Letter To Ben Murphy, 29 January 1996

Goodness knows what I sent Ben in this batch, but he would have been planning the album “How Bonkers Is That” at that time.

Ben Murphy                                29 January 1996

(Wells address redacted)

Dear Ben


I have been remiss and have not sent you any gear for ages. I actually haven’t been writing much but had a brainstorm this weekend, so here’s the stuff.
Give us a bell to let me know what you think. Look forward to hearing from you soon.


Yours sincerely

Ian Harris (Z/Ian)


Goatee, NewsRevue Lyric, 8 January 1996

One of my most successful songs of all time. There was a sort of goatee beard thing at that time. I exploited it.

(To the Tune of “Swanee”)

I’ve been bare-faced for such a long time,
I never thought I’d grow a beard;
Somehow I feel, so juveneel,
Bristly I long to be.

There’s nothing growing on my neck line,
There’s nothing growing on my lip;
But there’s some thin, hairs on my chin,
Goatee’s, the style for me-ee.


Goatee, how I love you how I love you,
My dear old Goatee.
It makes me look obscene,
Just like those blokes in,
That crap band East 17.
My rabbit has a shaved patch on his back,
That’s shaped like my goatee.
The folks up north think we are all weird,
Cos they prefer their ZZ Top beards.


Fanny, fanny
My beard looks like a fanny;
Bum fluff, bum fluff,
Or a smear on George Michael’s chin.


Goatee, I look grown up, I look grown up,
Now I’ve a goatee.
My balls have not yet dropped,
But there’s this small patch,
On my chin that I’ve not cropped.
My gerbil has an unrequited crush,
On my dear old goatee.
It might be gone once I learn to shave,
But now I’m off to join my rave.

The above lyrics contain a minor revision and were published 29 January 1996. The original version assigned the intro & verses to men, but the middle eight to women. The first couplet of the original middle eight read:

Goatee, Goatee,
Don’t tell me that’s a goatee;

Anyway, it ran and ran in the show. I remember Gerry Goddin in particular saying it was his favourite of mine.

Here is Al Jolson singing Swanee:


Hooray For Bollywood, NewsRevue Lyric, 8 January 1996

I think this one could have done very well in the show, but no-one other than me believed…

(To the Tune of “Hooray For Bollywood”)
(The more Indian paraphernalia the better for this one)


Hooray for Bollywood, Bombay’s equivalent of Hollywood;
Where any actress name of Shah or Patel, can be like cattle,
A holy cow who can’t act;
A punkawallah can leave his squalor,
To join a crowd scene that is at least as packed.
Hooray for Bollywood, we’re making movies, they’re no bloody good;
Where any caste may have Sudras and Brahmans to sing like Carmen,
And dance around their manhood,
They’re worse than Bombay duck but no-one gives a fuck;
Hooray for Bollywood; Hooray for Bollywood!!


And now for a commercial break.
“You don’t have to go to England to try genuine English cuisine. Merely three minutes walk from this Bombay cinema and you are in the Buckingham Palace Fish and Chip Restaurant. Peter Parker and his friendly staff serve you fish and chips in typical Northern English style. Batter flavours include Madras and Vindaloo. Peter Parker’s Pukka Palace Place”.


Hooray for Bollywood, where women sing and dance more than they should;
They howl and shriek in Tamil and in Urdu, they sound like nerds who,
Have just got their privates nailed;
They sound more arty in Gujarati,
Cos then the wailing sounds like they’ve been impaled.
Hooray for Bollywood,
Get it on cable in your neighbourhood;
Now Rupert Murdoch can broadcast a channel, That’s so much flannel,
It makes Sky One appear good;
Subscribe your weekly pay,
And watch these films all day;
Hooray for Bollywood,
That cow’s half naked,
Hooray for Bollywood,
Is nothing sacred?
Hooray for Bollywood!!

Here is Benny Goodman and his Orchestra with Johnny ‘Scat’ Davis & Frances Langford, performing Hooray For Hollywood:

…and here is a link to lyrics for Hooray For Hollywood.

Oasis, NewsRevue Lyric, 8 January 1996

I don’t recall this one being used – perhaps it was. The Britpop rivalry between Oasis and Blur was all the rage back then – Ben Murphy did loads on that – but not this lyric.

(To the Tune of “Roll With It”)


You gotta rip it off,
You gotta plagiarise,
You gotta sound like the Beatles back in 1965;
With a lyric telling kids just what to do.

You gotta rake it in,
You gotta make a pile,
You gotta sing that you’re young in a very aged style;
I think its gotta be Oasis’ hair (pronounced scouse style – “hur”)
It’s either them or Pulp or maybe Blur,
These new bands are such novel deja vu.


They all know what it takes to get along (yeh, yeh yeh),
Just pull the chords from someone else’s song (yeh yeh yeh)
And don’t sing ding-a-ding or bang-a-gong (no no no)
And you’re agent plugs away with all this tripe but it’s gotta be a Grade A hype.


You gotta fool the kids,
You gotta top the charts,
You gotta promise Oasis but sell them a mirage;
I think we’re gonna make a lot this year (still scouse style – “yur”),
Our single aim’s to earn more dosh than Blur,
And some of you might think that aim’s unfair (scouse – “unfur”),
Cos half our fans migrate from Rupert Bear (you’ve got it – “Rupert Bur”),
But even if you think this song sounds square (goes without saying “squur”),
I think there’s still one point where we concur,
The more cash that we earn, the more you’re screwed.

Here’s Oasis singing Roll With It, including lyrics:


My Name Is Jacques, NewsRevue Lyric, 8 January 1996

Writing in June 2017, just after Emmanuel Macron has shaken up the French political system and we wait to see if he can deliver, it is good to read this reminder of the way French politics is/was.

I’m not sure if this one was used; quite possibly not, or if so, only briefly.

There are some good lines in it, though.

 MY NAME IS JACQUES  MY NAME IS JACQUES (To the Tune of “My Name is Jack”)

My first name’s Jacques and my surname’s Chirac from the Lysee Palace Home;

When I use the Paris Subway they call me Metro Gnome.


JACQUES: Yes my name’s Jacques and my surname’s Chirac, From the European school of wayward right wing trends;

CHORUS: We all hate Jacques, he’s a pain in the jack- -sy, He’s almost ghastly as that bastard bloke Le Pen. (Whistle refrain)


Here comes Kohl with his opinion poll which he thinks means he’ll survive;

And here comes Mitterand who’s only just alive.

It’s lots of fun so I’d love to run my full fourteen years;

Those plebs on strike can take a hike, we’re nursing our careers.


JACQUES: Yes my name’s Jacques and my surname’s Chirac, From the European race to get Maastricht criteria;

CHORUS: We all hate Jacques cos he stabs in the back, And is disappearing quickly up his own posterior. (Whistles refrain)


Here’s Juppe with a lobby who say, that I shouldn’t test the bomb;

And here comes Jacques Santer, who’s Euro must get on;

There’s this silliest bloke who we love to joke who is known as Major the Creep,

Our blokes on strike can take a hike but still blockade his sheep,

Go back to sleep.


JACQUES: Yes my name’s Jacques and I’m known for my tact-, -ics, I never listen as my own thing’s what I do;

CHORUS: We all hate Jacques and his right wing brat pack, So the French republic all recherche les temps perdue.

We all hate Jacques!!!!

Here is a video of Manfred Mann singing My Friend Is Jack – you need to click through the link for the lyrics set out underneath the vid:


Don’t You Want Me Voters?, NewsRevue Lyric, 2 January 1996

I rather like this lyric. I’m not sure how well it did in the show.

(To the Tune of “Don’t You Want Me?”)

MAGGIE: You were working as a teller in a Brixton Bank when I met you;
I picked you out, I shook you up and turned you around,
And turned you into someone blue;
Now five years later on you’re facing up to defeat,
Success has not been easy for you;
But don’t forget it’s me who put you where you are now,
And I can put you back down too.


MAJOR: Don’t, don’t they want me?
You know I can’t believe it when they say they won’t vote Tory;
Don’t, don’t they want me?
You know I don’t believe it when the papers say I’m boring.
I think I might resign….
MAGGIE: What! And let in Hestletine?
BOTH: You’d [I’d] better toughen up or we will both be sorry.
MAJOR: Don’t you want me voters? Don’t you want me?……….(feebly)………. no?
Don’t you want me voters? Don’t you want me?…..(more feebly)…… oh.


MAJOR: You were working as Prime Minister in Downing Street that much is true;
But even then I knew I’d find a much better way, either with or without you.
MAGGIE: Those five years since I went have been dismal times, you make me spew;
But now the right is stuck between the rocks and hard place,
And so we must put up with you.


MAJOR: Don’t, don’t they want me?
You know I don’t believe it when they say I’ve got no mandate;
MAGGIE: Don’t, don’t they want you?
You might need an election long before you reach your planned date.
MAJOR: I think I might resign….
MAGGIE: The plonker’s lost his spine
BOTH: You’d [I’d] better get it back or we’ll have no more Tories.
MAGGIE: Don’t you want him voters? Don’t you want him? No!!!
MAJOR: Don’t you want me voters? Don’t you want me?…..(feebly)…… oh.
BOTH: Don’t you want me [him] voters?

[MAJOR: (spoken) Well I was only asking.]

Here is Don’t You Want Me sung by the Human League: