Letter To Fraser and Jez, NewsRevue, 20 October 1995

LIST OF SONGS SUBMITTED AND TAPE TRACK LISTING
OCTOBER to NOVEMBER 1995 RUN

Dear Fraser & Jez

Welcome!! It was good to meet you last night. I really did think the show was the best opening night I had seen for ages, despite the lack of my songs. I feel really badly that you got no starter pack from me last week but no-one told me you were due to start – the last run only had 5 weeks and normally the runs have six. This starter pack consists of all previously unperformed songs.

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.

Keep it up 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

louis farrakhan-can/orpheus in the underworld / offenbach New

william shakespeare’s ragtime show/alexander’s ragtime band / bessie smith New

star spangled old school tie/star spangled banner / some awful troupe New

handing over hong kong/rama lama ding dong / rocky sharpe and the replays New

rip it off/roll with it / oasis New

greenpeace/greensleeves/NO RECORDING – SORRY New

Louis Farrakhan-Can, NewsRevue Lyric, 20 October 1995

Louis Farrakhan, somewhat controversially, visited the UK in the autumn of 1995.

I wrote a song and dance to accompany this news story. Several performers told me that it was extremely challenging to perform. But perform it they did and it was truly wonderful to see. Far better as a spectacle than as a piece of writing, but sadly only the writing survives.

Still, the writing, along with your imagination, should be good enough; this is one of my best comedy pieces, in my humble opinion.

LOUIS FARRAKHAN-CAN
(To the Tune of “The Can-Can”)

VERSE 1

Mr Louis Farrakhan is from The Nation of Islam,
He’s not calm, sounds alarm and cannot be described as charming;
Permanently angry and his standards set you up to fail,
Lest you are by chance a Muslim who is straight and black and male.

What a bigot, (that remark is not PC),
He’s a fat git (not his fault that he’s portly);
What’s a faggot? (ball of meat in rich gravy),
He does rabbit on and on and on and on and on and on and on and onnnnnnnnnnnnn….

CHORUS 1

(That damned) Louis Farrakhan-can, loony Farrakhan-can, loony Farrakhan, (he is a loony)
Farrakhan, loony Farrakhan-can, loony Farrakhan-can, loony Farrakhan, that’s Farrakhan;
(He’s) non-Jewish and intensely shrewish with invective poo-ish as a pan (that’s full of sewage)
He’s the man, Louis Farrakhan-can, who is one to ban-ban soon, or else he’ll slander you.

VERSE 2

Mr Louis Farrakhan his gob is totally massive,
He makes Ian Paisley come across as calm and wholly passive
Rants and raves excessively, he don’t like homosexuals,
Sensual fe-ma-les, liberals, Israel’s, sensible victuals, Papal bulls, all he ever talks is ballssss…..
CHORUS 2

(That damned) Louis Farrakhan-can, loony Farrakhan-can, loony Farrakhan, (he is a loony)
Farrakhan, loony Farrakhan-can, loony Farrakhan-can, loony Farrakhan;

OUTRO COMMENCES

He is a loony and his name is Farrakhan,
These lines repeat but do not always seem to scan.
So let us rant and rave excessively like Louis Farrakhan,
And pack as many words per second as the human larynx can.

CODA

His name is Louis Farrakhan, he is a loony Farrakhan;
Thank God, it’s the coda
Cos he is, he is THE END!!!!!!!

The video below (with far more people than NewsRevue’s cast of four) will give you some idea about the tune (the main theme and coda) and some of the choreography involved. I recall one NewsRevue cast forming some sort of a human pyramid…

The following French TV version, which you can see on YouTube, has some of the more extreme dance moves:

William Shakespeare’s Ragtime Show, NewsRevue Lyric, 10 October 1995

I’m not too sure what this lyric was about – presumably some sort of jazz fundraiser for the nascent Globe back then. Hardly big news and I don’t think this lyric made the NewsRevue show.

Shame really, it has some good lines. I might try to revive it as a performance piece of my own for my baroq-ulele.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S RAGTIME SHOW
(To the Tune of “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”)
VERSE 1

Come on and see, come on and see,
William Shakespeare’s ragtime show;
Come on and see, come on and see,
It’s the best show in the Globe.

You can corpse at comedy or you’ll learn from history,
Close the play with carnage if the show’s a tragedy;
This card’s the best bard by a yard, at least that far.

Come on along, come on along,
As You Like It, Much Ado;
Come on along, come on along,
Henry Four Parts One and Two;
And if you wanna see that Julius Caesar play set rag style,
Come on and see, come on and see,
William Shakespeare’s ragtime show.

VERSE 2

Come on and see, come on and see,
William Shakespeare’s ragtime show,
Come on and hear, come on and hear,
Sing a rag hey nonny no.

With a funny sense of rhyme, called iambic pantomime,
Make heroic speeches then go murder eight or nine,
This show is so Tarantino meets Sarajevo;

Come on along, come on along,
Mix up twins then all marry,
Come on along, come on along,
Play a jazz soliloquy;
And if you want to hear “Hey Nonny Nonny” syncopated,

OUTRO

Come on and hear, come on and hear,
William Shakespeare’s ragtime,
Little boys in drag time,
William Shakespeare’s ragtime show.

Here’s a YouTube of Louis Armstrong singing Alexander’s Ragtime Band:

…and here’s a link to those Alexander lyrics too.