Letter/Fax To Jo Sandelson With Several Songs Attached, 19 December 1995

John Cowen and I had been introduced to the cartoonist Jo Sandelson (not sure by whom), with a view to collaboration over our “Metaphors For The Millennium” project, which withered on the vine/never happened. Private Eye much later introduced a “new/old sayings” idea along very similar lines; it still runs occasionally. Oh well.

Anyway, Jo was delightful and very hospitable. I tried to reciprocate with songs for her charitable Christmas activities.

Oscar Wilde is believed to have said that “the trouble with Socialism is that it takes too many evenings.”

When I think about pleasant evenings of the 18 December 1995 kind, I’d argue that the trouble with comedy is that we don’t spend enough evenings in each other’s company.

The lack of “Metaphors” did not seem to hold Jo back – it seems that she’s still  going strong at www.josandelson.com at the time of writing this (March 2017) – click here.

Jo Sandelson                              19 December 1995

(Putney address redacted)

Dear Jo


It was a pleasure to meet you last night. John and I both enjoyed the meeting and hope you did too. Has visual inspiration struck yet??

As promised, I attach some songs which might suit your festive gig for Crisis. Please feel free to use any/all/none of them at the handsome fee of “square root of diddly-squat”. If there are other subjects which you feel would be more appropriate, give me a call and I’ll see what I have – there are several hundred of these wretched things on my files now (most hopelessly out of date).

I apologise for the delay in faxing these to you, but I have been running around like an idiot from crack of dawn until late evening today and didn’t want to risk disturbing your slumbers by faxing late at night.

As we say in the Mets world; “nothing is certain but messed up faxes” so do call if this stuff doesn’t come through perfectly well first time. Basically I plan to be at home all day today (famous last words).

Thanks once again for your hospitality and happy holidays. I look forward to hearing from you and meeting you again in due course.

Yours sincerely

If by any chance there are NewsRevue lyric fans out there wondering which of my lyrics I faxed to Jo that day, the answer is:

  • Christmas Song – Version 2;
  • Closed To You;
  • Domestic Fuel;
  • Old Boys;
  • There’s No Business;
  • VE Day Medley;
  • I’ll Never Find Another Job;
  • Better Face.

When Will I See You At Z/Yen, Christmas Party Lyric, 7 December 1995

This lyric was written for the second seasonal gathering of Z/Yen, at the end of 1995, at the Paris House, Woburn (also the scene of our 1994 seasonal gathering).

I recall that Janie, Steve Taylor and I performed the piece. Janie got some outlandish wigs for us to wear. Try not to think about it too much.

Steve at Paris House the year before, 1994, without wig.

(To the Tune of “When Will I See You Again?”)

PROPS REQUIRED/DESIRED: Wigs (sorted), mobile phones, pieces of paper (minutes, memos), left overs on plates


Oooooohhh, haaaaaaa,
Haaaaaaa, oooooohhh,
Precious memos.


When will I see you at Z/Yen?
When will we share precious minutes?
Will we have debate for ever?
Will we still be macho (macho) and work the whole night through?


When will I see you at Z/Yen?
When will our team eat together?
Are we at work or just friends?
Is this supper chicken or is it scrag end? (is this scrag end?)


When will I see you at Z/Yen? When will I see you at Z/Yen? When will I see you at Z/Yen?
Haaaaaaa, oooooohhh,
Precious motors.


When will I hear you at Z/Yen?
When will we share precious mobiles?
Are we in touch or alone?
CAN YOU ****-**** HEAR ME?? Chhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh PHONE???

When will I chhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh?
(When will you stop asking so many ****-**** questions?)
When will I beeeeeeeeeep?


Here are the Three Degrees singing When Will I See You Again:

…and here is a link to the original lyrics.