Bye Bye Barings, NewsRevue Lyric, 28 February 1995

The collapse of Barings Bank at the hands of Nick Leeson was big news in 1995.

Naturally I gave it the NewsRevue treatment in song. I think this one was used and ran for some time.

(To the Tune of “Bye Bye Baby”)


CHIEF EXEC: We’re very broad minded here at Barings, Mr Leeson, and we’ve been in the banking business for hundreds of years. So just calmly explain to me this little bit of difficulty you’ve got into in Singapore.
LEESON: If you hate me after what I say – can’t put it off any longer – just gotta tell you anyway….


Bye bye Barings, Barings goodbye, {bye Barings, Barings bye bye oooohhhh};
Bye bye Barings, you’ve lost a pile; {bye Barings, Barings bye bye};

LEESON: You’re the one merchant bank I’ve worked for,
Now the press call me “wanker” “berk” for free,
You’re all blaming me -ee-ee-ee.
CHIEF EXEC: You’re our top trading Singaporer,
You screwed up and now we’re all poorer
LEESON: I got trust so you went bust – oh dear!


Bye bye Barings, Barings goodbye, {bye Barings, Barings bye bye oooohhhh};
Bye bye Barings, went out in style; {bye Barings, Barings bye bye};

LEESON: Thought derivatives would be daring,
CHIEF EXEC: What a balls up! We’re now “Ball Barings” see!
We’re here on page three, (holds up Sun)
LEESON: Is that me?
I just bought a few put swap options,
Can I repay through my wage deductions?
CHIEF EXEC: This event means we’re all spent so


Bye bye banking, banking goodbye, {bye banking, banking bye bye oooohhhh};
Bye bye banking, no longer wise; {bye banking, banking bye bye oooohhhh};
Bye bye banking, banking goodbye, {bye banking, banking bye bye oooohhhh};
Bye bye banking, it’s no surprise; {bye banking, banking bye bye}.

Either: exeunt singing the above, or: music stops

CHIEF EXEC: Leeson, you’re a profligate, spendthrift and you know how to line your own pockets using options. You’re promoted. Welcome to the board.
LEESON: Thank you very much sir. Blackout

Originally by the Four Seasons, but the Bay City Rollers version is better known in the UK.


Bloody Arrows, NewsRevue Lyric, Probably Unused, 26 February 1995

Not especially topical then (or now) but I rather like this lyric, not least for its excellent fit with the tune it likes to use. I even made myself laugh out loud briefly when testing the first chorus.

(To the Tune of “Little Arrows”)

There’s a board, a little board,
With some wire and numbers too,
These darts must appeal to someone,
But the question is: to who?
And you see there’s no escape,
Cos on your late night TV sports,
You’ll see big fat gits play arrows,
With their pints as big as quarts.


Here they come pouring out of the loo,
With their trousers all size 52;
They’re on the oche again!
On the oche again!


You get arrows on Granada,
You get arrows Channel 4;
On Sky Sports you get arrows till you can’t watch any more;
You get arrows on the BBC repeated time again,
Video them arrows accidentally every now and then.

Wha-a-at a pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Bloody arrows on the telly,
Bloody arrows, here’s the rub;
You’ll still get bloody arrows if you go off down the pub;
And they rope you into playing even if your blind and lame,
Cos them pricks you get with arrows are a bloody awful pain.

Here’s the Leapy Lee version, with lyrics set out underneath the vid if you click through:


Rugby Love, NewsRevue Lyric, 26 February 1995

I’ve never much liked rugby and in this lyric I gave the sport the treatment.

But I don’t think this lyric ever made the NewsRevue cut.

(To the Tune of “Puppy Love”)

(The player/singer should be as heavily bandaged and crutch-ridden as scene change time will allow)


And they call it rugby love,
Oh I guess you’ll never know;
Why I’m face down in the mud,
In the winter rain and snow.


Yes, they call it rugby love,
Just because we’re such a team;
If I crush you with my studs,
Its just the way I let off steam.


I cry each night,
But I’m tough as nails, right?
Like the nails in my limbs for to pin.
I hope and I pray,
I heal and can play,
At the one {at the one}
Sport sometimes {sport sometimes}
England win {play the one sport sometimes England win}.


Someone help me, help me, help me please,
I got crushed bad in the scrum;
When some bastard grabbed my ball,
And some prick squashed up my bum.
{Yes some prick squashed up his bum}.


Someone help me, help me, help me please,
Is the answer up above? (Chorus holds a sign over his head which reads “Testosterone Kid”, “Lunatic”, “Woofter” or anything else that might raise a laugh)
When I’m rucking with my team,
It is not a rugby love.
{It is not a rugby love}.

Here’s Donny on YouTube, with the lyrics in the text underneath if you load it in YouTube proper:

John Random NewsRevue Pre-Run Letter, 26 February 1995

This looked all neat and tidy with an Amipro table at the end of it; the best I can do now is to turn the table into a list of submissions.

But you’ll get the idea.

I was getting into co-writing a bit at that time; a couple on this submission – never worked quite as well as I’d hoped it would.

John Random was quite regularly directing runs in those days; perhaps one a year or more. John will know.

John Random
News Revue


Dear John

This starter pack consists of songs currently in the show but mainly 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 look forward to seeing you soon.

Song Title/Original Title/Artist on Tape

Aprox. No. of weeks performed: 7+ 4-6 1-3 New

have i the right (co-written with John Cowen)/have i the right/honeycombs – New

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

privatise/bright eyes/art garfunkle – 4-6

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

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

gillian shepherd/jennifer eccles/hollies – New

oj’s girl/bobby’s girl/marcie blaine – 1-3

why do you want to break our ties with clause 4?/what do you want make those eyes at me for?/emile ford and the checkmates – 1-3

veal meat again we’ll meet again/vera lynn – 4-6

Win A Lot, NewsRevue Lyric, 26 February 1995

The lottery started and needed a lyric. I tried. I’m not sure I succeeded.

I think you need to know that the UK lottery is operated by a company named Camelot for this lyric to work at all.

(To the Tune of “Camelot”)


Large lotteries were banned a while ago here,
To stop us betting everything we’ve got;
But now there’s mega-profits that could flow here,
From Camelot.


Accounting firms who framed the deal made packets,
Consultancies have earned an awful lot;
Solicitors have got in on the racket,
They planned the lot.


Punt a lot, Camelot,
My tickets lost again;
Camelot, damn the lot!,
The problem’s Number 10.


The razzmatazz has sure failed to delight us,
Noel Edmunds and his cronies should be shot;
More likely Necrotising Faciitis,
Than win a lot.


Win a lot, win a lot?
This country’s going to the dogs;
Gamble lots, Camelot,
Like Irish, Greeks and Frogs.


They say they’ll donate loads to worthy causes,
And half the take in prizes reappears;
But they won’t have forgot, the most auspicious lot,
By far the biggest winner of the year is Camelot.

Here is Richard Burton chatting his way through the Camelot song, with the lyric on the screen:

Ideas For Ben Murphy, Fragment, Origins of the Tarrantino Lyric, 16 February 1995

A strange fragment document on my computer – I usually scribbled things on jotters in those days.

Guy kicked – frog in his throat
leg over down the palace
the nut’s named eric

son of preacher man
let’s stay together
you never can tell
pulp fiction – quentin tarrantino

I’ll guess that I typed a few phrases while chatting with Ben on the phone. Mostly meaningless to me now. But clearly this was the seed of my Tarrantino lyric, which Ben loved, used a lot and indeed recorded, albeit with a great deal of his own lyrical variations thrown in; not least because he performed in politer company than NewsRevue.

I’ll up my lyrics when I get to them. In the meantime, here is Ben’s wonderful version of Tarrantino while you wait.

Letter To Ben Murphy Plus Donald and Lydia, 16 February 1995

Hmmm, I wonder whether I kept that tape of Ben Murphy’s out-takes – they sound like fun. Another mini Ogblog project for the jotter.

I recommend that Ben records Donald and Lydia in this letter and Ben complies – see MP3 below the letter. What power of persuasion I must have had. Such a shame he ignored my other requests.

I still really like For What It’s Worth – one of my first baritone ukulele efforts and I still play it quite a lot.


Ben Murphy                                     16 February 1995
(Wells address redacted)
Dear Ben


It was good to talk to you last night. I enclose the stuff I promised and shall think about the other stuff.

The songs from your out-takes I really liked were:
For What It’s Worth (number one request)
The Irish Rover
Dreaming just comes natural (or something – C&W number about about Lydia & Donald – I really like it)

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely
Ian Harris



Here is Ben Murphy’s clear and crisp recording of Donald and Lydia:


But if you’d prefer to hear (or want to hear as well) John Prine’s wonderful original version:


Have I The Right, Regrettably Unused NewsRevue Song, 12 February 1995

I can usually tell now why songs were unused, but some were most unjustly overlooked…like this one.

Perhaps a bit too much going on in one item? Still, pearls before swine, were some of these lyrics. Ian Paisley singing “come right back to 1690” should have been performed.

I co-wrote this one with John Cowen. Perhaps that explains why so much is going on in one lyric.

John Random might choose to explain why this one was unused, as it transpires it was submitted to him.

(To the Tune of “Have I The Right?”)

Have I the right behind me?
Or will the rebels gag and bind me,
Will Tebitt ever ever stop;
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh.
Have I the right invectives,
Bastard and dimwit are ineffective,
So I might soon be for the chop.
(Sing along now, entourage, yes, both of you)


Come right back, you Eurosceptics,
You’re loud and mad and you’re apoplectic,
Come right back, to 32 Smith Square (oh yeh);
Come right back, rejoin our party,
Or we’ll get Blair and his arty-fartys,
Slick right back like Mike Portillo’s hair (oh yeh).


Have I the right wing morons?
The Teddy Taylors and Theresa Gormans,
I wish that I was reassured,
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh.
Have I the Ulster crazies?
The Molyneauxs and the Ian Paisley’s,
They’re angry with my peace accord;


Come right back to 1690,
We won at Boyne and we’re part of Blighty,
Come right back to Ulster Union (oh yus);
Come right back, to times medieval,
Talks with the Irish are a damn-ed evil,
Come far right or you will soon be gone, (oh yus), (JOHN MAJOR: Oh no)
ALL: Soon be gone, oh yeh, (JOHN MAJOR: Oh no)
Soon be gone.

If you want to hear the Honeycombs and see their lyrics, click below.

Under Pressure, NewsRevue Quickie, 1 February 1995

Presumably there was severe flood risk in Holland that winter. I don’t recall whether or not this quickie was used; I think it ought to have been.

(To the Tune of “Under Pressure”)
Two or three wimmin (a man can be a wimman for these purposes) link hands on stage. Ideally they have tulips about their persons and/or mock Dutch accents.


Do-do-do do-do-do-do, do-do-do do-do-do-do;
Do-do-do do-do-do-do, do-do-do do-do-do-do.
Pushing down on me,
Pressing down on you,
It’s pissing down.

Under pressure,
In the Netherlands,
Where the weather’s planned,
That we might drown.


Under pressure,
Do-do-do do-do-do-do, do-do-do do-do-do-do;
Under pressure.

(During the above outro lines)
VOICE-OVER: That was a network of Dutch dikes – Under Pressure.

Here’s Queen and David Bowie singing Under Pressure with lyrics on the screen: