sure about this one. There was a lot not to like about Gillian Shepherd and her education policies, but this lyric feels a bit personal in a way that one probably wouldn’t direct bile at a male politician.

Mind you, writing  in April 2017, I can think of another senior Tory female who makes me feel angry enough…

…and the Gillian Shepherd lyric is supposed to have a “nasty kids” feel to it…

GILLIAN SHEPHERD
(To the Tune of “Jennifer Eccles”)

(Sung by a chorus of nasty schoolkids)

VERSE 1

White chalk written on red brick,
Our funds bound to withdraw;
That’s why we’ve got no blackboard,
Tough bitch, hateful old bore.

CHORUS 1

We hate Gillian Shepherd (ugh-ugh),
We know that she’s ugly;
We hate Gillian Shepherd (ugh-ugh),
We know she’s not cuddly.

La la, la-la-la, la la,
La la, la-la-la, la;
La la, la-la-la. la la,
La la, la-la-la, la;

MIDDLE BIT

One rotten morning,
Found out we’d failed our grades;
Started us thinking,
That vixen ought to be spayed.

VERSE 2

We hope Gillian Shepherd (ugh-ugh),
Will soon be down on her knees;
She screwed up agriculture,
And got mad cows disease.

CHORUS 2

We hate Gillian Shepherd (ugh-ugh),
We know that she’s cutting;
We hate Gillian Shepherd (ugh-ugh)
She looks like pigs rutting.
WE hate Gillian Shepherd!!

Here is Jennifer Eccles by The Hollies – lyrics are there below if you fully load YouTube: