Christmas Song, NewsRevue Lyric, 26 November and 30 November 1995

I like this lyric but I’m not sure it got used much, if at all. I assigned the rights to ChildLine.

I wrote two versions in quick order – the second is better I think – here’s the second (I’ll place the first version right at the end for completist purposes):

CHRISTMAS SONG – VERSION 2
(To the Tune of “Mary’s Boy Child”)
VERSE 1

Long time ago in Kingston town,
A calypso star went wrong;
Harry Belafonte sang,
A putrid Christmas song.

CHORUS 1

“Merry Christmas” Slade does sing,
But no-one’s having fun;
And Cliff will try for ever more,
For Christmas number ones.

VERSE 2

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer had,
A very shiny nose and fur;
Frosty snowman cut a disc,
With Oasis and with Blur.

CHORUS 2

Santa Claus has come to town,
To get on all our tits;
And man must listen ever more,
To ghastly Christmas hits.

OUTRO

Preach goodwill one day each year,
Pretend we’re all not gits;
And charities will ever more,
Launch putrid Christmas hits.

Here is Harry Belafonte singing Mary’s Boy Child with the lyrics:

Here’s the first version of my lyric:

CHRISTMAS SONG
(To the Tune of “Mary’s Boy Child”)
VERSE 1

Long time ago in Kingston town,
A calypso star went wrong;
Harry Belafonte sang,
A putrid Christmas song.

CHORUS 1

“Merry Christmas” Slade does sing,
But no-one’s having fun;
And man will bill for ever more,
A Christmas number one.

VERSE 2

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer had,
An extremely shiny nose;
Frosty snowman cut a disc,
With Seal and Axil Rose.

CHORUS 2

Santa Claus has come to town,
To get on all our tits;
And man must listen ever more,
To ghastly Christmas hits.

 

Claire, NewsRevue Lyric, 29 November 1995

This one is about Claire Short, who presumably got mixed up in one of those cannabis stories.

I took the opportunity to take the piss out of politicians and our loony laws on such matters.

Not sure if it was ever used. A few good lines, though (in the lyric, not a reference to some other drugs, get a grip, reader).

Gosh, even by November 1995, I still couldn’t spell Blair.

CLAIRE
(To the Tune of “Clair”)

VERSE 1

Claire,
You said you’d support Tony Blaire,
But blew it by toking hot air,
It’s happened before,
He wonders why you’re so
Short,
It seems that you’ll pay for a snort,
Of Lebanese Red, not Tawny Port,
You’ve taken a hit,
For talking ’bout shit, cos then,
You were pounced on by Tony’s men,
Tho you’re less outspoken than Tony Benn;
Pushing for dope is a sure way that you’ll fail,
So take your lead from Bill Clinton then you’ll never inhale,
That air, Claire.

VERSE 2

Claire,
You’ve sent Tony deep into prayer,
By talking of marijuan-air
That’s not a good rhyme,
And not a good crime so why
Do most MP’s feel obliged to lie?
I’d bet that most of them have had a try,
Privately thinking it’s OK to take grass,
But in the public domain they have to talk from their arse….
-holes, Claire, Claire.

(Don’t Bogart that point, Claire).

You might enjoy the tune and lyric of Clair by Gilbert O’Sullivan for this one.

 

Letter To Jenny Roche Re NewsRevue Material, 28 November 1995

I don’t think anything came of this – at least not financially. Given the tone of my letter, I expected little.

I have little/no recollection of this correspondence.  I imagine it was THIS Jenny Roche – click here. Heck, this piece might help Jenny to get in touch again through Ogblog.

Jenny Roche                             28 November 1995

(Huyton Address Redacted)
Dear Jenny

MATERIAL

Apologies for the delay in getting some material to you, but I hope the quality and quantity of this submission makes up for the delay. I write regularly for News Revue, specialising almost exclusively in songs.

In the absence of more details about what you are looking for, I hope this pack provides some stuff of use to you. Please feel free to request specific items, changes or recordings of the original songs which are being parodied.

Please note that some of the songs show charities as copyright holders. I do this in order to make tax free contributions to my favourite charities. If you choose to use a charity owned song, please send the money direct to the charity (I can provide addresses if you don’t have them). As you reckon that the dosh will be light for the time being, please give priority to the charities.

Please feel free to get in touch any time (see myriad of methods above).

Yours sincerely

Ian Harris

Encs.

The Tax Cuts Are The Weakest, NewsRevue Lyric, 27 November 1995

Almost certainly unused, this feels like a pun on a song title stretched beyond reason. I’m not even sure what I was really trying to say with this one.

THE TAX CUTS ARE THE WEAKEST
(To the Tune of “The First Cut is the Deepest”)
VERSE 1 – KEN CLARKE

I would have levied your hearts and your souls,
But we’ve fallen behind in the polls;
And since I’ve taken almost all that you’ve got,
This time around I’ll hand it back again,
Voters, I’ll hand it back again, but you know…….

CHORUS 1

Our tax cuts are the weakest,
(Surely you know)
Our tax cuts are the weakest;
Cos when it comes to pleasing people we’re cursed,
So when it comes to lower tax, we’re first,
But once we’re back in number ten it’s reversed,
(That’s how it is)
Our tax cuts are the weakest,
(Surely you know)
Our tax cuts are the weakest.

VERSE 2 – KEN CLARKE

I still want you fiscally,
So I’ll stump up fag and booze duty,
And sneak some extra dosh through VAT,
With half a chance I’d tax and spend again,
Voters, I’ll tax and spend again, cos you know…..
Ooohhh ooohhh

CHORUS 2

Our tax cuts are the meanest,
(Surely you know)
Our tax cuts are the meanest;
And when it comes to help the needy we’re worst,
Cos looking after number one comes first,
That’s why we’re squeezing you pip-squeaks ’til you burst,
(That’s how it is)
Our tax cuts are the meanest,
(Stuff Tony Blaire)
Our tax cuts are the weakest,
(Load of hot air)
OUR TAX CUTS ARE THE WEAKEST!!!

Here is Cat Stevens singing The First Cut Is The Deepest. Load YouTube to read lyrics in the text area beneath:

 

Greenpeace, NewsRevue Lyric, Probably Unused, 26 November 1995

This one must be a slightly tinkered version of one I submitted in October. I don’t think it was ever used. Presumably Greenpeace were trying to stop nuclear tests at that time. A few good puns in there…

…and I can play Greensleeves on my baroq-ulele – I might give this one a go now.

GREENPEACE
(To the Tune of “Greensleeves”)
VERSE 1

As I was watching the forests fail,
And collecting water up in my pail;
I thought I’d save the Bikini Whale,
So I signed up a contract with Greenpeace.

CHORUS 1

Greenpeace is an Irish cause,
Cos they said “Muroa Atoll, Atoll”,
Although I had never sailed before,
I took charge of a boat name of Greenpeace.

VERSE 2

As I was sailing the southern seas,
A frogman got on beside of me,
He said “zis vessel aaass now been seized”,
And he made the sea boil round the Greenpeace.

CHORUS 2

Greenpeace were a mite upset,
Cos I lost their boat in his fishing net,
I’m cold and scared and I’m soaking wet,
And don’t know why I’ve now got these green sleeves.

VERSE 3

Then Greenpeace took me to task in spite,
And their weird tribunals went on all night,
If I had wanted a frigging fight,
I’d have signed for the French Foreign Legion.
(Shows arm) I’ve got a French foreign lesion on this arm and it’s getting bigger.

CHORUS 3

Greenpeace, I’ve now made my mark,
And my heads both glow when I’m in the dark;
I pee for laser shows in the park,
Which is why my nickname now is Green Piss.

Here is a version of Greensleeves with some Tudor-sounding lyrics:

The Shit Of Araby, NewsRevue Lyric, 26 November 1995

This lyric did nicely, if I recall correctly. Very performable.

I am delighted to report that Jonathan Aitken did not get away with his crimes, despite the outcome inferred by the lyric.

THE SHIT OF ARABY
(To the Tune of “The Sheikh of Araby”)
VERSE 1 – JONATHAN AITKEN

I’m the shit of Araby,
A right fat cat Tory;
Jon Aitken is my name,
Gun running is my game.

When I meet those Saudi gits,
They put me in the Ritz;
With cars and jewellery,
Cos they want my weaponry.

MIDDLE EIGHT – THE PRESS

He’s the shit of Araby,
And when he leaves the Treasury,
You should see him follow sheikhs around;
That’s bad.
Even though he’s ripped off half the Nation,
He’ll still sue for defamation,
Guardian and World in Action found.

AITKEN: I’m a cad;

When he’s laying down to sleep,
He’s counting guns instead of sheep;
From his pockets,
Arms and rockets sprout;
Who’s counting?
He knows vital statistics,
Like girls with huge ballistics
He’s a shit who knows arms dealing inside out.

OUTRO – AITKEN

I’ll sue the media liberally,
Cos I’m the Chief of Treasury;
And if I treat the judge nicely (winks),
I’m sure the court will side with me.

Here is a YouTube of Spike Jones and His City Slickers version, including the “patter” section parodied above:

Here is a link to the lyrics, including the patter verse.

I also found a wonderful video version of Spike Jones & His City Slickers performing this number, but without the patter – amazing vid though, Spike Jones himself seen on percussion.

I wrote an update 24 June 1997:

THE SHIT OF ARABY – 1997 REMIX
(To the Tune of “The Sheikh of Araby”)

 

VERSE 1 – JONATHAN AITKEN

I’m the shit of Araby,
A right fat cat Tory;
Jon Aitken is my name,
Gun running is my game.

When I meet those Saudi gits,
They put me in the Ritz;
With cars and jewellery,
Cos they want my weaponry.

MIDDLE EIGHT – THE PRESS

He’s the shit of Araby,
And Aitken left the Treasury,
Just to follow gun-crazed sheikhs around;
That’s bad.
Even though he ripped off half the Nation,
He still sued for defamation,
Guardian and World in Action found.

AITKEN: I’m a cad;

When he’s laying down to sleep,
He’s counting guns instead of sheep;
From his pockets,
Arms and rockets sprout;
Who’s counting?
He knows vital statistics,
Like girls with huge ballistics
He’s a shit who knows arms dealing inside out.

OUTRO – AITKEN

I sued the media liberally,
I thought the judge would side with me;
But lost my seat on the Privy;
And I’ll go down for perjury.

 

Ebola, NewsRevue Lyric, 26 November 1995

Almost certainly unused, in too bad taste even for NewsRevue.

Some good lines in it though.

Postscript: false memory. My submission letter of 26 November 1995 indicates that this one had been used 7+ times – i.e. in more than one run; perhaps several.

My cata-log indicates that it was originally written on 16 May 1995.

So not too bad taste for NewsRevue – not in the slightest. Whatever was I thinking when I wrote the above note?

EBOLA
(Really Sick Quickie to the Tune of “Maria”)

VERSE 1

Ebola,
They’ve just found a germ named Ebola;
It’s really rather vile,
It makes you throw up blood,
And bile.

VERSE 2

Zaire,
I’m glad I’m not there and I’m here;
The thought of it’s as sick,
As Michael Howard’s prick,
And piles.

MIDDLE EIGHT

Ebola,
Say it loud and Kinshasa’s in turmoil,
Say it soft, and its a brand of corn oil.

OUTRO

Mazola,
Won’t go through you as fast as,
Ebola.

Maria from West Side Story is a nice song in its own right:

 

 

Letter To Kerry Michael, NewsRevue Pre-Run Submissions, 26 November 1995

The table of submissions was neat and tidy but the only way I can cut and paste it from Amipro to here, it needs to look like a great long list…

…but you’ll get the gist.

LIST OF SONGS SUBMITTED AND TAPE TRACK LISTING
CHRISTMAS 1995 RUN

Dear Kerry

Great to have you back!! This starter pack consists some songs currently in the show, some 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

christmas song/mary’s boy child / harry bellafonte: New

lilley the prick/ lilly the pink / scaffold: 4-6

serbi serbi chief chief/ chirpy chirpy cheep cheep / middle of the road: 4-6

those were the raves/those were the days / mary hopkin: 4-6

Sunbed/sunny / bobby hebb: 4-6

old boys/ oh boy / buddy holly: 7+

i’ll never find another job/i’ll never find another you / seekers: 7+

crap tarantino man/son of a preacher man / dusty springfield: 4-6

the shit of araby/the sheikh of araby / spike jones: 4-6

side 2

ebola/maria / west side story: 7+

sealed syphilis/sealed with a kiss/brian hyland: 4-6

jumping mick jagger/ jumping jack flash / rolling stones: 4-6

surf the internet/surfin’ usa / beach boys: 4-6

eton beat it / michael jackson: 4-6

greenpeace NO RECORDING – SORRY: New

the pill is safe/ chantilly lace / jerry lee lewis: 4-6

Lilley The Prick, NewsRevue Song, 26 November 1995

Not the most subtle lyric, but quite effective in transmitting its message, I feel.

LILLEY THE PRICK
(To the Tune of “Lilly The Pink”)

CHORUS 1

We’re, sick, we’re sick, we’re sick,
Of Lilley the prick, the prick, the prick,
The breaker of the DSS;
For he’s removing our benefit payments,
Now we’re entitled to even less.

VERSE 1

Michael Howard, was a terrible coward,
He would never take the blame;
So they gave him, political functions,
But he deflects guilt, just the same.
Johnny Aitken, was constantly takin’,
Large back-handers from some sheikh;
So they gave him, political functions,
Now he’s yet more on the make.

CHORUS 2

We’ll dig, we’ll dig we’ll dig,
At Lilley the pig, the pig, the pig,
The hater of the welfare state;
He’s refusing most benefit payments,
And leaving poor folk to their fate.

VERSE 2

David Hunt, was a bit of a c-c-c-c-con man,
Tories thought that he should go-o-o,
They withdrew his political functions,
Now he has no portfolio.
Mike Portillo, was abrasive as Brillo,
And his head looked like a pad;
So they gave him political functions,
Now he’s Peter Lilley’s lad.

CHORUS 3

We-ee-ee-‘re, sick, we’re sick, we’re sick,
Of Lilley the prick, the prick, the prick,
He’s buggered up the DSS;
He’s retracting our benefit payments,
Now Britain’s welfare state’s a meeeeeeessssssss.

Here is Lily the Pink by the Scaffold, with their lyrics on show.

Privatise, NewsRevue Lyric, 26 November 1995

Just sometimes a slow number would be a huge hit in NewsRevue. Privatise was one of those – it was in the show for yonks and frequently got the audience going big time.

One of my best ever lyrics in my opinion. At times (e.g. now in 2017) it could be in the show still.

Beware friends; the chords look straightforward I’ll be working this one up on the baritone ukulele myself.

PRIVATISE
(To the Tune of “Bright Eyes”)

VERSE 1

Is it a kind of scheme,
Dreamt up by the right?
Making utilities less safe and clean,
The price is obscene.

VERSE 2

There is cold comfort for staff,
And hot gas from the mighty;
Silently bosses look after themselves;
Milking them clean,
With pay rise extremes.

CHORUS 1

Privatise,
Post, health and power,
Privatise,
Industry, coal and rail;
How can a trade that’s done quite nicely,
Suddenly turn and fail,
Privatise.

CHORUS 2

Privatise,
Lords, House and Whitehall,
Privatise,
Number Ten Downing Street;
Then maybe berks who’ve caused this nightmare,
Will end up on the street,
Privatise.

The tune is Bright Eyes; here is Art Garfunkle’s delightful rendering:

I also wrote an update 28 May 1996:

PRIVATISE – 1996 REMIX
(To the Tune of “Bright Eyes”)

VERSE 1

Is it a kind of scheme,
Dreamt up by the right?
Making utilities less safe and clean,
The price is obscene.

VERSE 2

There is outsourcing for staff,
And increase for directors;
Silently bosses look after themselves;
Milking us clean,
With pay rise extremes.

CHORUS 1

Privatise,
Trains, health and power,
Privatise,
Military, coal and rail;
How can a trade that’s done quite nicely,
Suddenly turn and fail,
Privatise.

CHORUS 2

Privatise,
Lords, House and Whitehall,
Privatise,
Number Ten Downing Street;
Then maybe berks who’ve caused this nightmare,
Will end up on the street,
Privatise.