The Redwood Challenge, NewsRevue Lyric, 27 June 1995

Another Tory rebel lyric, this time about John Redwood. I really like this one, but I’m not sure it was used much, if at all. Hard to perform.

I have subsequently met John Redwood. While I would sometimes change my opinion on a person (e.g. the extent of their humourlessness) after meeting them, in this case I wouldn’t change a single word.

(To the Tune of “Whip Crack Away” with optional ejaculations by Mr Redwood)

Oh the Redwood challenge’s comin’ on over the place,
He’s a right wing humourless Tory from outer space;
Don’t take a poke – he won’t get the joke
(REDWOOD: What joke?),
Whip John away, whip John away, whip John away.


John Redwood’s tough on Europe and tough on crime,
Attilla The Hun with buckets of right wing slime;
Cane folk who mug – and seize cocaine drugs,
Whip crack away, whip crack away, whip crack away.
(REDWOOD: Is that meant to be funny?)


His challenge will be fought, I’d have thought,
For his right wing think tank;
And when at home alone he likes a quick wank.
(REDWOOD: Are you coves lampooning me?)


John Redwood’s policies sound like a heap of shit,
Not takin’ the piss cos the bastard’s a humourless git;
(REDWOOD: Ha. That’s a joke. I think.)
Birch marks go septic – with this Eurosceptic,
Whip John again, whip John again, whip John again.

(REDWOOD: Could you repeat the line about cocaine please, I think I got the joke)

Seize more cocaine – that bad pun again,
Whip crack away, whip crack away, whip crack away.

(REDWOOD: No, I still don’t get it)

Whip John away!!!!! (Chorus drags Redwood off)

Here is a YouTube of Doris Day singing The Deadwood Stage, with the lyrics in the text area below the vid:

Hazy Crazy Mangosuthu Buthelezi, NewsRevue Lyric, 20 June 1995

I’m not sure whether this was ever performed, but I am sure that I credited Barry Grossman for his part in it. In those days, we writers would meet most weeks and occasionally divy up ideas.

Zulu leader, Mangosuthu Buthelesi, was on an independence drive that summer…or, as the South Africans call months like June…winter.

Barry came up with the idea of “Roll Out Those Hazy Crazy Mangosuthu Buthelezi Days…” but insisted that I use it, perhaps lacking confidence with lyric writing himself at that time or perhaps just busy that week, which was sometimes my reason for offering an idea to others.

I’m not sure if the song was used. Still, I rather like the end result.

(To the Tune of “Roll Out Those Hazy Crazy Lazy Days of Summer”)


Roll out those hazy crazy Buthelezi battles,
Those wars of Zulus, Incartha and fear;
Roll out that hazy crazy Buthelezi Natal,
Natal may be independent next year.


He has a mad on against President Mandela,
Thinks that he’s sweller,
And more fit;
But when the votes were counted up by local tellers,
Not all Kwazulu wants to be led by that shit.


Roll out that hazy crazy Buthelezi bummer,
Winnie Mandela looks calm when compared;
That Buthelezi goes half crazy every summer,
Displays his weapon and can’t be impaired.


He hates that ANC man Cyril Ramaphosa,
Say’s he’s a poser,
And a jerk;
And when he’s fighting in the townships like Tokoza,
He takes the F out of F.W. de Klerk.


Throw out that hazy crazy Buthelezi arsehole,
He’s making pacts with the Fascistic whites;
Just flush that shady Buthelezi down the plug hole,
And put an end to his quarrelsome fights;
Build understanding and more human rights.

Hear Nat King Cole and read his lyrics below the vid if you click through:

A Precise Letter To Robert Miles Regarding Vanessa-Mae, NewsRevue, 13 June 1995

Some attention to detail here, on my part, viz my Vanessa-Mae song.

They did use the song, but whether or not they corrected the mistake without further prompting I have no idea. The version I saved on my machine and have upped to Ogblog – here – was already corrected.

It seems I was unable to spell her name 100% right though – her hyphen is missing. Oh well.

Robert Miles                        13 June 1995
News Revue
Dear Robert


Hope all is going well towards the new show.

I have just read that Vanessa Mae is in fact sixteen (not eighteen as stated in verse two of the song). As sixteen also scans and rhymes, please substitute correct age if you are going to use the song.

See you all shortly.
Ian Harris

Vanessa-Mae, NewsRevue Lyric, 10 June 1995

This one did very well in NewsRevue. I’m not sure that the then teenager Vanessa-Mae deserved quite such harsh treatment, but life’s not always fair and by gosh did she strike gold as a star despite.

Writing in April 2017, I realise that this lyric wouldn’t need too much work to be topical and nasty about a certain prime minister…

…wouldn’t help/can’t be bothered.

(To the Tune of “Enola Gay”)


Vanessa Mae,
Prancing about just like an easy lay;
It’s such a sin,
The way you desecrate the violin.

That piece you slay,
I’d like to hear it done the proper way,
Oh, oh Vanessa Mae,
It’s such a fiddle with the crap you play.


(Vanessa comically fiddles away at the instrumental bit of the tune)


Vanessa Mae,
Why do they have to dress you up that way,
You pout and fawn,
As if your instrument is the French horn;

You’re just sixteen,
But heaven knows where on earth you’ve been,
I saw you pouting on the video,
Like an exponent of the pink oboe.


(Vanessa even more comically fiddles away at the instrumental bit of the tune)


Vanessa Mae,
Now JS Bach is turning in his grave,
Your awful goal,
Is scratching out Baroque and Roll;

Those ancient strains,
Sound like the soundtracks of computer games,
Vanessa Mae,
Just wish the stupid cow would go away, hey.

Here is Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark (OMD) singing Enola Gay, with lyrics on the screen. If you don’t like synthesised music, don’t click:

Sealed Syphilis, NewsRevue Lyric, 5 June 1995

Sexually Transmitted Infections don’t particularly lend themselves to comedy. I’m not sure this lyric breaks that rule either.

Still, it is a summer song – from June 1995. The version below was re-submitted (perhaps tweaked) in November 1995. I don;t think it was used then either.

(To the Tune of “Sealed With a Kiss”)

‘Tho’ we’re gonna get well laid for the summer,
Darling I promise you this;
I’ll give you all my love but I’ll wear a French letter,
So you won’t get Syphilis.


Yes it’s gonna be a gel coated rubber,
And I’ll fill its emptiness;
I’ll give you my pork sword, but I’ll wear a French letter,
Cos it hurts me when I piss.


You won’t get any herpes,
I’ll spare your parts from my Trich;
We’ll catch the germs in my clap trap,
And darling you’ll miss the Itch.


I don’t wanna wear this cold, lonely rubber,
Knowing the love I’ll miss;
So let me make a pledge to clean up my member,
No more urithritis.


Yes its gonna be a cold lonely rubber,
But I’ll fill it none the less;
And I shall soon attend the STD clinic,
And clear my syphilis,
And have a painless piss.

Here’s Brian Hyland singing Sealed With A Kiss, with lyrics on the screen:

Oh My Papa, NewsRevue Lyric, 5 June 1995

The Maxwell trial. Big news in 1995. Not sure if this lyric was used, but for sure the story featured in the show.

(To the Tune of “Oh My Papa”)

And now we go over to the Old Bailey, where Ian and Kevin Maxwell are about to sing the case for the defence.


Oh my papa, to me he was so wonderful,
Oh my papa, Bob Maxwell was his name;
No one could be, so bent and so corruptible,
Oh my papa, he’s left his folks with shame.


Gone are the days,
When he would rape his pension funds,
And with a smile,
He’d change his bucks to bad debts.


Oh my papa, so fat and so detestable,
Always spoke loud and treated staff like slaves;
Oh my papa, he made our lives so comfortable,
Here in the dock I wish he’d gone away.


Gone are the days,
When he would take me on his yacht,
With just one leap,
He dumped his sons up shit creek.


Oh my papa to pensioners so criminal,
I’m in my cell while he burns deep in hell;
Oh my papa, oh my papa.

Here is Eddie Fisher singing Oh My Papa:

Here is a link to the original lyrics.

Submission To Robert Miles, NewsRevue, 5 June 1995

Usual blah blah about neat letter with table that won’t translate from Amipro properly…

Robert Miles
News Revue


Dear Robert

This starter pack consists of songs currently in the show, previously unperformed ones and revamps of one or two which have come back into fashion as it were. 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

“oh my” papa / oh my papa/eddie fisher – New

i’m not sure / are you sure/the allisons – New

sealed syphilis / sealed with a kiss/brian hyland – New

sunbed / sunny/bobby hebb – 1-3

i’ll never find another job / i’ll never find another you/seekers – 4-6

jimmy knapp / jimmy mack/martha & the vandellas – 1-3

rugby love / puppy love/paul anka – New

matchinner, matchwinner / matchmaker, matchmaker/fiddler on the roof – New

we’re in the mood for grafting / i’m in the mood for dancing/nolans
– no recording, sorry – New

I’m Not Sure, NewsRevue Lyric, 5 June 1995

John Major was thought to dither over his cabinet reshuffles.

I’m not sure whether or not this lyric was ever used; probably not.

(To the Tune of “Are You Sure”)

MAJOR: Goodbye, farewell, I’m not sure what to do!!
Virginia sucks, but all the rest suck too!
VIRGINIA: Are you sure you’ll treat me rottenly,
MAJOR: Stop your whinging, Virginia Bottomley,
VIRGINIA: Sacked unless John Major’s gotten cold feet again.


VIRGINIA: Now are you sure that you want this kerfuffle?
That you won’t grieve if you botch this reshuffle.
MAJOR: You will see that I’m not cowardly,
I’ll get rid of that Michael Howard, he
Gaffed again, the media showered me with his crap.


MAJOR: Goodbye, farewell, I’m not sure who to sack,
So long, au revoire, or just rejig the pack.
VIRGINIA: Are you sure you will be sacking me,
Come tomorrow you’ll be backing me,
To the hilt until you’re stabbing my back again.


VIRGINIA: Just stop and think, it’s you’re decision now,
For you’re the one who chose us anyhow;
MAJOR: You’ll be sorry wait and see,
There is bags of choice for me,
Gerry Wiggins or Jerry Hanley,
Oh my God!!!!!


VIRGINIA: Goodbye farewell I think that I’ll resign,
MAJOR: But Ginny, stay, you’re working out just fine;
VIRGINIA: Are you sure you won’t reshuffle me?
Come tomorrow, you won’t suffer me,
MAJOR: One fine day, I’ll get tough on thee – (but) not just yet.

Are You Sure by the Allisons sounded like this in the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest:

While the Allisons lyrics can be found by clicking here.