Wheel Vera Lynn, NewsRevue Lyric And Beyond, 24 April 1995

The following quickie formed part of a medley – well in the end several different medleys, but initially a VE Day Labour medley – click here.

But I’m writing this up today, 20 March 2017, on Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday.

It is strange re-reading this quickie today.

At the time, 1995, when Vera Lynn was a sprightly 78 year old, I think it was funny and it certainly went down very well. It was used/reused many times in NewsRevue – the VE Day and general 50th anniversary of the war ending stories ran and ran in the news and this was ideal material for that.

But now that Vera Lynn is 100, the song no longer has the same humour to it. Usually the passage of time makes material easier to laugh about, but in this case, the passage of time has the opposite effect.

Still, imagine the 50th anniversary of VE day; imagine wall-to-wall Vera Lynn on the radio and TV and you should still get the jokes.

Wheel Vera Lynn, out again, what a din,

Yes they’ll wheel out Vera Lynn despite her years;

Keeps crooning through, although she’s ninety two,

But they wheel out Vera Lynn to raise the tears.

 

That Vera still bangs the drum, for a six figure sum,

She will sing you a song;

You’ll be moved and be charmed, even ‘tho’ she’s embalmed

And her talent’s all gone.

 

Wheel Vera Lynn, out again, what a din,

And they’ll wheel out Vera Lynn each fifty years.

Ben Murphy used it on one of his albums – a wonderful rendition at the end of a medley, which included my VE Day Labour Medley – click here – and some of his own material.

 

Click here or below for a lyric-strewn YouTube of the original song, We’ll Meet Again, sung by Vera Lynn.

VE Day Medley, NewsRevue Material, 24 April 1995

I credited this VE Day celebrations medley to “cast” as well as me, so I must have spent some time consulting with the cast over their wishes.

In my view, this was mostly padding for the Wheel Vera Lynn song – click here.

VE DAY MEDLEY
(A medley to various World War Two tunes)

VOICEOVER: And now we join another relic of a byegone era: one of the many street parties celebrating VE Day.

 

THE STREET PARTIES OF DOVER
(To the tune of “The White Cliffs of Dover”)

There’ll be no Krauts over,
The white cliffs of Dover,
Cos they’re not invited to VE;
There’ll be Frogs and Yankees,
And street parties, frankly,
We’re all bored with this Jubilee.

SPAM FRITTERS SPAM
(To the tune of “Run Rabbit Run”)

Spam fritters, spam fritters, spam, spam, spam,
This VE day stuff’s a sham, sham, sham;
Bang, bang, bang, that war nostalgia drum,
And stuff powdered egg in your tum, tum, tum.

WE’LL HAVE TUMMY ACHE TOMORROW
(To the tune of “It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow”)

We’ll have tummy ache tomorrow,
Tomorrow all our guts will drag;
There’ll be pancrititis and gastro-enteritis,
Tomorrow we’ll have urine bags.

The Ben Murphy medley adapts the above material so much I think we can only claim it to have been “inspired by”, but he does a great job with the VE Labour items – click here for the Ogblog of those and of course Wheel Vera Lynn.

In case there’s anyone who doesn’t recognise the original numbers, here are some YouTubes with lyrics.

Strangely, the following year I re-presented the medley 1 May 1996 as a 1996 local election remix – it is marked Version 2 but I cannot see much if any the difference:

LABOUR DAY – LOCAL ELECTIONS 1996 REMIX
(A medley to various World War Two tunes)

 

IN THE LOCAL COUNCIL POLLS
(To the tune of “The Quartermaster’s Stores”)

There was Blair, Blair, winning fair and square,
In the polls, in the polls;
There was Blair, Blair, every-bloody-where,
In the local council polls.
My eyes are dim I cannot see,
A single Tory victory,
I can’t see one Tory victory.

 

EASE UP GORDON BROWN
(To the tune of “Knees Up, Mother Brown”)

Ease up Gordon Brown, ease up Gordon Brown,
Labour councils won the rout,
Chucked a load of Tories out;
All you do is grimace,
All you do is frown,
Ease up, ease up, join in our knees up,
Ease up Gordon Brown.

ROLL OUT THE TORIES
(To the tune of “Roll Out The Barrel”)

Roll out the Tories,
See what the Tories have done;
Roll out the Tories,
We’ve got those Blues on the run;
Read lots of stories,
About their former careers;
Its sex and cash and arms with Tories,
But now it’s Labour’s year!!

Then 29 June 1997, I wrote another “variant”, barely distinguishable from the first version:

LABOUR DAY – 1997 ELECTION REMIX
(A medley to various World War Two tunes)

 

IN THE OLD OPINION POLLS
(To the tune of “The Quartermaster’s Stores”)

There was Blair, Blair, winning fair and square,
In the polls, in the polls;
There was Blair, Blair, every-bloody-where,
In the old opinion polls.
My eyes are dim I cannot see,
A single Tory victory,
I can’t see one Tory victory.

 

EASE UP GORDON BROWN
(To the tune of “Knees Up, Mother Brown”)

Ease up Gordon Brown, ease up Gordon Brown,
Labour party’s done the rout,
Chucked the bleedin’ Tories out;
All you do is grimace,
All you do is frown,
Ease up, ease up, join in our knees up,
Ease up Gordon Brown.

ROLL OUT THE TORIES
(To the tune of “Roll Out The Barrel”)

Roll out the Tories,
See what the Tories have done;
Roll out the Tories,
We’ve got those Blues on the run;
Read lots of stories,
About their former careers;
Its sex and cash and arms with Tories,
But now New Labour’s here!!

 

VE Day (Victory in Elections), NewsRevue Medley, 22 April 1995

I must have been very confident that Labour was going to rout the Tories in the 1995 local elections. I wrote the following medley two weeks before polling day (4 May 1995) and didn’t change a word afterwards.

The 50th anniversary of VE day was due a few days later; hence my Wheel Vera Lynn song as well, authored a couple of days later – Ogblogged here.

This stuff ran for months in the show and I think might well have made it to Edinburgh and Christmas special status too.

VE (VICTORY IN ELECTIONS) DAY MEDLEY – LOCAL ELECTIONS 
(A medley to various World War Two tunes)

VOICEOVER: And now we go across to Walworth Road in Southwark where the Labour party are holding a street party to celebrate VE Day (Victory in Elections Day)
IN THE LOCAL COUNCIL POLLS
(To the tune of “The Quartermaster’s Stores”)

There was Blair, Blair, winning fair and square,
In the polls, in the polls;
There was Blair, Blair, every-bloody-where,
In the local council polls.
My eyes are dim I cannot see,
A single Tory victory,
I can’t see one Tory victory.

 

EASE UP GORDON BROWN
(To the tune of “Knees Up, Mother Brown”)

Ease up Gordon Brown, ease up Gordon Brown,
Labour councils won the rout,
Chucked a load of Tories out;
All you do is grimace,
All you do is frown,
Ease up, ease up, join in our knees up,
Ease up Gordon Brown.

 

ROLL OUT THE TORIES
(To the tune of “Roll Out The Barrel”)

Roll out the Tories,
See what the Tories have done;
Roll out the Tories,
We’ve got those Blues on the run;
Read lots of stories,
About their former careers;
Its sex and cash and arms with Tories,
But now it’s Labour’s year!!

Ben Murphy recorded the above medley, along with some of his own material and  including a wonderful version of the Wheel Vera Lynn song:

Just in case any Ogblog readers are unfamiliar with the original words and tunes for these Second World War classics, here are some YouTube links:

Be patient with Roll Out The Barrel: the song/lyrics don’t appear until about 1:20 into the following recording.

 

Letter To Denise Thomson/Orita With April-May 1995 NewsRevue Submissions, 19 April 1995

I think this artefact speaks for itself. All of the lyrics listed are up or will go up in the fullness of time.

Amipro tables don’t convert into anything, so I have tried to turn the nice neat table thingie into a legible list. Best efforts blah blah.

Denise Thomson/Orita
News Revue

LIST OF SONGS SUBMITTED AND TAPE TRACK LISTING
APRIL-MAY 1995 RUN

Dear Denise

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

side 1

the shit of araby/the sheik of araby/spike jones – New

posy band/perfect day/lou reed – New

lilley the prick/lilley the pink/scaffold – New

crap tarantino man/son of a preacher man – New

bbc/abc/jackson 5 – New

eating disorders remix/he ain’t heavy/hollies – 7+

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

privatise/bright eyes/art garfunkle – 7+

gillian shepherd/jennifer eccles/hollies – New

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

side 2

veal meat again/we’ll meet again/vera lynn – 7+

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

Posy Band, NewsRevue Lyric, 17 April 1995

I don’t think this got used much, if at all. Slow ones need to be so spot on, as the laughs still need to come fast enough.

Good lyric, though, worth the read at least for a few of the lines. Talking of “read”, the line about Lou Reed’s demise is far more topical now (2017) than it was in 1995.

POSY BAND
(To the Tune of “Perfect Day”)

VERSE 1

Just a posy band,
They’re known as Duran Duran,
Just like Barbarella’s man,
In that flick.
Such a posy band,
They wear New Romantic shoes,
Gauche tunics and weird hairdos,
Makes us sick.

CHORUS 1

Cos they’re a pretentious band,
We thought at last they had gone;
Bog off Duran Duran,
With that git Simon Le Bon,
Don’t you hate that Simon Le Bon,

VERSE 2

Just a pompous band,
How come they are still at large?
It’s years since we’ve seen Visage,
Or Japan.
Such a painful band,
Should’ve died out like Frankie Valli,
More stuck up than Spandau Ballet,
That Duran (Duran).

CHORUS 2

And it’s such a putrid disk,
Sung without zeal really slow;
It’s an appalling disk,
With a ghastly video,
Don’t you wish those arseholes would go.

OUTRO

You’ll make Lou Reed turn in his grave;
(GIT 1: I didn’t realise Lou Reed was dead.)
(GIT 2: Well, effectively dead.)
(GIT 3: Is now.)
You’ll make Lou Reed turn in his grave.

Here is Lou Reed rendering the wonderful song, Perfect Day, with lyrics in the description:

BBC, Lyric Intended For NewsRevue, 4 April 1995

I didn’t have a television set between 1990 and 1999, so I probably wasn’t the most suitable person to write a critique lyric on the BBC.

There are one or two good ideas in there, not least the muddle you can get into when trying to be even-handed, but it’s unsurprising that this lyric was, as far as I know, never used.

Bits could be recycled still, though…

BBC
(To the Tune of “ABC”)

VERSE 1

Do, do, do, do-do-do, do, do, do, do-do-do,
We pissed off Mr Aitken,
Which we’ve never, never done before;
We simply said that he’s paid by Mr Al Fayed,
And he made on Iran’s last war.
But now we’re duty bound to show you {show you, show you}
That we are unbiased {we cannot be biased}
There’s graft in Labour too,
We’ll also show the sleazy things that the Liberals do..

CHORUS 1

BBC, we offer neutrality,
We’ll show it repeatedly, one-two-three, times to see, sleaze equably.
BBC, Charge a big licence fee,
Show a repeat or three, BBC, That’s how great TV can be.

MIDDLE EIGHT

Tories trail dismally, blame the BBC,
Alan Yentob knows the way to sort it out,
Suppress half of the programmes and just watch the talent fleeing out.

VERSE 2

FROM RIGHT: The Tories are in disarray,
FROM LEFT So the Labour party must be split;
FROM RIGHT: And now John Major takes the rap, the public say he’s crap,
FROM LEFT: So Tony Blair must be a heap of shit.
ALL: Now old John Birt is goanna show you {show you, show you},
How to make it pay {make a cut a day};
He’ll bump up licence fees,
And sack broadcasters who have got the nerve to disagree.

CHORUS 2

BBC {it’s easy}, Broadcast unbiasedly {we report unbiasedly},
Else we get mad Tories, Crazily, claiming we’re to the left of C.
BBC {it’s easy}, It’s simply accountancy {it’s just counting beans you see},
Less creativity, BBC, And that’s the state of our TV.
And it’s not the way it has to be,
BBC, crap TV!!!!

The lyric is based on ABC by the Jackson Five:

 

 

Arthur Version 2 With Marion Ryan Recording, 4 April 1995

I found a later version of the Arthur lyric, written for Harold Davison, Marion Ryan, Frank Sinatra and their pals – explained here. At first thought that Harold must have requested/made some tweaks.

Then it dawned on me; Harold sent me a recording of Marion Ryan singing the song, so the second version must be my transcription of their tweaked version of the lyric.

It also dawned on me that I might even find the recording somewhere…

…and so I did.

So here is Marion Ryan singing Arthur:

…and here is their slightly tweaked version of the lyric.

ARTHUR
(To the Tune of “Laura”)

VERSE 1

Arthur,
Mr Crames who is sixty now,
Share deals, they just rise, never fall;
Self made, warm-hearted and from Bear Stearns,
But won’t say what he earns,
At all;

VERSE 2

You won’t see Arthur,
On the plane that is passing through,
He likes, beach and pool to be near;
He has the very best meals for you,
So for Arthur,
Let’s all give a big cheer.

…and here (again) is Sinatra singing Laura. Sadly no recording of him singing Arthur:

Meet Me In The Mansion, NewsRevue Lyric, Probably Unused, 3 April 1995

Presumably Jamie Blandford got himself into the news a fair bit that year. I cover quite a lot of ground in this lyric. Perhaps too much.

MEET ME IN THE MANSION
(To the Tune of “Meet Me on the Corner”)

VERSE 1

THE LAW: Hey Jamie Blanford, say, how have you been,
Tell me, have you Coke you can snort?
We came along, to grab you by the shlong,
And to seize the blow you’ve not bought.

TAXI DRIVER: You and your raids, on the Chemists and maids,
You’re a lecher, junkie and ponce;
You jump out and run while my meter’s still on,
When in the back of my taxi once.

CHORUS 1

JAMIE: Meet me in the mansion,
When the drugs are passing through,
And I’ll be there, inhaling herbal air;
THE LAW: We’ll check up your arse,
And if we find a trace of grass,
Then your conviction will be fair.

VERSE 2

TAXI DRIVER: O, Marquis Blanford, now see what you’ve done,
You’re a convict taking the stand;
You claim you’re hung up, but you should be strung up,
Only language that you’d understand.

CHORUS 2

JAMIE: Meet me in the mansion,
When the Coke is passing through,
They’ll blow the place, to try and crack the case;
THE LAW: Jamie tried to make,
A pile by swiping passing flake,
Once more this Burks Peer’s in disgrace.

I like Meet Me On The Corner – one of my early efforts on the baritone uke too. Here is the original Lindisfarne version with lyrics:

 

Electric Chair In Georgia, Unused Lyric For NewsRevue, 3 April 1995

Midnight Train To Georgia is a great song, but it does not lend itself to comedy lyrics. I should have learnt my lesson a couple of years earlier with my “Midnight Plane To Jordan” lyric.

It also wasn’t the best idea to return to the subject of state execution, although my very first success in NewsRevue, “California Here I Go”, was on that subject.

Mercifully, the following lyric, which makes some excellent points but is low on laughs (to say the least), was never used.

ELECTRIC CHAIR IN GEORGIA
(To the Tune of “Midnight Train To Georgia”)
VERSE 1

England proved too much for Ingram {too much for Ingram, he had to leave here},
So he left Old Blighty’s shores decades ago, oh-oh,
{He said he’s goin’} So he went to find a land {went to find a land}
Ohhh-ohhh where the gun cannot be banned,
But in the State’s he’s found, he too can be canned.

CHORUS 1

He’s leavin’ {leavin’} on that midnight chair in Georgia,
{Leavin by electric chair, yeh};
So he’s now about to find {now about to find},
Eye for an eye leaves justice blind,
{If his appeal’s not compliant , his lawyer better find another client}
Are fiends electric? {we know they are}
In electric chairs in Georgia {shocking things, electric chairs, ssshhhwwwiiittt-bang}
He must be desperate as hell {desperate as hell},
Approaching John Major’s kind.
{Poor sod has gone half out of his mind}

VERSE 2

Ingram’s dreamin’ {dreamin’} ohhh that John Major takes his side,
{it’s suicide, but Nick might as well try}
And he’ll soon find out the hard way, dreams don’t always come true,
{Major’s plea may yet come through, pigs fly, Nick’s screwed}
So he’s written to his folks {ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh}
And to law reformer blokes {ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh}
He is mighty eloquent for an irredeemable miscreant,
Oh yes he is, but he’s still fucked.

CHORUS 2

Because he’s leavin’ {leavin’} by electric chair in Georgia,
{Leavin by electric chair, oh yeh}
So he’s goin’ to have some jolts {goin’ to have some jolts}
Of several thousand volts
{If you think that this song is shlock, it’s not as nasty as Nick Ingram’s shock}
He’ll write his story {best seller stuff}
About that ‘lectric chair in Georgia {the royalty’s a static charge, ssshhhwwwiiittt-bang}
If he’d been a football star {with OJ’s charisma}
He’d live despite all his faults.

Gladys Knight and the Pips and the lyrics below: