Here is an alphabetical-by-title list of nearly every bleedin’ lyric I’ve ever written.
If you know or can guess the title of a song, scroll down til you find it.
Before that, songs organised by their show origins: click on a song to take you to the lyric.
*Asterisk’d songs were in more than one show.  And why not?
Where/For Whom
Aars (On the Island of)         
A Conurbation of Licentiousness

London and Edinburgh Health and Safety Song

Isle of Aars (finale)

Lupine Love

A Moment of Sin

Morag, You've Grown Some (Hamish's courting song)

Oh, Morag

I’m Puupiline Van Den Blouws

Sinners Down in the Darkest Pit

The Sky Today

Trees (Are Beautiful People Too)*

Very Happy Memories of Holland
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves       
London Bubble
Don't Dabble with Men

Financial Advice Ballad  

I Love the Desert
Baldy Hopkins       
The Right Size
The House that I Call Home* gg
(The) Barber of Seville       
Bristol Theatre Royal
Folie de Vieux

The Letter Song

Love Me For Who I Am/Finale

Rosine's Dilemma

Stop That Overture (That Would Be Opera)

You're Nice
The Right Size


The Genuine Me

Wiggery Wack Woo (The Suicidal Fish Song)*
Cheese in Moonlight*

The Gels of Hay Sosay Itty

The Shoe

Nina Conti  Everybody Knows It's Youg

Les Dennis  Extra, Extra
Dick Whittington      
London Bubble
Bundle Song

Hotel Stilton     

Ice Cream

Rat Supremacy Marchg
Do You Come Here Often?     
The Right Size
Stuck in a Bathroom

We're Both Dead*
Penny Dreadful
Life is Pain

William T G Moreton g
Hold Me Down     
The Right Size
Life's Like a Bicycle Made of String* g
Jack and the Beanstalk     
Oxford Playhouse
Save This Orphans g
Mother Goose     
Oxford Playhouse
Goose, Goodbye! g
Mother Goose and the Wolf     
London Bubble

I'm a Boy, You're a Cow

Scene links (Yodelling Song!)

Unexpected Tango

When All the World's a Supermarket g
Mr.Puntila and his Man Matti      
see   Puntila
Much Ado About Nothing      
Duke's, Lancaster
Welcome Home From the Wars g
On the Island of Aars      
see Aars  g
Road Rage      
C4 Sitcom Festival
Fortnum Samper/Road Rage

If He’s Up In Time

Trees (Are Beautiful People Too)* g
(The) Scarecrow and his Servant      
Southwark Playhouse
Let's Go

Conference of the Birds

Spring Valley

War g
Songs My Granny Frowned At      
Edinburgh and Bristol
The Song My Granny Frowned At

Property is Theft

(Also all songs marked *) g
Stop Calling Me Vernon      
The Right Size
The Ridiculous Song* g
(The) Play What I Wrote      
The Right Size
(Foley and McColl)
The Ridiculous Song*
Getting Out g
(Mr) Puntila and his Man Matti       
The Right Size
(Foley and McColl)
Puntila Song
Moonshine Emma's Sex Blues

Opener/Closer g
Quuup         see (The) Translucent Frogs of Quuup
Strindberg, the Comedy       
RNT Studio
They Call him Strinberg


(The) Remains of Foley and Mcoll        
BBC Radio 4
I Like Lager

No Room for Dickie*

Happy Orchard


Personal Tragedy (my dawg's dead)


Real People

Trudging Through Literature g
(The) Translucent Frogs of Quuup       
A Moment in Time/Reprise

New Ambassadors &

King's Head
Eat the Frog

Love is Like an Aubergine/Nothing Like an Aubergine


Too Damn Hot

Welcome to Quuup/Goodbye from Quuup





From Strindberg, the Comedy, by Sean Foley, workshop production at National Theatre, 2006

If your inwards are made of lead
And you like the look of the walking dead
Brandy is dandy but let it be said
          Absinthe is better!

If your palette is made of stone
And the company that you prefer’s your own
Wine can be fine but research has shown
          Absinthe is better!
Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder
And leaves you short of breath
And gives you a chance – if brief - to ponder
The benefits of an imminent death

If you’re putting your life on pause
If you long for the great indoors

Pernod is uurgh no and that’s because
          Made in Frinthe
Ditch romanthe
          And piss your panthse
Absinthe is better!

The Barber of Seville -  As performed Bristol Theatre Royal 2006

       see individual songs;
Folie de Vieux
The Letter Song
Love me for who I am/ finale
Rosine’s Dilemma
Stop That Overture (That Would Be Opera)
You’re Nice



From The Barber of Seville, by Beaumarchais, adapted by Lee Hall, Theatre Royal, Bristol, 2006.  It was felt that we needed an Act Two opener, and that it perhaps should be about the life of the author, about whom Lee wrote elegantly and passionately, in the programme notes. 

Before we start the second pair of acts

We’d like to take a minute to impart some facts
About the author: Beaumarchais
Who for the record’s not around today
But if he were, and truth were told
He’d be very, very, very, very, very, very old

Pierre Augustin Caron who wrote dramas for the stage
Was born in Paris – that’s in France – at a young and tender age
His mother was a woman and his father was his dad
And Pierre Augustin’s childhood was the only one he had
          But oh, his story is
          Extraordinary, for he
Made a wristwatch and sold it to the King!
          Regal bling
          Kerching, kerching!
You’d not believe it were it in a play
          That's the life of bubbly Beaumarchais

Pierre Augustin Caron’s mind was capable and sharp
He taught the king’s own daughters how to pluck the courtly harp
Amongst his fans was Louis Quinze whose keen patrician eye
Observed Pierre Augustin jockeying for position at Versailles
          And oh, his story is
          Extraordinary for he
Went to England working as a spy
          Eagle eye
          But on the sly
A brilliant mind but tootsies made of clay
          Roller-coaster ride with Beaumarchais

          And he made it up (he made it up!)
          As he went along (as he went along!)
          Like a badly practised (badly practised)
          Four-part song
          Which sometimes went (which sometimes went)
          Obscenely wrong
(each singer suddenly sings something from the next...)
          When everyone sang a diff’rent song/
          for Beaumarchais was an interesting....
The song collapses momentarily in confusion…
          I’m on G
                  I'm on a D
                           I’m on a B
                                     And we’re all in a box
          Verse three!

Pierre Augustin Caron changed his name to Beaumarchais
And wrote himself as Figaro, as fiction in a play
A character so anarchic that a widely held conclusion
Is that         
          He was the spark
          The spark that lit the fuse
          The fuse that lit the dynamite of revolution.

          And oh, his story is   
          Extraordinary for he
Made a fortune trafficking in arms
          Big guns
          Small guns
Sold to the Americuns
You’d not believe it were it in a play
          And that’s the life of bubbly Beaumarchais
          *Then of course there’s verses four
          Five and six and seven
          But we don’t want to sing no more
          And the bar shuts at eleven
          For further information
          And for juicy quips and quotes
          We respectfully refer you to the
          Programme notes.
              * Matinee version;
                           Then of course there’s verses four
                           Five, six, seven and eight
                           But we don’t want to sing no more
                           We’ve another show tonate!


From a production of Brezhnev's Children that I directed in early 2015 at Mountview, with the 2nd-year Actor-Musicians.  The play is set in a late-Soviet maternity ward, in which a number of new mothers are in an isolation ward and, to pass the time, tell each other stories. 

Hush-a-bye, baby
Hush-a-bye, baby
Baby's got
His daddy's eyes
As blue as dreams
And window-wide as summer skies
How strange!
For baby's here and everything has changed.

Can it be
Such tiny fists
Can hold a heart
When my heart beats as big as this?
How strange!
For baby's here and everything has changed.

I never known, never known such
Never felt, never felt such
Never known, never felt so completely,,
Don't know.
Such panic and such calm
Such raise the fire-alarm
Such nothing's gonna harm
This stranger in my arms

With fingers curled
And when you wake
We both might make a better world
We'll try
Don't cry
For this is new and baby's got blue eyes
Hush-a-bye, baby
Hush-a-bye, baby



From The Translucent Frogs of Quuup, music by MS.  Forgive the Kiplingesque orthography.  For those of an impatient disposition, /iuw/ = /il/ in the manner favoured by the Brazilian accent. 

Come with me where Senoritas dress to kiuw!
(Siren environment)
And you’ll concede
It’s a bleedin’ Eden guaranteed to thriuw

Braziuw, Braziuw!
If you’re tired and tense you’ll soon commence to chiuw
And pretty soon you’ll get to
Know the driuw
Sipping Caipirhiña when you’re in Braziuw!

Too, too, too and ever so in the tropics!
Plot a course for matrimonial bliss
Trav’ling off to places kaleidoscopic
Never fixed my peepers on stuff like this.

We’re so thrilled that we’re gonna have a key-change!

Where a thousand rivers crowd with kind of kriuwl.
And where you'll find a triuwlion trees
Hug the breeze in ecstasies of chlorophyll

Braziuw! Braziuw!
Surbiton’s a size but here is bigger stiuw.
Because it carries on and on for
Miles and miles and miles and miles
          And miles and miles and miles and miles too
Big by half a geographic overkiuw
That’s Braziuw.
That’s Braziuw.
          And she said yes
          And he said yes...


Boris’ Disco Ship

From The Remains of Foley and McColl, BBC Radio 4, 2000.  Hamish and Sean reluctantly do a bad advert for a Russian commercial venture;

HAMISH:       I’m Hamish McColl, and if, like me

                       You’re young and free and hip
                       The place for you to be is the middle of the sea
                       On BORIS’S DISCO SHIP

 SEAN:            I couldn’t agree more, and I’m Sean Foley
                       Also I am hip
                       So come and roly-poly like the cod and the coley
                       On BORIS’S DISCO SHIP

BORIS:           Yo, get on, don’t be land-lubber!
                       Come on boat and flubber your blubber!
                       We make party, we make racket
                       Wearing jean and bad leather jacket
                       Call  0869
                       Double-4 double-2 double-9 8
                       Double-4 3 9 6 2 4



Boy Meets Girl

Written at Peter Duncan's request, for his one-man show, Duncan Dares, 2008.  Mark Stevens, who I met via Peter, allowed himself to be dragged around the country, accompanying, and wrote the very fine music for this song

I like to go to town to see the new musicals

          I like to view musicals
I've seen eight thousand four hundred and twenty-two musicals
Your wallet must be good fat ‘cos they' ain't cheap, musicals
          But oh, they're deep: musicals
They make you laugh they make you weep they make you
Pay a hundred quid to suffer cramp in the stalls
          And give ample applause
For some camp curtain-calls
They're always in three acts, and when they're not...
They always are and here's an outline of the plot...

Act one and summertime
And all things are good
Poor boy, impoverished but true
Meets nice girl and hearts-a-throb
And sings like he should
It's love, la-di-dah! doo-be-do!

Moonlight and promises
And what can go wrong?
Dreamboat and be my honey-bun!
Oh, Love's a firework exploding in song
Bride and groom, get a room, it's Act One!

Act two and suddenly
An amorous glitch
Else, there'd be nothing more to say
He's poor and handsome
But turns out, she's rich
And her dad, he goes mad, there’s no way!

Moonlight and promises
Are there to be broke
She's left and he's bereft and blue!!
Oh Love's a poison and bad for a bloke
Oh it's cruel! That's the rule! That's Act two

The curtain falls and from the stalls
You head to the bar
         And it's not very far
                  But it takes half an are
For eighty other people somehow
Hijacked the queue
          Both the bar and the loo
                 And by the time you get to the front and order a drink in a plastic cup and hand over a twenty not unreasonably expecting some change but being disappointed in that respect there's an tannoy announcement to quick take your seats: as this evening’s performance will continue any minute and you scrabble along the row with people tutting as you step on their feet by mistake and get there exhausted just in time for the lights going down -
Act three and bugger me
Events have got worse
She's getting wed, but not to him!
Our hero's emotional
Through chorus and verse
What's the use? Pass the noose! Life is grim!
Moonlight but suddenly
The girl's at the door!
Darling, the other bloke was dull
Oh Love's triumphant so let's sing once more
That's your lot, that's the plot
Of a great musical!


Bundle Song

From Dick Whittington, London Bubble 1994

MUM:        Son of mine you’re setting out

                  A most important journey
                  You’ll strike it rich, I’ve little doubt
                  And make a load of meurney
                  There’s lots of things you’ll need to take
                  To help you when you’re there
                  Your toothbrush and an anorak
                  Some dry-roast peanuts for a snack
                  Your ointment for your spotty back
                  And a change of underwear
                  But most of all, the question’s whether
                  You’ve got the right bag to keep it all together. .
1.               Forget yer rucksack
                  Yer rucksack is a drag
                  Forget yer tartan job with wheels on
                  And yer Kwiksave carrier bag
                  When you’re heading off to Lundle
                  You must always pick a bundle
DICK:                                                   A bundle?
MUM:        A bundle
DICK:                    That’s unusual
MUM:                              No, it’s absolutely crucial
                  It’s a spotted handkerchief on a stick!
2.               Forget yer suitcase
                  You’ll never close it when it’s packed
                  And yer hold-all contravenes the trades’ de-
                           -scription’s act
                  When you’re looking set to trundle
                  Let me tell you, Dick, you need a bundle
DICK:                                                   A bundle?
MUM:        A bundle
DICK:                    That’s original
MUM:                              No, it’s panto, it’s tradigional
                   It’s a spotted handkerchief on a stick!
                                         Dick rapidly packs and leaves.
MUM:         (tearfully) Oh Dick I’ll miss you
                    This place’ll be as silent as a tomb
                    But least it gives me half a chance
                    To disinfect your room
                    Though his life has just begun-dle
                    He will grow up quick
                    With his bundle... his bundle
(sobbing)         Goodbye Dick!


From Bewilderness, The Right Size, 2001.  Lyric Hammersmith and on tour.  The plot of the show involved two men falling down the back of a sofa into a strange purgatory where they gradually discovered they were in limbo and dead... and that is why this – the opening song and the first thing the audience heard – starts off with a reference to the opening of The Divine Comedy. Art, see?  The show opened by my walking unannounced through the audience, up on stage, and launching into this, accompanying myself on the guitar-banjo, and very nerve-wracking it was, too.

Careful when you’re driving

Down the B-road of you life
There’s a black-spot on the corner
Where the accidents are rife
Careful when you’re driving
For we really can’t pretend
To know what rabbits of surprises
Hop in silence ‘round the bend
            And I’ll be there beside you when the brakes go wrong
            Singing this incessant and infuriating song:
Take me back to Carolina
Carolina, Tennessee
In my mind there’s nothing finer
Than Carolina by the sea
Two men on a journey
To a place they’ve been before
Trying to remember
But it’s twenty years or more
Trying to remember
What the furniture was like
And so they failed to see an old man
Who was wobblin’ on his bike
            ‘Twas then I grabbed the steering-wheel and pulled them thru’
            And sang to them as I intend to sing again to you:
Take me back to Carolina
Carolina, Tennessee
Eatin’ donuts in the diner
With my girlie on my knee
Careful with your memories
So that when you lay them down
They’re a vintage worth uncorking
When uncorking time comes ‘round
Careful with your doing
So that everything you did
Is worth the effort of rememb’ring
When they’re nailing down the lid
            And I’ll be there when things have gone from terrible to worse
            Belting out the chorus at the end of every verse:
Take me back to Carolina
Off the coast of mainland China
That’s where I intend to stay

Cheese in Moonlight

From Cinderella, Improbable Theatre at the Lyric, Hammersmith, 1998.  In Improbable’s Cinders, the spectre of death haunted the fun-and-games.  Billed as Angela Carter’s Cinderella, in it the fairy-godmother was the ghost of Cinders’ real mother, come back from the spirit world to protect her daughter.  Cinders’ friends, the mice, were finger-puppets worn by the cast.   I thought that the mice should have their moment of musing about death, too.  I hope I can find the recording of this tune and put it on here – it really is quite odd and spooky.  I met Spike Milligan at a party, when that incomparable goon was very old and crotchety, and played him this song.  He listened and said, afterwards, that’s a funny idea.  Yes.  Note, he didn’t actually say that’s a funny song, nor did he say, you a genius, will you be my friend? But still, I have an epitaph now: Spike said it was a funny idea.

Our mummy went out walking

She was savaged by the cat
Her tail was badly severed
            And that was that
Her dying words were simple
But effective: cheerio
Her voice was not rumbustuous
            But pianissimo
There is much that I shall miss
In that mouse hole in the sky
And I’ll give you an example
            Banana pie
I shall miss the strange behaviour
Of your uncle Algernon
And the way his whiskers oscillate
            When blown upon
I shall miss the way that celery
Is seldom painted red
And the way that straw behaves itself
            When it’s a bed
But of all these raucous images
And others still beside
There is one I’ll miss the most
Unless the angels can provide
Oh what bliss
It’s a very specific phenomenon but it’s one I’m bound to miss
I can’t remember Love
Although I danced all night
But give me something smelly
In the cool moonlight
Oh what fun
The poignancy of Parmesan is wasted in the sun
There’s nothing in the world
Can whet your appetite
Like something which is smelly
In the cool moonlight
Something which is smelly
Something green and yelly
Give me something smelly
In the cool moonlight

Conference of the Birds


From The Scarecrow and his Servant, by Philip Pullman, adapted by Simon Reade, Southwark Playhouse 2008.  

Calling all birds, birds, birds!
Calling all birds, birds, birds!
Calling birds of every family persuasion
Feathered brethren, creatures on the wing, all
Please attend y' once-a-yearly occasion
Formal dress and here's your conference call
Welcome Albatross who cover the ocean
Pigeons hatched in metropolitan sprawl
Conference approves a welcome-mat motion
Perch your wings and here's your conference call
Finch and Wren from dull suburbian garden
Kestrels from the sunlit bay of Bengal
Lots to do and begging, begging y' pardon
Silence please and here's y' conference call
Silence please and here's y' conference call!


A Conurbation of Licentiousness
From On the Island of Aars, music by MS, Pleasance Edinburgh 2008/ London 2009.   In Kirk, The Donald of Donald who, of the two Calvinist ministers on the island is the more hard-line, describes Stornoway, in order to stop Morag getting any ideas of travel...
A conurbation of licentiousness
God was absent in that grubby bar.
Women wore rouge and mixed with men as freely as Sinners in Sodom do, or the wild Haggis that roam here on Aars
Ungoverned by scripture.
Music – aye! Well may you blush - was played without shame and accompanied by foot-tapping.
I saw grown men playing at skittles
And the whiskied air was heavy wi' lust and the dusky musk o' fornication!

From Bewilderness, The Right Size, 2001, Lyric Hammersmith and tour. 

Sean and Hamish, having arrived at a holiday cottage for a weekend of golfing, find themselves and the whole room inexplicably made out of brown paper.  A strange man wearing a cheap suit and one red shoe, comes through the wall and sings the following at a breakneck speed, to the accompaniment of a banjo:

REDSHOE      Firstly I should like to offer copious apologies

                        For being unavailable to welcome you as planned
                        I’m really very sorry – something happened at the office
                        And I couldn’t wriggle out of it I hope you understand
                        Welcome!  Welcome!  Welcome to the cottage! 
                        In the kitchen you will find a plethora of cutlery
                        A dozen knives a dozen forks and all of them the same
                        But there’s a soup-spoon missing!   We’ve only got eleven, and. . . .
HAMISH                                                                       It wasn’t us!
REDSHOE      It wasn’t you, you won’t be held to blame.
                        Careful! Careful! Careful of the things!
                                 Here there is a table, with half a dozen dining-chairs
                                 On it is a vase with compliment’ry flowers
                                 There’s monopoly and copies of the National Geographic
                                 Which will help you, if it’s inclement, to while away the hours
                                 Richard!  Richard!  You may call me Richard!
                        I’d like to draw attention to the local information pack
                        It’s packed with information of a very local kind
                        There’s swimming baths and church bazaars and what’s on at the cinemas
                        And a map, in case you’re cartographically inclined
                                 It shows all in can show
                                 The information pack
                                 But since I’m playing banjo
                                 I’ve left it out the back
                                 I’m only playing music and I’ve done the best I can
                                 So I’ve left it on the windscreen of your ice-cream van
                        Welcome!  Welcome!  Welcome to the cottage! 

Don't Dabble with Men

From Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, London Bubble at Greenwich theatre, 2002.  A touching Victorian duet between a loving Dame and her daughter.

Your father was a sailor and I met him down the docks
Which was always full of sailors who were fiddlin' with their... uniforms
He took me to the movies and a restaurant or two
And then he dropped his anchors and the end result was you.
                        Singing been there, done it, never again
                       And daughter don't dabble with men
                       If you care for me
                       Daughter don't dabble with men
           But what if he's nice and kind and gentle
           What if his heart is warm and true?
           What if he's soft and sentimental?
           Mother, d'you think you might change your point of view?
Your father was a sailor and I think his name was Jack
He was frivolous and funny and fantastic in the... local rotary club...
I bought a veil, I bought a gown and dropped some heavy hints
He caught the bus to Bournemouth and I haven't seen him since
                       Singing been there, done it, never again
                      And daughter don't dabble with men
                      If you care for me
                      Daughter don't dabble with men
              But what if he's nice and kind and gentle
              What if his heart is warm and true?
              What if he's soft and sentimental?
              Mother, d'you think you might change your point of view?


From Strindberg, The Comedy workshop production at the National Theatre, 2006.  A traditional Nordic drinking song.  In fact, twp of ‘em.  See also "Absinthe"

Sing what’s good about Sweden

That’s the joy that we’re needin’
Sing things that are great
About that Scandinavian state
Jokes? Oh deary me, no
No joke at forty below
No joke when stuck in a sauna
And twenty depressives are crouched in the corner
Nights: long.  Days: short
Time enough for protestant thought
Time for a rant from a Calvinist
And that’s why the people are constantly pissed
Put yourself in those Nordic blues
And join in this culture of booze!

Drink! Drink!
Drink to remember
The arctic
Joys of December
The nights are drawing endlessly in
So break out the aquavit, whisky and gin

Drink!  Drink!
The evening is gloomy
My liver’s the texture
Of griddled Haloumi
The sky is a uniform grey
What better occasion to author a play?
Drink!  Drink!
Why remain sober when
Bites like a Doberman
Life is a bastard
And best is approached
Being thoroughly plastered
And poached!
Life is
Much over-rated
Let’s cancel the day
And become dehydrated
And make ourselves stink
Make our universe shrink
Make our corneas pink
With Drink!

Eat the Frog

From The Translucent Frogs of Quuup, music by MS. Anthony and the village elder eventually arrive at the spot where the frogs are meant to be, but there are none to be seen.  After a mellow start, this kicks off into a tambourine-wielding party stomper

If you’re sorrowful and stressed

With the turmoil in your breast
And it’s making you depressed
                               You should eat
For life will feel less hateful
Less fierce and cruel fate-full
If you feed yourself a plateful
                               Of a treat
                               Something sweet....
What’s the tastiest type of food?
What gets y'taste buds in the mood
What’s the gastronomic coup
What agrees with big red wine
Is it paw of porcupine?
Is it marinated rhin-
                               -o’s arse?
Tastier far than the best hot-dog
                               Eat the frog, eat the frog!
Is the stir-fried corpse of a see-through frog
                               Eat the frog, eat the frog!
If you’re feeling down and blue
                               Eat the frog, eat the frog!
Pile them high on the barbeque!
                               Eat the frog, eat the frog!

What’s the grubbiest kind of grub?
Greasy spoon or gastro-pub?
Marmoset or monkey cub
                              to go?
Is it butties filled with ham?
Roly-poly hot with jam
Alphabetti from a can?
                              Oh no.
Sweeter far than your first real snog
                              Eat the frog, eat the frog!
Fricassee of a see-through frog.
                              Eat the frog, eat the frog!
The taste is fine and quite distinct
                              Eat the frog, eat the frog!
And that’s why the bastards are extinct
                              Eat the frog, eat the frog!

Everybody Knows It’s You
From Evolution by Nina Conti.  Ventriloquist Nina and her foul-mouthed monkey, in a touching existentialist duet

MONKEY            Everybody knows it's you

                              That's doin' it
                              Everybody knows it's you
                              The basis of your stand-up
                              Is low-grade farce
                             With half your fucking hand up
                             A monkey's
NINA                                        Ah, so..
                             That's what you're trying to do
                             Promulgate your point of view
                             Public'ly insisting
                             That it's me
MONKEY                                Who's into fisting
NINA                   When everybody knows it's you.
                                                   Oh, Monkey!
                             Everybody knows it's tough
                             Accepting it
                             We can empathise: it's tough
MONKEY                              (You're telling me..)
NINA                   You're chirpy and you're charmin'
                             My chimp-cheek'd chum

                             But I wouldn't shove my arm in

MONKEY                               Arse
NINA                                                        ..Personality.
MONKEY           You're telling me it's tough
                             Listening to this puerile guff
                             Every night we sink ter
                             A song about me sphinc..
NINA                                         I understand
                             It's tough, it's tough
                             Everybody knows that it's tough to be a sentient being
MONKEY                                  But I'm not
NINA                   Everybody suffers from the solipsistic crisis of the mind
MONKEY                                  What a wanker.
NINA                   Everybody's knows, that's the way it goes
                             Everybody's fleeing
                             From seeing..
MONKEY                                  The lubricated hand
                             That's creep, creep, creepin' up behind.
                                                    Let's sing a duet!
NINA                                                                 What?
MONKEY                                  Let's sing a duet!
NINA                                                                 Well..
MONKEY                                  Let's sing a duet!
                              Exactly, cos we can't
MONKEY            Everybody knows it's you                 NINA              It's not me that’s doin’ it
                              That's doin' it                                                              No, no!  And what you’re saying
                              Everybody know it's you                                           Has an element of taboo in it
                              Only way that we can                                                Let’s sing!  Yeah!
                              Both sing a duet                                                          Let’s sing a duet
                              Is a pre-recorded tape and a                                        La, la, la-la la-la, la!
                              Techie to cue it                                                           Ain’t nothin’ to it!
NINA                    Everybody knows that we
                              Are separate as we can be
MONKEY            It's pitiful
NINA                   Mutually independent
MONKEY                                  With your hand in the ascendent
NINA                   Professional entertainers
MONKEY                                  With your fingers in my an-
NINA                   It's evolution in the making
MONKEY                                  Tell it to the ringpiece
NINA                   'Cos Everybody knows
MONKEY                                  Everybody knows
NINA                                                                Everybody knows
BOTH                   It's you!

Extra, Extra
Written for Les Dennis who toured a one-man show in 2003, for which Mark played piano.  Les, and his split from a Ms. A Holden, had been a regular feature in the red-tops
Extra, extra read all about it
We’ve got all the sexiest headlines
It’s news and we want to shout it
Miles and miles of three-in-a-bed lines
We cut the craziest kinds of capers
It’s in the papers!
Extra, extra read all about it
Star of Holby City’s a virgin
We’ve proof and while we’re about it
Facts are only just now emergin’
Bubonic plague in cast of Neighbours
It’s in the papers!
                   Meanwhile the USA
It’s Syria next and bombs away
And it’s not that we don’t care
                  But stop press!
                  Stop press!
Posh has washed her hair!

Extra, extra evening edition
J-Lo claims her father’s a Martian
Top prize in our competition
*Matching mugs with Little and Large on
Les Dennis thought he could escape us
It’s in the papers!
Extra, extra it’s an exclusive
Interview with Mariah Carey
We ask what would be her views if
The archbishop of Canterbury
Was found in certain sleazy gay bars
It’s in the papars!
                  Meanwhile the oil’s run dry
A toxic cloud is in the sky
But we haven’t time today
                 Cos stop press
                 Stop press
Posh takes a holiday!
*nowadays this rhyme would suggest
Boxer-shorts with Nigel Farage on


Financial Advice Ballad
From Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, London Bubble at Greenwich theatre, 2002.  A proper, soul ballad, think Luther Van Dross

Hey girl,

I’ve seen a lot of world
Mountains high and sunset places
I’ve swam with dolphins ‘cross the
Green ocean blue.
And I’ve kissed a lotta girls
A bit like you only different faces
And I wanna share
What I’ve found everywhere
To be universally true (Universally true!)
              Y’gotta get a pension plan
              A moderate sum in a good portfolio
              And if you can
              Try to put some money in a tax-efficient
              Savings account
Hey Girl
I’ve walked a boulevard
As wide as a smile and long as forever
I’ve worn out plimsolls on
The pavements of Life
And those stones can get so hard
And slippery too, in inclement weather
But girl, my news
Is not about shoes
It’s more about sound advice (Sensible advice!)
              Y’gotta get a pension plan
              Talk to a chappy who’d be happy if you put him
              To the ombudsman
              And shop around for the best high interest
              Savings account.
I can see
You’re crazy for me
And girl, I understan’
But dry your eyes
‘Cos I’m a sensible guy
Who is kinda saving up for a cardigan
And I wanna see you with a pension plan
Hey girl
I’ve dreamed a pack o’ dreams
But dreams like milk can soon turn rancid
I’ve watched them curdle an’ it’s been
Hard to survive
And if sometimes to me it seems
Life’s not as fun-packed as first I fancied
It’s still OK
I await the day
When I’m finally sixty-five
              When I collect my pension plan
              I wanna have a good time but I’m holding out ‘til I’m
              A very old, old man
              When maybe you and I, oh baby we could buy
              A little caravan
              A PEP is quite a step and an ISA can be nicer
              For the artisan
              I’d like to hold you tight but it wouldn’t be right
              When the Halifax can
              Offer me a deal on the best high interest
              Savings account

Folie de Vieux
From The Barber of Seville, by Beaumarchais, adapted by Lee Hall, Theatre Royal, Bristol, 2006. 

There’s a cold wind coming

From a darkening hill
It’s a breeze that blows unknown
There’s a cold wind coming
And it’s set to chill
The marrow in your bones
Cold wind is coming
Nearer every day
And nothing you can do
To make it go away.
There’s a cold wind coming
And the joke is this
That you thought you’d stop it
With a young girl’s kiss

Health and Safety Song

From On the Island of Aars, music by MS, Pleasance Edinburgh 2008/ London 2009.  Thinking that the islanders are keeping a secret from her, Puupiline van den Blouws lays her ace card

You must think that I'm born tomorrow!
You play the mess-around with Flaps Van Den Blouws!
You must think I am some kinda foolish!
But I show you
Here's what we do
I call a Health and safety meeting now…
I call a Health and safety meeting now…

 Pulpit! Pulpit! Meeting to order!
Silence! Silence! We use plan B!
Come on, come on…
I haven't got all daytimes
Everyone listen to me!

 I have ev'rywhere investigates
I finish my report and here's what I found
So much breaches of the regulates
So I show you
Here's what we do
I call a Health and safety meeting now...
I call a Health and safety meeting now…
Alright, alright, I give you some examples
Pretty soon you're gonna see...

Directive hundred and one
Forty one stroke G;
It clearly says in the
Code, in the code,
There must be barriers
Up by the side of the sea,
There must be visible

Lines in the road
 Directive hundred and two
Forty two stroke A;
Fire extinguishers
Easy to reach
A paramedic where
Children are come to play
And supervisory
Guards on the beach

                     Because of the breaches
              And dangerous beaches
              And obstinate creatures
              With beautiful features
              I close this island
              I close this island down!
 And in the paragraph
Nine forty-three stroke H;
Proper protection is
Strapped to the knees
Every chicken is
Kept in a chicken cage
And on the hour is
Checked for disease

Directive hundred and four
And there's more, much more
There must be notices
Fixed to the wall
There must be everything
Nailed to a non-slip floor
There must be nothing at
All: that is all

               Your Aars is assessed it
               Is tried it is tested
               By powers invested
               In me and you guessed it
               I close this island
               I close this island down!
Those are my say-sos!
These are my therefores!
You play with fire
When you mess with me!
And in a day the
Royal Dutch Air Force
Nuclear bombs you
Into the sea!
For your own good
For Health and Safety
Your choice
Your choice
I close you up!
I close you sideways!
I close you now!
I close this island
I close this island down!


The Gels of Hay Sosay Itty

From Cinderella, Improbable theatre at Lyric, Hammersmith, 1998

BUTTONS     There are parties where the working classes

                                    Mingle with the middle
                        Drinking beer from plastic glasses
                                    In the general slosh
                        But here they're un-persuaded by
                                    A democratic idyll
                        And ev'ryone this evening
                                    Is exceptionally posh...
THE GELS OF HAY SOSAY ITTY enter, wearing two-dimensional cut-out dresses
GELS              Fwhat a scene of wanton gaiety
                        Fwhat a frenzied free-for-all
                        When the gels of hay so say itty
                         Let their hair dine et the ball.
                        The prince commands and we obey it, he
                        Tells us thet we dance till three
                        Thet's how chaps in hay so say itty
                        Hope to bag a bride-to be
BUTTONS     They're the very height o' fashion
                                    And frequently seen
                        In all the glossy little photographs
                                    In Harpers and Queen
GELS              We are very, very wealthy but it's plain to see
                        We're only this wealthy because we deserve to be...
                        Fwhat a night of impropriety
                        We intend to drink champagne!
                        Thet's fwhat gels in hay so say itty
                        Much prefair to ord'n'ry wane.
                        We're not bresh or lide or rioty
                        We abhor all lenguage foul
                        We're the gels of hay so say itty
                        With no movement in our vowels.
BUTTONS     They're the very height o' fashion
                                     And here are no fewer
                        Than half-a-dozen dippy debutantes
                                     In Paris couture
GELS              Each and ev'ry single one of us an airistocret
                        And hopeless at ir'ning thet's why all our frocks are flet...

The Genuine Me
From Bewilderness, 2001.  Towards the end of the show, Sean and Hamish strip naked as a visible symbol of their new-found openness and rejection of artifice.  Actually, they stripped down to pink, towelling naked-suits, cunningly made by Alice Power, and sung this song in those
Look at me now; I’ve got just enough pink stuff
Pink stuff just enough to keep me in
Straight to the point and stripp’d to the bare buff
Covered with nothin’ but my natural skin
Look at me now
Yeah!  It’s the genuine me
Say how d’ye do to the
Bare chest, no vest, knobbly knee
Showing my credentials with a capital P
Look at me now; I’ve got nothing to hide
And I’ve decided I’m
Beside myself with glee
In giving you the ring ding, real thing
Nothin’ but the genuine me.
Look at me now I’m about to hit jackpot
Jackpot, ready or not, ‘cos here I come
Shake it till I break it in a first-rate fox-trot
Loose as a goose on a pendulum
Look at me now
Yeah!  It’s the genuine me
I’m fundamentally
Foot-loose and fantastic’ly free
Breaking out my bones with my skeleton key
Look at me now; I’m as sharp as a knife
And I’m a-handin’ out a
Lifetime guarantee
I’m cutting out the dead wood, feels good
Nothin’ but the genuine me.
Look at me now
Yeah!   It’s the genuine me
And I’m rejecting my
Belief in lingerie
In favour of the bare back, bum crack
Nothing but the genuine
Big bold solid gold
Flappin’ like a pengu-ine
Sea breeze, yes please
Welcome to the GENUINE ME!

Getting Out

This song was written in 2001 to be part of The Play What I Wrote, Sean and Hamish’s (of The Right Size) affectionate and successful tribute to Morecombe and Wise, in which a “play” of little Erne’s is “staged” with that evening’s guest star in it, as per the TV M&W standard.  The “play” was set in the Bastille, with Erne as the Scarlet Pimpernel, all very much in the Eddie Braben mould, and this song is self-explanatory.  Sadly for nearly everyone, the money being offered by the producer was rather less than you might expect, and  Mark and I were forced to decline, so this song never got heard.  Eventually, The Ridiculous Song was included in the show, so I did get a dribble of royalties, but it marked the end of an era...

In martial vein;
Book your seats on Eurostar!
Yip yaroo and hip hoorah!
To Dingy dungeon’s iron bars
Prepare to say y’ au revoirs!
We’re getting out!
We’ve had it up to here with prison
Getting out!
‘Least we’ve had enough of this ‘un
We’ll take a boat on the slippery-slappery sea
A cabin’s booked at Calais for eleven twenty-three
The sails are set
To where we’ll get
A decent cup of tea
And we’ll catch the ferry
Back to merry
We’re getting free!
Now the Pimpernel’s amongst us
From these criminals and gungstas
We want to feast on traditional English fare
The simple country cooking that is envied everywhere
A plastic tray
Of something grey
From a stall in Leicester Square
Back in culinary
Very merry
O get me out of prison
Mister Scarlet Pimpernel
For I can’t endure the pain no more
 - And I can’t stand the smell
It’s morbid and is oppressive
With it’s endless shades of grey
Which go on and on and on but that’s
Enough about this play!
O Pimpernel you’ve been assigned
To whisk me to the court!
My hero!
             - Thanks, you’re very kind,
But call me pimp for short
The Bastille oh, it’s gloomy
With its walls devoid of feature
Horrid, horrid, horrid, horrid, horrid
Thanks, we’ve got the peechure
The road to freedom lies before us
Let us recapitulate the chorus

Getting out!
Hit the road and head to Blighty
Never doubt
We want sandwiches and high-tea
We want to stroll down a cosy country lane
Where trees are sweetly swaying in a gentle hurricane
It’s summertime
And so we’ll find
An awful lot of rain
That is customary
Back in where we‘re
Heading, ‘cos
It’s necessary
Getting out
To gad about
In England
And, while we’re at it, here are some out-takes;
We’re getting out!

We’re going back to London
Where we’ll shout
That we’re home with gay abundon
We want to pause by a dainty village green
Where a morris-dancer’s rattling a demented tambourine
Like a leather-trooser’d
Turkey who’s had
Gallons of caffeine
Back in antiquary
Very merry

Annoying is the croissant
And the plays of Marivaux
There are novels by Maupassant
I’m delighted not to know

I prefer my fish to poisson
And my shrimps to ecrevisse
There are novels by Maupassant
I’ve been privileged to miss

For “sixty” they say soixante
“Femme” instead of “Wench”
And the trouble with Maupassant
He’s incorrigibly French

There are melodies by Saint-Saens
But you’ve got the main idea
Le Pays du Maupassant
And we’re getting out of here...

Can you hear that awful noise?
It’s the sound of angry men
They paid thirty pounds a ticket
And the interval’s at ten
When the beating of your heart’s
More exciting than the show
Then you’re probably at a theatre
Which is just along the road

From Mother Goose and the Wolf, London Bubble at Greenwich Theatre, 2003.  In the jovially complicated back-story to Peth’s script, the central family was Jack of beanstalk fame, his girl and his mother, now once again fallen on hard times.  The Goose That Lay the Golden Eggs – Sandra - had stopped laying, and therein lay (or didn’t) their financial hardship.  The audience was invited to join in the chorus. 
MILLIE                       I know a bird
                                    I won’t name names
                                    But once upon a time: seriously famous
                                    Owned by a giant, saved by Jack
                                    And she’s never going back
SANDRA                   (distressed) HONK HONK
MILLIE                      And that’s a fact
                                    That goose
                                    Is quite obtuse
SANDRA                                     HONK, HONK? (What’s that?) 
MILLIE                       Means ‘beautiful’: means  "great"
                                    But sad to relate, she can’t lay an egg
                                    And we’ve begged
SANDRA                                HONK!
MILLIE                                                          Begged!
SANDRA                                                    HONK, HONK!
MILLIE                       But no egg!
MOTHER                  We’ve tried everything
                                    Pills and potions
                                    Lozenges and lotions
                                    To melt her motions
                                                But all that we get
                                                Is a shrug of her wing
                                                So we swallow our pride
                                               And begin to sing
ALL                            Goosy, goosy
                                    Bend your goosy leg
                                    And lay, lay, lay a lovely little
                                    Golden, goosy egg.
                                    You see pretty goosy I’d be
                                    Happy as can be
                                    If you’ll please, please squeeeeeze...
                                    A lovely little goosy egg for me!
                                    We’ve tried remedies
                                   To cure obesities
                                   And hom-e-omeopathies
                                   That should put geese at ease
                                   But all that we get
                                   For our pains is a pong
                                   So we open the window
                                  And repeat this song…
                                   Goosy, goosy... etc
The following was a first draft of the verse, of which I was very fond.  It had a funky rhythm, and when I’ve got time or can be bothered, I’ll notate it for you so you can glimpse just how happening I am.  Anyway, it was deemed to obscure, referring to another girl who may or may not have been the one onstage, singing
Once there was a girlie
Used to get up early
To go and see a woman who
Kept a goose
Every day
She went to play
Any excuse
Loved the goose
But there was a prob it
Made the woman sob you could
Beg for an egg but
What’s the use?
Come what may
Goose wouldn’t lay
Wouldn’t produce
Not the goose

And finally, here is the reprise version which inevitably came back at the end, once events (and I forget what they were, now) had persuaded the goose to lay.  We segued into a bit of the Hallelujah chorus, which was nice, and the lighting went all epic 
ALL                        We know a goose
                               Went through hell
                               Force-fed filth and
                               Fat as any elephant
                               But met a new best friend
                               A real godsend
SANDRA                                 HONK HONK!
ALL                                                         Happy end!
                               That goose
                               Can reproduce
                               And once again is ovulating lucratively
                               She laid an egg of gold!
                               Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
                               Sock it to ya!  Straight through ya!              
                               Goose of geese!
                                                Top layer!  Hooray her!
                               And egg of eggs!
                                               Much moolah!  Much moolah!
                               And she’s free range for ever and ever!                
                               Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
                               Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
                               Goosy, goosy,  
                               Bend your goosy leg, etc
                              Come on and squeeze!  
                              I’m begging, please!      
                              Come on and squeeze!                                                     
                              I’m on my knees! 
                              Oh yes indeed!
                              And lay, lay, lay, lay
                              A goosy egg for me! 

Hotel Stilton

From Dick Whittington, London Bubble, 1994.  Dick arrives in London and finds himself in a seedy hotel, run by rats pretending to be people.  There's a recording of this somewhere, hanging about, on cassette, with myself, Jane Nash and Darren Tunstall singing it. I'll find it and let you know, shall I?

There’s a dark, dark doorway

Off a dark, dark street
There’s a dark, dark alleyway
Where the shadows meet
At the Hotel Stilton
The Hotel Stilton!
Here’s your dark, dark hallway
Here’s your umpteenth floor
Here’s your diff’rent noises
From the dark, dark doors
At the Hotel Stilton
The Hotel Stilton!
               Ooh!  It’s a little bit cheesy
               Ooh!  It’s a tiny bit grim
               Ooh!  And the carpets are greazy
               So come on in!
Here’s your dark, dark room, sir
Here’s your dark, dark light
Here’s you bell for the service
Through the long, long night
At the Hotel Stilton
The Hotel Stilton
At the Hotel Stilton
Sleep tight!

The House That I call Home
From Baldy Hopkins for The Right Size, 1994, one of the lesser-known Right Size shows. In the style of a heartfelt folk-song

I met an ancient navvy

A-walkin’ down the street
His hands were heavy hands of hardened toil,
And likewise were his feet
O tell me, gnarled pedestrian,
Where lies your fusty bed?
What keeps you warm when snow and storm
Abuse you wrinkled head?
And this to me he said,
‘There’s a light that burns in the window
There’s a welcome mat by the door
There’s a DPC with a guarantee
And a ring-main cable runs beneath the floor
There’s a joist that’s made out of timber
And the walls are lathe and loam
It’s the slopey roof makes it waterproof
O navvy, there’s much wonder
In this place of which you sing
Your voice is rare and strangely fibrous
Like some nectarine in spring
O yonder stands a tavern,
And the pumps are primed with beer
Let’s toast the news and further music
Pour into my ear
Of the place you hold so dear
‘There’s a light that burns in the window
There’s a fire that burns in the hearth
There’s a two-way switch in the hallway which
Illuminates the stairs to the toilet and the bath,
O there’s a Teas-maid down in the kitchen
And the spout’s all trimmed with chrome
There’s a TV shelf which I made myself
Thus spake the ancient navvy
And we drank into the night
My heavy, heavy heart was lifted
And my wallet, too, grew light
And when the last bell sounded,
And the landlord bade adieu
Asking hadn’t we home’s to go to?
‘Twas with certain déjà vu
We both answered yes we do!
For there’s my sweet young bride in the window
With her teenage son on her knee
And my grey-haired mum’s got a bag of plums
And some friends who are Polish and they’ve all dropped by for tea
D’ye’ know this life may see me a-ramblin’
Both to Reykjavik and Rome
But where’er I schlep I’ll adjust my step

Ice Cream

From Dick Whittington, London Bubble, 1994.  The end of the plot bizarrely featured Dick Whittington and Mrs. Fitzwarren – a hitherto unsuccessful inventor and entrepreneur, hence the opening verse - inventing Ice-cream

All my business plans and yearnings
Have proved, frankly, dire
And on the strength of recent earnings
I could not retire
But now, they’ll say this wench’ll
Surely run a business school
For I can sense the vast potential
If you play it cool. . .
Ice-cream’s a nice thing
It’s Ice-cream that we sing
Thrill to the big chill
That’s surely here to stay
We’re into freezing
This freezing’s so pleasing
So pleasing that we sing
A hippity-hip hooray
A quick frisk with Dick’s whisk
Means business will be brisk
Feel in my bones this c-
-ould be an icey day
Ice-cream’s a cool thing
It’s Ice-cream that you’ll sing
No more your wool-zing
Matilda, no way
We’ve got a cornet
And stuff to adorn it
Ice-cream’s been born it
Is surely her to stay
A quick frisk with Dick’s whisk
Means business is low-risk
It’s sure-fire, it can’t miss, ‘c-
-os it’s an icey day.

It’s the Whittington whirly
Good enough to make you want to get up early
It’s the Whittington whirly
Surely here to stay
It’s the Whittington whirly
Just one lick will make your toes go kinda curly
It’s the Whittington whirly
Hippity-hip hooray
‘Cos it’s an icey day!

If He’s up in Time
From Road Rage, C4 Sit-com festival at Riverside studios, 1999

He's a part-time giant on the legal circuit

He's the sometime solver of the corporate crime
If there's a litigation loop-hole he'll eventually work it
If he's up in time
He's a half-baked baker of an optimism-biscuit
Of the well-intentioned he’s a paradigm
And if he had a reputation he'd be more than glad to risk it’
If he's up in time
But when he's dreaming
It's a crofters' cottage somehow in Carshalton
It's a world away
And when he's dreaming
There are kids and cots and crazy paving
Nothing nasty misbehaving
Maybe one day
But frankly in the meantime
He's the half-right righter of a half-bad planet
He's the arse-end player in a pantomime
It’s a complex situation and he's almost understand' it
If he's up in time.
To miss his breakfast
If he's up in time.
Oh yeah. . .


I like lager

From The Remains of Foley and McColl, BBC radio 4 2000.

I like lager
In me belly fish an’
Chips and curry pizza an’
The soccer on the television
I like lager
It’s true
And I bet that I can drink a gallon
Faster than you.
I like girls but it’
‘S not reciprocated
Women seem to think that I’m
Emotionally constipated
I like girls but
It’s easier to get a pint of
Lager or two
Please help me
I’m so lonely
Please help me
To buy
Some more lager
I like lager
Let’s recap a minute
In my hand a lager can
And very soon there’s nothing in it
I like lager
It’s true
And I’d sooner have a lager
Than be singing to you!
I like lager!
I Love the Desert
From Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, London Bubble at Greenwich theatre, 2002.  This song was sung by the baddie, a character by the name of Commander H. Bann.  The “H” later turns out to stand for “Hosepipe”.  This is Peth’s joke, and a good one.  The character is obsessed and delighted by the prospect of global warming and a water shortage.  The brokers’ men, his reluctant sidekicks, don’t know the song but are forced into singing harmony in the chorus
Witness the desert, an epic of vacancy
There’s grandeur
In acres of sand, yer
There’s mile after mile, as far as the eye can see
Ooh, I love it!
Quick, sing the chorus
We don’t know the chorus!
Aah. Ah, ah, ah,
I love the desert!
Look at the wind as it rips through the scenery
Changing sand shapes
To alien landscapes
And scratching your skin like malevolent machinery
Ooh, I love it!
Witness the cruel desert sun beating hot on us
It’s sublime, it’s
The Beckham of Climates, and
Day after day it’s superbly monotonous
Quick, sing the chorus
We don’t know the chorus!
Aah. Ah, ah, ah,
I love the desert!

Isle of Aars
From – predictably enough – On the Island of Aars, music by MS, Pleasance Edinburgh 2008/ London 2009.  The finale of the show, in which the reconciled characters are sailing away in a knitted boat to the Caribbean, towed by a giant turtle.  Hard-hitting Social realism, this.
Hans Bloemendroep was Puupiline’s loathed boss, back in Holland
DAVE             Oft have I wandered 'long the sea shore
                        Full many a mile til my tootsies were sore
MORAG        Ships in the distance all of them pass
                       The option to land on the Island of Aars.
THE DON      Stuff your Atlantic, shove your string vest
                       Our turtle is fast and is heading south-west
MORAG        Blue is the skyline, green is the grass
                       And happy the souls on the island of aars
ALL               Yes happy our souls on the island of aars
                        Isle of Aars!
PUUP                                     I've been chained to a desk-job!
ALL                Isle of Aars!
PUUP                                     Fo' a pension of heartache!
ALL                H & S!
PUUP                                     But I'm changing my plans
                       And Hans
                       Can push his nose
                       In where the droopin' bloomers goes
ALL                Isle of Aars, isle of Aars!
DAVE                         The puffins of purgat'ry pushed to the past!!
ALL                Isle of Aars, oh mystical Aars!
                        And happy our souls on the island of Aars
ALL                Isle of Aars, isle of Aars!
DAVE                         The pennant of promise is pinned to the mast!!
ALL                Isle of Aars, oh tremulous Aars!
                       And happy our souls on the island of Aars
ALL                Isle of Aars, isle of Aars!
DAVE                         The Haggis of happiness hatching at last!!
ALL                Isle of Aars, pulchritudinous Aars
                       We chuck you a bucket of sweet au revoirs
                       And thank you for sharing our fondness for Aars

I’m A Boy – You’re a Cow
From Mother Goose and the Wolf, London Bubble at Greenwich theatre, 2003.  I’m struggling fully to remember the plot of this panto, as I write this, some eight years after the event, and I can’t think why a character called Jack would be singing a song to a cow, in Mother Goose.  But Peth’s Bubble pantos were always a little different.  I’m sure it made sense at the time.  Anyway, here’s Jack, reunited with Daisy.  This is a big, fat, Sinatra-sings-My-Way song, music by Mark: I wouldn’t have been up to the job.
Mostly friendships
End in end-ships
That’s the old cliché
Like balls in the net
Or lest we forget
When all’s said and done
At the end of the day.
But you and I are like a marathon
We go on and on and on and on and
On and on and on...
I’m a boy!
You’re a Cow!
Hoof in hand; we’ll wander this lovely land somehow
Walk my way and let’s take a bow
A reunited boy and a cow.
                Whenever the world looks gloomy
                Whenever your milk’s congealed
                Whenever it rains then you ‘n’ me
                Will kinda both lie down in a field
You’re a (MOO!)
                We’re sharing a love that’s lengthy
                We’re talking the tip of tops!
               We’ll turn ‘em all green with enthy
               As we perambulate to the shops.
I’m a boy
You’re a cow!
Goes way back when
Still happening now
Let this big old world
Break open the schnapps
To celebrate
Ruminants dancing with chaps
They can’t stop
Bovine joy
You’re a cow!
And I’m your boy!

I’m Puupiline Van Den Blouws
From On the Island of Aars, music by MS, Pleasance Edinburgh 2008/ London 2009.  Puupiline Van Den Blouws is the implausible name of the vampish, bisexual Dutch Health-and-Safety officer who arrives on the island and sets the cat amongst the Haggis
Oh the world is dangerous and anarchic
With many germ-infected vermin all determined
To infect ya some day
If only there was someone Joan-Of-Arcic
A glam madam with some jihad to make the
Badness go way....
I'm Puupiline Van Den Blouws
The Health and Safety officer is in the house
Coming to check you out
And leave no doubt
Of what your legal responsibles is all about
I'm Puulpiline, a mean machine
Of every regulation touchin' food hygiene
What the cruel, cool, rule book
Puulpiline Van Den Blouws.
I send you a letter
A letter much sim'lar to this 'un
And tell me do you receive letter?
 - No
You're looking at
Ten years in prison
In EU directives the regulates are very strict
Say hello to your nemesis
Every your premises
Here I become an inspict
By Puupiline Van Den Blouws
The world he's gonna clap his hand in big applause
I'm a pussy – I mean pussy – cat and baby you're my mouse
I'm Puupiline
Puupiline Van Den Blouws
And I'm looking for compliance!


From Cinderella, Improbable Theatre at Lyric, Hammersmith 1998.  The act-two opener
Did you have a lovely time
            IN THE INTERVAL
At the pantomime?
Aren't there lots of stairs to climb?
Did you talk about the show
            IN THE INTERVAL
Well, waddya know
Only one more half to go
            IN THE INTERVAL
            IN THE INTERVAL
You got as far
As finding where the toilets are
The queue was quite spectacular
            IN THE INTERVAL
Did you have a load of treats?
            IN THE INTERVAL
Ice-cream and sweets?
Please don't throw up on the seats
Did you buy the merchandise
            IN THE INTERVAL
At a bargain price?
Fifteen quid for the plastic mice
            IN THE INTERVAL
            IN THE INTERVAL
It all was plain
That you lot think that we’re insane
But more fool you, 'cos you're back again
In minor:
The atmosphere was gloom and doom
            IN THE INTERVAL
In the dressing-room
It's warm and cosy as a tomb…
We hatched a plot
To sing this song no matter what
And this is it, and that's your lot
             IN THE INTER-
            IN THE INTERVAL!

Let’s Go
From The Scarecrow and his Servant, by Philip Pullman, adapted by Simon Reade, Southwark Playhouse 2008. 
The “Let’s Go” song was the recurring inter-scene song, as Jack and the Scarecrow moved through a war-ravaged landscape, searching for the idyll of Spring Valley.  Every time it came back, it was longer as indignities and misfortunes piled up upon the pair.

Let's go (let's go, let's go) this way!
We don't know where we heading but we're heading there today
I haven't got a coat and I'm
Dreading the snows of wintertime
My shoes are wearing paper thin
Toes out, weather in
We're passing out from hunger
And we're shrivelled up with thirst
            And so
            Let's go!
Cos things could be worse
Let's go ( Let's go, let's go!) right now!
We don't know how we'll cope but Jack, we'll get along somehow!
My only home was turned to flame
When the angry soldiers came
My mum is buried underground
Tara mum, see you round
I haven't got a coat and I'm
Dreading the snow… etc, as 1.
Let's go, right now, quick as you like, top speed!
It's dangerous and scary and
I really need, I really need
To get away from brigands, and
Soldiers tearing up the land
And though we haven't the faintest clue
Where on earth we're going to
Let's go, let's go, let's go..
Oh but yes we do..
Just the place for me and you
I've the perfect rendezvous
Tiddly pom and doo-be-doo…
Let's go this way!
The opposite direction to a bristly fiancee
For though my heart is full o' pain
And I will never love again
My curiosity for the world
Is still a flag that flaps, unfurled
And Jack, Jack, Jack, m'lad
There's still adventures to be had
Me only home was turned to flame
When the angry soldiers came… etc as 2…and 1…
Let's go (let's go, let's go) this way
The sun is working hard to put a shimmer on the day
We've harmonized the chorus and we've lengthened every verse
            And so
            Let's go
Cos things could be worse
                         Let's go (let's go, let's go) this way
                        We may be mad to go but we'd be doubly mad to stay
JACK              And oh, a million pairs of wings are lifting us clear
SCARECROW           Hearts are full and lost for words
                                   Thank you, conf''rence of the birds...
JACK              And up, up into the rarified atmosphere
SCARECROW           My only home was turned to flame
                                   When the angry soldiers came
JACK              There's nothing but seagulls and distance up here
SCARECROW           Look, Jack, on the ground
                                    I do believe that that's a town
                                   Hold m' hand and hold it tight
                                   I always knew we'd be alright
BOTH             We're passing out from hunger
                        And it isn't what we planned
                                    And so
                                    Let's go!
                        Get ready to land
7.         Finale

Let's go?

No, no, no no
Let's stay
For Spring Valley is as happy as hip-hooray
For though my home was turned to flame
When the angry soldiers came
That's all in the past
            I gotta home at last
I haven't a coat but I'm
            Sun-bathin' all the time
My shoes are wearing thin as air
            So yeah, wear the other pair!
I'm feeling kinda peckish
           And I'm tickle-ish with thirst
           And so
                      Let's eat
           And so
                      Let's drink
           And so
                      Raise y' glasses and clink, clink , clink
I've pizza in me tummy
And I've money in me purse
           So hey
           Let's stay
Cos things could be worse!

The Letter Song
From The Barber of Seville, by Beaumarchais, adapted by Lee Hall, Theatre Royal, Bristol, 2006.  This song represents an attempt on my part and that of the production in general, to inject a post-modernist twist on proceedings. 
If you got a play
And an (old) old play
And a plot, let’s say
Like the plot today and
Talkin’ about a plot.
And you’ve come to a spot
In your pedigree plot
That was written in a day
That’s long forgot
And if you’ve got a plot
And it’s (well) underway
Doing (pretty) OK
But it’s coming unstuck and
Still talkin’ about a plot
Which has come unstuck
At the start of act two
And you need some struc-
-Tural (kinda) glue
Introduce a letter
It gets better with a letter
It’s an old convention
And there’s always been
In the second act
A scene of comic tension
It’s a trope
In an envelope
The letter scene
The letter scene
The letter scene

Life’s like a Bicycle Made Of String

From Hold Me Down, The Right Size, 1996.  In the show, Sean and Hamish cut out the first part of choruses 1 and 2 – it is indeed quite a long song.  We recorded it intact (if a little slow) on the CD Ridiculous Songs, and I include the full lyric here.  Similarly to Wiggery Wack Woo, at least in my mind, this song echoes those cutesy life-story-with-a-homily-songs, popular in the fifties and early sixties (Que Sera, sera: It Was a Very Good Year, Ugly Duckling) which gives the thing a homely, familiar base on which to rest the nonsense

When I was a tiny little nipper
Mum would call me in for tea, saying
Cease your play, and come and eat your kipper
Then there’s time for sitting on my knee.
Tell me, mother
Something of Life’s mystery
And the years flood back
And the tears flood back
As the words flood back
That she said to me;
O, Life’s like a looking-glass made of cake
You can rub-a-dub-dub but the shine won’t take
It’s a bedtime story ‘bout a plastic snake
And a tea-towel
         Called Jake
A soft-sprung saddle for the comforting
Wobble, wobble till you’re fit to drop
But woe betide you if you try to stop
So I sought a seat of higher learning
All at university, where
Many souls were similarly yearning
Burning for philosophy
Tell me teacher
The roots run deep of the knowledge tree
And the years flood back
And the tears flood back
As the words flood back
That he said to me;
O, Life’s like an epigram etched in brass
It’s a pipsqueak parody of Twenties’ farce
It’s a field-mouse hopping through the Gunter Grass
As the night-train
            Swoops past
With bendy handlebars of reasoning
Stay up nights ‘til you’re talking shop
But woe betide you if you try to stop
It was then that I heard of him: an old man, a mystic beyond age and beyond mountains.  I was impelled by an impulsion to seek him out.  I travelled to the interior of my being, on a camel.
Did I come too?
No.  This kind of voyage a man must make alone.
I remember you.  You were the man with the opinion about onions.
Oh.  You did come, then.
Years went by and finally I found him
Sitting tiny underneath a tree
Golden light was radiant around him
Golden eyes he raised to me
Show me, master
The wisdom of tranquillity,
And the years flood back
And the tears flood back
As the words flood back
That he said to me;
O, Life’s like an elephant daubed with cheese
It’s a stranger faxing us from overseas
It’s the faint suspicion on an autumn breeze
Of a unicorn
         Yes please
All flopsy pedals with your feet strapped in
Push, push ‘til you’re fit to drop
And if you’re peddling
Don’t go for the meddling
You’re on a bicycle that’s made of string
It’s as flimsical as anything
And so it’s whimsical unravelling
When you should be simply travelling
It’s just a bicycle that’s made of string
Pedal, pedal till you drop
And then stop.

Life is Pain
From Penny Dreadful’s Etherdome, 2011.  The show, about the invention of anaesthesia, seemed to me to need a song setting the stage for the world before anaesthesia, now almost unimaginable to us

I was out in my yard
A-fixin’ of ma gate
Hammerin’ a plank of lumber
I missed that nail
But to sort o’ compensate
I broke all the bones in my thumber
          Ouch!  Ouch!
That’s gotta hurt, that’s gotta hurt, that’s gotta hurt, that’s gotta hurtt
          I tell you what
          Life is pain
That’s the way Jehovah planned it
And it’s not for us
To try and understand it
From here to Kingdom come
The Almighty did ordain
If you hammer-bust your thumb
       You’re gonna feel pain, pain, pain!
I’ve a tumour in my neck
Tumour in my foot
Tumour in my spine
Makes my back sore
So I went to the doc
And he said stay put
And he started in
To sharpenin’ his hacksaw
        Ouch!  Ouch!
That’s gonna sting, that’s gonna sting, that’s gonna sting, that’s gonna sting
        I tell you what
       Life is pain
Golly Gee and holy Moses
Those is blasphemies
To doubt that diagnosis
Ain’t no doctors in the bible
And the consequence is plain
At the doctors’ you are liable
         To feel pain, pain, pain!

I was carrying a child
I was carrying a pair
They was twins,
I was keen just to see ‘em
So I push, push, pushed
Till an eight-inch tear
Appeared in
My perineum
        Is Childbirth painful, then?
       You bet your
       Life is Pain
Especially in breedin’
It’s the price we pay
For messing up in Eden
Winter brings snowfall
And summertime brings rain
And Motherhood brings happiness
     And pain, pain, pain!
Motherhood and broken thumbs
And medicines and bleeding gums
Never mind your roses and champagne
       Life is pain!


Love is Like an Aubergine
From The Translucent Frogs of Quuup, music by MS.  Edith sings plaintively, alone and neglected in the moonlight.

When writing the show, I knew Rosie Craig (Edith) but Mark didn’t.  He waited til he 'd heard her voice till he wrote this tune, which has a big range beyond the hopes of most mortals.  We knew we needed a torch-song, knew where it should go in the show, but I had no idea what 'words to use.  Mark, therefore, wrote the tune first, Rosie learnt it and worked on it singing oohs and aahs.  When I came into rehearsals having written this ridiculous written, that was the moment when Rosie realised, I think, the true extent of the nonsense in which we were engaged.  She sang it with a rare beauty, which made it truly absurd and very, funny
Love is like an aubergine
It’s a purple fruit
That I’ve read about but never seen
And could it be that Anthony
Is like an aubergine?
Love is like a ratatouille
With a wet courgette
That’s often stewed till limp and gooey
But resolutely French cuisine
And stuffed with aubergine
I’ll take the chance of indigestion
I’ve got a knife and spoon
With those
D’you suppose
A fork’s out of the question?
Love is like a quiche Lorraine
You can have a slice
And if it’s nice you’ll come again
And now I want a plate of some
If you know what I mean
And he’s my aubergine

Love is Nothing Like an Aubergine
In the second half of Quuup, after partaking of the hallucinogenic Yumamá, Anthony and Edith nightmarishly swap personalities for a while, and sing a reprise of this song as a duet.  Mark’s piano accompaniment transformed from the original ­molto rubato, espressivo, to a rude plonky-plonk style
Aubergines have shiny purple skins
Which contain a wealth
Of wholesome healthy vitamins
But spreading them with metaphors
Puts strain on aubergines.
Love is a thing, which is mostly common sense
And half of it is women’s and the other half is gentlemen’s
And absolutely nothing to do with French cuisine
So ner
Fry me some eggs, boil me some bacon
I’m on my knees
For cheese
And garden peas
For my empty plate is aching’
For a slice of aubergine

EDITH               Love is nothing like an aubergine,

ANTH              It’s a purple fruit that I’ve read about but never seen
EDITH             And only a woman
                         Would construct such a tortuous analogy
ANTH             And now I want a plate of it
EDITH            And frankly, if you’re hungry, eat a sandwich!
ANTH             It’s what I’m dreaming of
EDITH            That’s as maybe
ANTH             The aubergine of Love!
EDITH             But aubergines have nothing to do with Love!

Love Me for Who I Am / Finale

From The Barber of Seville, by Beaumarchais, adapted by Lee Hall, Theatre Royal, Bristol, 2006.  This was the song which Rosine – who in our version was a simple Essex girl transported to the Costa del Crime - was supposedly “learning” in her singing lessons: her suitor the count, disguised as a singing teacher in order to gain access

It’s true; I’ve a body to die for
And a brain that’s impressively smart
But I need someone to decipher
That secret part that I call my heart

Love me for who I am
Not cos I’m cute
               Or suit
               A bubbling flute
               Of Babycham
I’m a femme fatale
But that’s not all
I’m more than glam and glitz
I’m more than teeth and
Take me please to a geezer who’ll

Love me for who I is
Not cos I’m stacked
            -ive with Max Fact
            -or artifice
I’ve a kiss for him
Who’ll venture out upon a limb
And who will love me
For who I is.

Most men look on the surface
See only her face
And not the person palpitating who is waiting underneath
My man won’t be so seedy
He’ll know I’m three-D
And can it be un-feasible
To find me this pleasable, squeezable geezer who’ll

Love me for who I are
Not just a blonde
             -ing not beyond
             A credit card
I  would rather wait
Until that special kinda date
Will come and love me for who I are!

The finale of the show was quite an elaborate number, in several sections, nevessary to tie up the loose endings.  Part of it includes a reprise of the Love Me for Who I Am thing, so I’ve included it under the same song
FIGARO         That’s the last line of this play
                        How to finish it?
ALL                What to sing and what to say
                        That won’t diminish it?
                        This is the last song of the show
                        What to sing in it?
                        We could sing a hey –hey nonny no
                                    (With a hey nonny, nonny and a fol-de-rol )
FIGARO         Or put a sting in it.
                        What about the old man?
ALL                                                    That’s right
                        We’ll sing about the old man’s morbid plight
                                   Look at him there
                                   Empty eyed
                                   In the black despair
                                   Of suicide
                        Life has broke in two
                        His heart with a final no can do
                        Death his only friend…
                       Not so good for a happy end.
                       Not so good for a happy end.
                        What about Figaro?
ALL                                                    That’s it!
                       We’ll sing a bit o’ Figaro’s vinegar wit
                                   Listen to him
                                  That Fortune smiles
                                  On the fortunate
                       Life will always tend
                       To waste away like a wet weekend
                       Drink his only friend…
                       Not so good for a happy end
                       Not so good for a happy end
FIGARO        This is the last song of the play
                       But what we haven’t heard
                       Is anything yet of a save-the-day
                       Big four-letter word
ALL                For we would miss the point
                       And badly disappoint
                       To mention not the word
                       That all else sails above
                       That strange, absurd
                        Essential word
                       That all-disturb
                        -ing noun and verb
                       That vast, un-killable
ROS                Love me for who I am
COUNT          I will love you darling for who you am
ROSINE          Not cos I’m cute
COUNT                          No!
ROSINE          Or suit
COUNT                          Although
ROSINE          A bubbling flute
COUNT                          Madam, you’re glamorous
ROSINE          I’m a femme fatale
COUNT                          Et moi, un homme
ROSINE          But that’s not what?
COUNT                          It’s French
ROSINE                                           Oh.
BOTH             For we don’t give a damn
                        For all that shallow shambles
                        We’ve found somebody who’ll
COUNT          Love me for what’s in here
                                    Not cos I’m rich
                                    By which
                                    I mean six
                        Hundred grand a year
BOTH             That’s small beer compared
                        To what the two of us have shared
ALL                Love them for who they are
                        Their lucky star
                                    Flew in
                                    On easy-jet
                                    To Malaga
                        It’s the hope that saves
                        Us from the terror of the grave
                        That someone will love us for who we are
FIGARO         Goodbye propriety
                        Forever we eschew
                        The clench of cold, cold sobriety
                        Got better things to do
                        Like cuddlin’ and kissin’
                        With a case of Manzanilla
                        Rosine was in prison
                        Till Love came to free her

                                       Will free her
                        Bugger me, there’s a rhyme
                        And Bacchus
                        Goes crackers
                        If he don’t get a bloody good time
                        Goodbye propriety
                        Forever we decry
                        The stench of high, dry society
                        Got bigger fish to fry
                        Like cuddlin’ and kissin’
                        With a glass of good Rioja
                        Rosine was in prison
                       Till Love came to unlock her
                                      Unlock her
                       Bugger me, that’s the rhyme
                                      And Bacchus
                                      Will sack us
                       If we don’t have a bloody good time
                                       Have a bloody good
                                       We’ll have a bloody good time


Lupine Love
From On the Island of Aars, music by MS, Pleasance Edinburgh 2008/London 2009.  This song was the big hit of the fictional sweat-metal band to which Dave Bladget had once belonged, Tungsten Örkid
Come into my parlour said the
spider to the fly
You can scream and holler and you
Might well want to cry
Nothing you can do
Cos you're the latest sacrifice
To Lupine Love
I like you bent over, baby
Standing up as well
I got you sent over, baby
From the next hotel
By this time tomorrow morning
You’ll be screaming bloody hell
That’s Lupine Love
Lupine Love
In The morning
In the car
In the evening


From The Remains of Foley and McColl, BBC radio 4, 2000.  Music by Mark Stevens.  Sean and Hamish are sent to Luxembourg, to take part in the Drama 2000 radio Olympics.   Gloomy organ music introduces a song of gothic solemnity;
Hold on to your hats, we’re going to a place
The spiritual home of the human race
It’s a happy, happy, happy, happy, happy land
They say that it’s a Duchy and they say it’s grand
It’s got a street-lamp, it’s got a station
It’s got the cheek to call itself a Nation
Luxembourg, Luxembourg
The most happening Bourg in the whole of Europe
Luxembourg, Luxembourg
It’s got a house and they’re planning to put more up
And we segue into an ultra- smooth radio jingle;
Hearty you ve velcome
Mit schnapps for toast
Proud to be of this year’s
The host
Drama Zwei Tausend radio avards
Proud to have also syrupy chords.
Vilkommen, bienvenue, and top of the morning to Luxembourg! 

A Moment in Time
From The Translucent Frogs of Quuup, music by MS.  This is the show opener, sang apropos of nothing, but setting a tone of whimsical reflection, which was the counterpoint to all the ensuing nonsense.
When I was a boy of eight or nine
Life seemed long like a transatlantic telephone line
Long, like a fixed unblinking gaze:
Long as the summer holidays.
But now that I’ve turned ninety-four
That lengthy length seems length no more
And if ever I meet that boy of eight
I counsel him to contemplate
It’s fleeting
This possibility whilst the heart’s beating
This opportunity for thought
Is short
And though it may be mediocre and
A badly dealt-out poker hand and
Quite scary
You’d best believe it, boys it’s temporary
And soon you’ll be as warm as February
In an arctic clime
It’s just a moment in time.
A moment in time
Life is kind
A pretty heavy deadline helps to concentrate the mind
Forever and a day would bore you stiff
You’d only put off till tomorrow
What you’d put off till tomorrow
So that if
You’re blinking
It’s gotta be better than that long forty-winking
And so in spite of myself I find I’m thinking
It would be a crime
To sail despondent through this paradigm
Of a fragile, fleeting moment…

And, to close the show

It’s fleeting

This possibility whilst the heart’s beating
This opportunity for meet-and-greeting
Is a long, long climb
But still a moment
Blink and you’ve missed it
It’s just a moment in time.
(It’s too, damn hot)
It’s just a moment
(It’s too, damn hot)
It’s just a tick of time.
(It’s too, damn hot)
It’s just a moment
(It’s too, damn hot)
It’s just a tick of time.



A Moment of Sin
From On the Island of Aars, music by MS, Pleasance Edinburgh 2008/ London 2009.  The Donald of Donald reveals his guilty secret to Puupiline, who he has tied up to a chair
Oh I remember it was Tuesday

In late September on a Tuesday
And in the sunset puffins flitting
And in this chair Fiona sitting
Sitting, knitting
Benefitting from the sitting, sitting knitting a befitting negligee!
In grey
I can't recall our conversation
I only know the air was fragrant
And suddenly my circulation
Was pumping madly from my heart
In fits and starts
To other parts
                       And oh
PUUP             So it's perfectly plain
THE DON                 By the glow of the lamp, the face of an angel, angel
PUUP              He's mad , that's bad
THE DON               And oh
PUUP              He's completely insane
THE DON       Must a man be condemned
                                 For a moment of sin?
                                 For a moment of sin?
She stood and went into the kitchen
And that's the moment when it happened
The shame forever in my mem'ry
For as she fiddled with the kettle
I saw that there upon the cushion
An indentation
An indentation of temptation
And when I knew that she wasn't looking
I sat myself on the cushion of temptation
The very cushion she'd just vacated
I sat there all of thirty seconds so you see
I'm Morag's Father.
                        And oh
PUUP             That sounds tough, that sounds hard
BOTH                         In the seat of my (your) pants, the warmth of an angel, angel
PUUP                                     Help!
THE DON                  And oh
PUUP             Call the National Guard
THE DON      Must a man be condemned
                        For a moment of sin?
                        For a moment of sin?
                       That's my secret
                       That is why
                       It is time for you to die!

Moonshine Emma’s Sex Blues

See Mr Puntila and his Man Matti, 3



Morag, You’ve Grown Some
From On the Island of Aars, music by MS, Pleasance Edinburgh 2008/London 2009.  Of the two Calvinist ministers of the island, Hamish MacSurname – whose song this is - is the marginally more liberal, but counterbalances that possibility of niceness by hideously lusting after Morag.  This is his wooing style/
HAMISH            God created womankind
                            For fun and procreation
                           And added grace and prettiness
                           To add to Man's temptation
                            But thus unfurls the wonder
                           Of His grand eternal plan
                           For an ugly girl can sometimes get a man
                           Morag, oh Morag
                           With clothes like a bin-bag
                           And hair like some joke-shop/ rag-tailed canopy
                           Any day now
                           It's y'birthday
                           Is it Wednesday?
                           Is it Thurthday?
                          And how old will you be?
MORAG                                  Twenty-three
HAMISH          Oh, Twenty-three?
MORAG                                 Twenty-three
HAMISH                                                 Oh
MORAG          On a Sunday
HAMISH                                What a lot o' fun-day

                         Morag, you've grown some

                        And contours, you own some
                        And although your face is somewhat odd...
                        You are bloomin'
                        And surely
                        You're a wooman
                        Not a girlie
                        And thank you, thank you God!
After that, in Kirk, he finds a passage in the Bible, which decrees that any woman yet unmarried beyond the age of twenty-three, is illegal and presents the notion of the two of them marrying as inescapable destiny
The time has come
To sweep you up
Like dirt into a dustbin
And thus fulfil
Jehovah's will
With a Hamish as a husban'
When we are wedded
And bonded and bedded
No longer frustrated fiancées
And to hell with Moderation
In seven long, hard, long days
And much later, when he cataclysmically realises that he and The Donald of Donald – his nemesis and ecumenical rival – are two sides of one and the same schizophrenic personality, he officiates at the ultra-liberal marriage between the two reconciled sides of himself.  Had to be there.
Now we are linked-up
And pretty in pinked-up
No longer, we’ll languish on the shelf
Gay abandon
Crack the bubbly
Bring the band on
And I’ll prubbly
Sing a duet with myself!

Mother Goose and the Wolf
London Bubble at Greenwich theatre, 2003.  A bunch of lederhosen-clad Kantors sing some half-arsed Brechtian scene-change device.  A typical Bavarian-isch Yodelling tune (I/ V/V/ I/I V/V/ I!) but which went seriously weird where it says so
Yodel adle-odle for it’s Panto season
Once again it’s that time of year
Yodel adle oh and that’s the reason
That we’re dressed in all this gear
Yodel adle odle tho’ our knees are frozen
And our hands are turning blue
All thru wearing yodel- lederhosen
We’ll sing yodel adle ooh!
Come with us we’re kinda in Bavaria
Somewhere sorta near a mountain range
In some Eastern European area
Where local people sing in
Weird time signatures
It’s quite worrying
And downright strange
But here amongst the fragrant Alpine flowers
Chickens cluck and cows say moo
And the leather trousers
Sing for hours and hours-ers
Yodel Adle Eedle
Idle Odle Udle
Eedle idle odle ooh!

Between 1 and 2

Yodel adle odle now they’re reunited
Jack and Millie and cow and Ma
Understandably a touch exited
After more than seven yah
Now we’re off to market where the stalls are groanin’
Local produce and local veg
To the village Jack and Cow are goin’ in
Next scene:  A hedge.

Between 2 and 3

Oh beware the woman with the dark apparel
Check the small print before you buy
She will ‘ave you yodel over a barrel
We don’t trust her – and nor do I.

Between 3 and 4

Deary, deary yodel me so Jack has legged it
With the goosy’s own pride and joy
He’s a pudding and he’s over egged it
Naughty, naughty, naughty boy.
Not that we intend to be judgemental...
Not that we intend to point the blame
Jack has all the very best intentials
But an idiot all the same

Between 4 and 5

Now you leave the world of light behind you
Here the darkened atmospherics change
Here you’re lucky if your friends can find you
For who knows what is lurky
In these shadows murky?
It’s quite worrying and downright strange

Act Two opener

Yodel adle odle now you’ve had your Fanta
Had your ice-creams and cups of tea
Now you get your second slice of panta
Rather yodel you than me.
Yodel odle odle for the plot is thick’nin’
Here’s the woman with dodgy plans
Toxic as a tablespoon of strychnin’
Slipp’ry as a non-stick pan.
Yodel adle odle she is nasty
Yodel adle odle she is mean…

Between 6 and 7

Yodel adle odle oh they cooked some afters
And the bad wolfie came to tea
With some acting worthy of the BAFTAs
And he’s only twenty three
Now they’re chasing after various creatures
Hurry, hurry up for goodness’ sake!
Oh, this story has a lot to teach us
If we can but stay awake...

From The Translucent Frogs of Quuup, music by MS.  The men-folk of the Quuup break out the booze and the scene spins into a wild party, with Anthony watching from the sidelines
                        M’pip, it’s our national drink
                        M’pip, it tastes much better than you think
                        M’pip, drink it down, and drink it deep!
                                    It’s what we like to call M’pip!
EDITH            M’pip, M’pip!
CHRIS                        M’pip, that’s right, that’s right!
EDITH            M’pip, m’pip!
CHRIS                        Mm, you’ve got it right!
EDITH            M’pip, m’pip!
CHRIS                        Drink it down, and drink it deep!
BOTH                        It’s what we like to call M’pip
                         Down here in this pre-agricultural habitat
                        We’re taking Life as it comes
                        The food is for free, simply reach out and grab it
                        And sit back and twiddle your thumbs
                        There’s no need for work or for worry and plenty of
                        Days of nothing to do but sleep
                        And when you awaken you’re slakin’ your thirst with m’pip.
CHRIS            M’pip, m’pip!
EDITH                        I don’t know if I should
CHRIS            Just one sip of M’pip!
EDITH                        I don’t know if I could
CHRIS            It’s not that toxic and it’s cheap!
EDITH                        I normally stick to sherry but...
                                    I quite fancy some M’pip!
EDITH            For who cares for sherry the thought is absurd in a
                        Land where the fashions are free.
                        For here, it is clear, no one dresses for dinner
                        Or breakfast or luncheon or tea!
                        Look at this warrior a physical god with a
                        Bod could probably make you weep
                        With tears in my eyes I’ll say thanks and I’ll try some m’pip!
CHRIS            Chew some bananas till they turn to slime
                        Gob them in a bucket with a slice of lime.
                        Leave for a fortnight while you have a sleep
                                  And that’s the way we make M’pip!

Mr. Puntila and his man Matti
From the Almeida/The Right Size co-production, 1998
1.      Prologue
Sung by the actors playing Puntila and Matti.
(SPOKEN)       Before we start
                         This evening's ‘art’
                         We'd like to take you through a bit of theory
                         It's conceptual stuff
                         And short enough
                         But even so we're going to sing it so's to stop it getting dreary
(HALF-SUNG) So sit up straight
                         Don't laugh; you'll only make the place untidy
(SUNG)           For here comes Bertold Brecht
                        And we expecht
                        Your essays to be handed in by Friday
1.                     Karl Marx was a German fella
                        In eighteen-sixty-seven he wrote a real best-seller
                        It's a capital book, packed with wit and wisdom
                        Concerning economics in a capitalist system
                        Where the rich get fat
                        And surplus value is expropriated
                        From the proletariat
                        The very hands in which, ironic'ly, that value is first created
                        Which means that money's made by nicking it from people who generate it.
2.                     Bert Brecht is a name that's dear t'
                        Any Joe who dips his toe in soc'list theatre
                        No-one ever did more than big bad Bertie Brecht did
                        In dramatic applications of a Marxist dialectic
                        Where he recreates
                        The historic struggle of the working classes
                        In such a way that alienates
                        And so denies the viewing public Aristotelian catharsis
                        Which means that you lot all should get up off your theatre-going arses
3.                     And so to Puntila and Matti
                        Matti is a working man and Puntila's a fatty
                        And it features some scenes of humorous behaviour
                        Performed against a backdrop of a mythic Scandinavia                                 
                        Where the pine trees throng
                        There's hardly room to cram another tree in
                        Summer evenings are so long
                        And where in scene one Mister Puntila discovers a human being...

2.      Puntila Song
Punctuation between scenes.  Lyrics by me, after Bertold Brecht
Puntila, Puntila
Spent a week a-drinkin' in a hotel bar
The waiter's dead
He's three days late for bed
I never noticed him, says Puntila
And waiters are for waiting that's the way things are.
Puntila, Puntila
Thought that he'd befriend the bloke what drove his car
Take my purse
Cash is such a curse
Let's wander naked 'neath a lucky star
And talk about equality, says Punt
            Says Puntila               


Puntila, Puntila
Contractual formality was his bête noire
Let's get pissed
I'm practic'ly a communist
C'mon and work for me, says Puntila
We'll get along like brothers, that's the way things are.
            But have a care (have a care)
            He's a strange one
            When he's pissed he's rinky-dinky
            As a day-trip to Helsinki
            But beware (careful there)
            There's a change on
            After several cups of coffee
            He's an archetypal toff he
            's an incorrigible twat
                        So what d'you make of that?
Puntila, Puntila
La di da di da di da di blah blah blah


Puntila, Puntila
Had a wayward daughter who was lah-di-dah
The attaché
Has booked his wedding day
It's heavy-pencill'd in the calendar
And I'll be getting shot of you says Punt
            Says Puntila
            O he's a git
But when he's plastered
            He's redistributing money
            In a land of milk and honey
            Like a schit-
-zophrenic bastard
            And he cannot comprehend
That it is tough to find a friend
            When nearly everything you know
            Reflects the status quo


Puntila went too far
Canapés and crudités and caviar
Raise your glass
Toast the working-class
They're representative, says Puntila
Of everything that's best about the way things are

3          Moonshine Emma's Sex Blues
I got me a man
Best I ever had
Good enough to drive you mad
Sweet and simple sugar-dad
Ooh, Mr. P to me you're sexy and you're strong
And I’m looking for a man to treat me
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.                                               
I got me a man
Courteous and polite
Comes back home to me at night
Sober as a stalactite
Ooh, Mr. P I need you t’understand this song
‘Cos I’m looking for a man to treat me
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.                                   
I got me a man
So damn good to me
All he drinks is herbal tea
Treats me like a deity
Ooh, Mr. P I see we gonna get along
'Cos I’m looking for a man to treat me
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.                                               



4          Epilogue
I'm off; I think that's where we'll leave it
Puntila wants friendship but it's tricky to achieve it
When you hop between power and sentimental boozing
Unable to acknowledge that the privilege of choosing
All depends on cash -
And face it: if you're loaded then you're laughing -
All the rest is balderdash
To talk of misty-eyed utopia when half of the world is starving
And as for Matti
The fact of the matter is that he
Gets another job and drives some other bloke's Bugatti
But he will only find a boss who actually cares
When he becomes the master
When we become the master
When all of us are masters of our own affairs.



No room for Dickie

From The Remains of Foley and McColl, BBC radio 4, 2000.  Music by Mark Stevens.

 Hats off to Steve Delaney and his inimitable creation, Count Arthur Strong.  This song has had several outings since, sung by me in Cabaret and Songs My Granny Frowned At, but in The Remains of Foley and McColl, this was sung by a character called Dickie Bow.  The part of Dickie Bow was billed as being played by Count Arthur Strong: Steve Delaney wasn’t mentioned and indeed insisted on his doing the recording (in front of an audience) in full Arthur Strong wig and make-up.  Dickie Bow was similar to Strong – a doddery and unemployable old actor. 

 On the radio, the cut-down version was recorded, but here is the full story.

When I was small my father said
Toddle off, Dickie, it’s time for bed
Father, oh not so soon!
For it’s three in the afternoon!
Your mother and I have two-
Hundred fun things to do
Children ain’t welcome, and
Dickie, espec’ly you
Go somewhere else and play
But please Dickie, please Dickie, please go away
There is no room for Dickie
            No room at all
Go eat your supper
          Alone in the hall
You’re an awful mistake and we think you should know
There is no room for Mr. Dickie Bow
So I embraced dramatic art
Hartlepool rep and a speaking part
Speaking both loud and clear
Saying programmes, get your programmes here
But fleet-footed destiny
Brought me the RSC
There I auditioned in
March 1963
And as I gave them my Lear
A voice from the darkness said
Let’s make this clear
There is no room for Dickie,
              No room at all
A personal comment from
             Sir Peter Hall
Though the stage is enormous we must let you go
There is no room for whatever your bleeding name is.

Now I’ve been sacked from the radio
No room again for Dickie Bow
Back to my flat alone
To wait for my agent to sodding-well phone
With a one-bar electric fire,
Very soon I’ll expire
Toddle off up to the
Heavenly extras’ choir
And I know when I do
Saint Peter will say, ‘I’ve a message for you’
There is no room for Dickie
            No room at all
Your role as an angel is
            Pitif’ly small
You’d be better off trying
The place down below
           Oh but take it from me
           There’ll be no guarantee
           For there’s no room in ei-
                       -ther for you,
No room for Dickie Bow!

No room for Dickie       
(shorter version)
No room for Dickie
No room at all
Heard the words first from
The great Peter Hall
I’ve heard the phrase all of my life
On my honeymoon night it was used by my wife
Now I’ve been told to go
Farewell!  Dame radio!
Back to the basement
Bed-sitter in Pimlico
Sit on my bed alone
And wait for my agent to sodding well phone
To say
No room for Dickie
No room at all
They want someone else
Or else no one at all
They want me to pass on a phrase you might know
There’s no way we’ve got room for
Mr. Dickie wassisname


Oh, Morag
From On the Island of Aars, music by MS, Pleasance Edinburgh 2008/ London 2009.  Morag, believing Puupiline van den Blouws to be a man, and an eligible one, puts make-up on for the first time, and it’s a mess
PUUP                         Oh Morag
                        Let me touch your face, Morag
                       Allow me just this much
                       A little wet-wipe and a touch, Morag
                                   You ain't, Morag
                       Showing much restraint, Morag
                       And let me put things right
                       Cos you're kinda shite
                                  With paint, Morag
MORAG        Puulpiline van Den Blouws
                       I think you think me dull and
                                 Kinda clumsy
                       Puulpiline van Den Blouws
                       I think the girls in Hulland
                                Are yum-yum-yumsy
                       Puupiline van Den Blouws
PUUP                                     Morag, Morag
BOTH           I think your face is
                               The nacest
PUUP                         Perhaps, Morag
                       We'll tidy up this sloppy slap
                       Of slap-on, Morag
                       And then the birthday girl
                       Might get a proper present to unwrap
MORAG                   Puulpiline
BOTH             I've never met a man/girl like you
And later, Puupiline writes a goodbye note
                                  Dear Morag
                       When you read this note, Morag
                       I will be sea-afloat
                      And back to Holland in my boat
                                It's pants, Morag
                      Holiday romance, Morag
                      And though we both feel bad
                      Believe me, we never had
                               A chance, Morag

On the Island of Aars - See individual song titles;

A Conurbation of Licentiousness
Health and Safety Song
Isle of Aars (finale)
Lupine Love
A Moment of Sin
Morag, you’ve Grown Some (Hamish’s courting song)
Oh, Morag
Puupiline van den Blouws
Sinners Down in the Deepest Pit
The Sky Today
Very Happy Memories of Holland

Painfrom Penny Dreadful’s Etherdome – see Life is Pain


Personal Tragedy

 From The Remains of Foley and McColl, BBC radio 4, 2000.  Music by Mark Stevens, a churning, chuntering delta blues

Ma dawg’s dead!
Ma dawg’s dead!
Met a man who had just lost his wife
It was the
Worst day of his long life
Y’know the
Pain and misery were driving him mad
I said
Back off, brother, you’re too sad
Ma dawg’s dead!
Ma dawg’s dead!
I watched the news it’s a turbulent world
I saw the
Flags and bandages being unfurled
The woman found her baby but had lost the plot
Turned it off, it didn’t touch the spot
There ain’t nothin’ you can say
There ain’t nothin’ you can do
There ain’t nothin’ you can say, ain’t nothin’ you can do
To touch the pain, pain, pain
That I’m pers’nally goin’ thru
Ma dawg’s dead!
Ma dawg’s dead!
My dog was a top dog and a hot dog and a friend
How could my pooch meet such a sticky end?
The lorry came from nowhere and my tragic epilogue
Is that I found a crimson pancake where there once had been a dog
There ain’t nothin’ you can say
There ain’t nothin’ you can do
‘Cos my dog’s in two dimensions
On the A four-twenty-two

Property Is Theft
From Road Rage, C4 sitcom festival. 1999.  Think this was cut from the show, and I can’t remember there ever being a tune for it, but it’s a nice poem.  It’s raining cats and doggerel.
I bumped into an Anarchist
I took him to my flat
I offered him my sofa
            Saying park your arse on that
Sofa, I say sofa
More a concertna’d futon
But comfortable enough
            For an advocate of Proudhon
I offered him refreshment
Leave it up to me
I said, you look exhausted
           Have a cuppa tea.

His manner darkened visibly

He shook his head and frowned
No thanks, he said, for me that drink’s
            Politically unsound

I said, my tea's exotic

I’ve unusual stuff it’s true
But there’s surely nothing devilish
           In a cup of tea or two.

I’ve got Assam picked by moonlight
From a mountain-top in Bali
He responded with a mumbling
           Of the Internationale

I said I had Darjeeling

But he said he’d rather wait
And that my offer was the product
            Of a Bonapartist State

I said I'd make some Maté

That I'd bought in Mexico

He asked what can the maté be?
            I told him: he said no.

What about some Pekoe
With some mango blossom in it?
He replied the revolution would be
            Here at any minute

So in utter desperation

I suggested P G Tips
No pasaran, he screamed, that brew
          Will never pass these lips !

I was thoroughly bewildered
'though his arguments were deft

Till he told me in plain English
            That all proper tea is theft

Yes, his political convictions

Were firmly on the left
And he looked me in the eye and said
            All proper tea is theft

He said I’ll have some camomile

For herbal is my tipple
And I'll raise a cup of peppermint
            To the world's downtrodden pipple!

For whilst the working classes

Are of liberty bereft
I'll take no milk and sugar, ta:
            All proper tea is theft!

 Puntila – see MR Puntila 


Rat Supremacy March

 From Dick Whittington, London Bubble 1994.

 This had a tune based on my understanding of something by Bartók: a diminished scale, going tone-semitone up, tone-semitone down (C, D, D#, F, F#, G etc, ascending; G, F, E, Eb, Db C descending).  Musicians properer than I, will be able to describe the thing better.  It was eerie, which was what I wanted.   The bass riff accompanying it was a various diminished arpeggios in a 3/4: 3/4: 2/4 pattern, so the whole march took on a lopsided gait and gave the on-stage rats a chance to dance weird

Rats are on the march!
For far too long we have been skulking in the gutter!
Rats are on the march!
We’ve itchy feet and soon the footprints in the butter
Will be ours, will be ours
Will be rat, rat, rat, rat!
Rat is a dream, it’s a way of thinking
Rat’s on the line in time when the ship is sinking
We’re on the move, and that’s that
We’ve smelt the future, and the future’s rat
Rats are on the march!
You’ll hear the scratching and the scuttling in y’ cupboards
Rats are on the march!
We’re on manoeuvres from the city to the subbubs
Will be ours, will be ours
Will be rat, rat, rat, rat!
Rat is a rhythm; it’s a way of grooving
Rap like a rat, y’ can see the way the world is moving
Better watch your back, and the fur on your cat
‘Cos we’re knocking at the door with a rat tat tat
Rats are on the march!
The reek of destiny is rising from the sewers
Rats are on the march!
And soon the lovely things that currently are yewers
Will be ours, will be ours
Will be rat, rat, rat, rat!
Rat is a vision, it’s an age-old story
‘Rats in the cellar’ is a nice little allegory
Starting in the basement, nearer and nearer
Fruition for the mission of the great rat era
Beneath the floorboards, chewing at the cables
Rat feet in the food on the dinner-table
Chit chat?  No time for that
‘Cos we’ve smelt the future and the future’s rat
We’ve smelt the future, and the future’s rat
We’ve smelt the future:
            Dead cat!


Real People

 Originally From The Remains of Foley and McColl, BBC radio 4, 2000, Mark and I re-wrote this (several times) so that we could perform it in SMGFA and other cabarets.

 So that the intro which on the radio started thus:
Sometimes on the radio there comes a git
Who wins applause, with little cause, by large-ing it
Artificiality and counterfeit
Are rife upon the radio today!
But here at The remains of Foley and McColl
We say no to fiddlestick and fol-de-rol
The shallow modern ethos
Is frankly miles beneath us
Turned into
Oftentimes on stage appears a gruesome git
Who wins applause, with little cause, by faking it
Artificiality and counterfeit
Are commonplace in cabaret today!
But we, performing Songs My Granny Frownéd At
Shout ya boo and thank-you! No! to all of that.
Our library cards and ID
Are strictly bona fide
Me and Mark
We’re real people
With real emotions
Just like real, real people
Me and Mark, we’re the kinda guys
That you could fall in love with
We’re too damn believable
We’ve got families (Too right!)
We’re home-lovin’
We like to slip a quiche into a
Fan-assisted oven
Oh man, we’ve got sex appeal
Because we’re incontrovertibly real
I’m not real
I’m just the words of a strange, strange song
The song’s not real it’s
Simply silence gone
Terribly wrong
What’s that noise from the men on stage?
In an unreliable
Makes you cry-able
Cold and cynical age
At least
Me and Mark (That’s us!)
We’re real fellas
And if the script permitted
They’d be here themselves to tell us
Oh yeah, we got sex appeal
(Big bags!)  Big bags of sacks appeal
(Our shoes!) Our shoes have got socks appeal
Because we’re
Incontrovert-and-undeniab-ly real!


The Ridiculous Song

This is the first thing I wrote for The Right Size.  In 1993 I joined them on a tour of South America, playing the baritone horn as part of an extant show of theirs called Flight To Finland, and the following year, when they were making a new show to which they had given the title Stop Calling Me Vernon, they called me in to a rehearsal room in Kings Cross, to see a run-though with a view to tidying up one of the two songs in the show.  I shall never forget that afternoon, it remains for me one of the watershed moments of my life: the show was a brilliant, farcical tour-de-force of old vaudeville routines, jokes and slapstick, set in a darkly comic, Becketian framework of two old Vaudevillians stuck perpetually in a second-rate show, perpetually dreaming of being recognised and promoted into better art, and always, inevitably, failing.  It started and finished with the two of them in bed together, standing upright with pillows strapped to their heads.  It was theatre of a poignant, stupid beauty which I felt I had always dreamt of but had never been able to realise, and I feel sorry for all people who didn’t and will never see it.   Years later, this song (eventually) opened and closed The Play What I Wrote,
I’m dreaming
I’m dreaming
I’m dreaming I’m asleep
Dreaming I’m awake
Dreaming I’m a-singing a ridiculous song
About a song about a dream
And he’s (I’m) remembering a joke
A joke about a man
A man who wore his trousers backwards
So it would appear no flies on him
Three and twenty hours in every day
            We stand
Stand sleeping in this curious way
           We sleep
Sleep standing and you’ll hear us say
We’re kept cosy by a stiff duvet
I’m (he’s) dreaming of a girl (dreaming of a girl)
Who’s swimming in the sea (she’s on her holidays)
And wearing inappropriate clothes
She’s in a suit and that’s the dream
I’m dreaming I’m asleep dreaming I’m awake dreaming that I’ve nodded off
Whilst singing a ridiculous song
About a song about a dream
He has got a cousin called Elaine
I’ve got another named the same              
           Same name
Two women but the self-same name
Such coincidence we can’t explain
I’m dreaming of a hope
Hoping for a light
To finish a ridiculous song
About a hope about a light
Finish a ridiculous song
About a song. . .



Road Rage

In 1999, at the instigation of Nigel Smith, I wrote a pilot for a sit-com.  It was staged with nine other potential sit-coms at Riverside studios, in what was to turn out to be the final year of Channel 4’s Sit-Com festival.  The Right Size also staged a pilot, as did Mitchell and Webb.  Road Rage was subsequently commissioned for a few episodes by the BBC, but never got made and fell down between the cracks of the TV world, shame. 

Road Rage was set in a tree-house, centre of an anti-road protest.  The Newbury by-pass protest was recent news, and I was drawn in by that situation in which crusty, subterranean hippies and fox-huntin’ country types bizarrely found themselves, for once, on the same side.  Here is the opening gambit from that show 

Picture yourself in someplace rural
Under the trees in the dappled light
As calm as a corpse with an epidural
That's how low we're sinking tonight
The name of the wood is Fortnum Samper
The name of the place is England-shire
The name of the game is to rubber-stamp a
Roguish plan to run a road through here.
They've already got
The tarmac hot
It's ripe and ready for spreadin'
The end is nigh
We're all gonna die
In an arboricultural tarmac-geddon. . .
But the warriors are gathering' in Fortnum Samper
Armed to the teeth with camping gear
With tipis and tents and a Volkswagen camper
To stop the plan to ruin England-shire
And a roguish plan to run a big black road through here. . .
And outro. . .

The sun is ascending in Fortnum Samper
A definite shift in the atmosphere
A day is approaching to put a damper
On the rogues who want to run a road through here


Rosine’s Dilemma
From The Barber of Seville, by Beaumarchais, adapted by Lee Hall, Theatre Royal, Bristol, 2006.  This song closed the first half.  Rosine’s verses were in fairly standard Lloyd-Webber dullness, sung with a level of faux-intensity appropriate to that fell medium, and when the chorus came in it was in a martial, no-nonsense vein and then it all went G&S patter-song on us
This man will look after me

He showers me with jewellery
Is it therefore daft o’ me
To contemplate tomfoolery ?
Where am I going ?
What am I doing ?
Who is this man who’s
Pursuing me, wooing ?
Is it destiny I’m feeling?
Does the devil have the best tunes?
And tell me is it wrong
To start a song
With an endless list of questions?
Don’t ask us, love

We’re just the chorus
Passions float before us
In a manner rarefied
Voices, voices
Disembodied voices
Aah!  Aah!
And thus for moral choices
We’re unqualified
Sorry to spoil your day
But we’ve really got nothing to say
You don’t understand

I don’t think I can hand-
-le the passions that lie in my breast
I thought I was happy
But meeting this chappy
Has put all of that to the test
I’m only human
And out of the two men
Bartolo has plighted his troth
But Jonny-come-lately
Impresses me greatly
I wonder if I could have both.
She’s holding a candle

For him but can’t handle
The passions that lie in her vest
ROSINE          (correcting them) Breast!
She’s only human

And out of the two men
                        She doesn’t know who she wants best
                        As we said, love
                        We’re just the chorus
                        Better to ignore us
                        As an abstract, personified
                        Voices, voices
Disembodied voices
Aah!  Aah!
And thus for moral choices
We’re un...
ROSINE          Yes, yes, yes, yes,
That’s all very well
But I’m living in hell
In a purgatorial gloom
I want to be faithful
            But faithful to who?
Or should it be faithful to whom?
CHORUS        Tra la la la la la ! etc
ROSINE          Oh who would be feminine?
Oh what a dilemma in
                        Which I’m starting to stew
What should I do?
CHORUS        Tell you what, love
We’ll boil a kettle
Maybe you should settle
For a nice, hot, cuppa tea.
We’ve opinions after all
For we find we want a cuppa tea
And you to be less uppity
A cuppa tea and a biscuit
And an interval!

Royal Wedding

I wrote this in 2011 for an audition for a forthcoming C4 satirical comedy show: the subject of the song was given.  They never even got back to me! 

O let us be married says In-Bred the German
I’ve very good prospects says William to Kate
The doctor’s confirmed that you’re almost a virgin
And Grannie’s approved it so let’s fix a date
                        Hardly wait
O let’s drive to church in a coach made of silver
And fill up the Abbey with poshers and trees
It’s costing a fortune and thoroughly tasteless
But fuck it, we’re Royals, we’ll do as we please
                        What a breeze
O who are these people ten deep at the roadside
Subservient pebbles upon the sea shore?
Just wave to them, darling, says in-bred the German
And look like you mean it, they’ll love you much more
O who’ll bring the bacon says Duchess of Cambridge
And who’ll pay the school-fees says Middle-class Kate
It’s all taken care of In-Bred the German
The tab will be paid by the coffers of state
                        Ain’t it great?
But won’t they shout bollocks, says Duchess of Cambridge
And won’t they be sharp’nin’ the old guillotine?
No, no: this is England, they’re pretty well-trained
Just look at them queuing all night in the rain
Children and cattle all need to be led
And on fatuous pageants perpetually fed
And now they believe that it’s happy and healthy
To worship the unjustifiably wealthy
Climb in this big limousine
Be my queen!

The Scarecrow and his Servant – see individual song titles;

Let’s Go /and finale

Spring Valley/ and Jack’s Despair
Conference of the Birds


The Shoe

From Cinderella, London Bubble 1995; and revised and recycled for Cinderella with Improbable Theatre at Lyric, Hammersmith, 1999.  A trio sung by the broker’s men and the Prince
The shoe,
The shoe,
Our only hope's the shoe
It's all we've got,
And a very long shot
But nothing else will do
No clue-
's taboo
So scrape for residue
Find bits of skin
And send them in
For microscopic view.
This Ms
She is
Transparently the biz
She came, she saw,
She conked him for
His heart is broke in two (cleft in twain)
I'm pale (he's pale)
I'm wan (he's wan)
His appetite is gone
We need the foot
Of her who's put
His highness in this stew
And all we've got's a shoe.
            We're on a mission                   
Search! Search both long- and lat- itude
            To solve the mystery                 
      Search! Search until you drop!
            We've a faint suspicion                         
      Search! She'll have one foot in the nude
            She's foot-loose and fancy-free    
 Search! So we'll catch her on the hop
            Hold a big audition
With footwear as your guide!
            One precondition
For the Prince has said, she’ll be my bride
            If once her tootsies fit inside. .
This shoe!
The shoe
Thank goodness for this shoe
We shall not rest
Until our quest
Results in rendezvous
So too-
The time is overdue
We bid you all a fond adieu
To search each street and avenue
Ask not for who, we happy few
Once more unto the breach and do...
Your utmost with this Shoe!


The Sky Today
From On the Island of Aars, music by MS, Pleasance Edinburgh 2008/ London 2009.  Morag’s big theme, so it came back in several shapes
The sky today
Is patchy clouds with rowdy gusts
Of blow away
And up above the sea
The screeching birds have spied a shoal of what they
Want for tea
I’d like to warble more
But Christ it’s wet and I’d be better off indoors...
Oh how d’ye fare
Thomas the Chair
And how d’ye like the mornin’?
A terrible storm we had las’ night
A wicked bout o’ stormin’!
Another gust, I thought, maybe
We’ll be blown awa’ to sea:
Puff!  Gone!  Where would we be?
In the land of blown to sea...


The sky today
A picture book of where to look
For shades of grey
And grey the restless sea
Until the pale horizon seems
A distant make-believe
Made of memory
Perhaps I'll knit a boat
Of string and stuff and Puffins steeped
In creosote
And maybe sail away
To distant lands if only for an hour or so
On Saturday
(spoken) Oh waves, tell me your stories! Have you seen the seven seas? I'll settle for six. If only you could speak in words, rather than in that sort of pish-pish noise...
Oh mother mine
The sea is grey but just to say
I'm doin' fine
My scabby knee has cleared
But Martin Mouse has quit the house
And simply disappeared
He'll be back next year
O mam, I wonder when
Or where or whether we will ever
Meet again
We used to walk this way
(both) holding hands
And so each morning I'll return to sterile sands
Still holding hands
And just to say
The sky today
3.         Duet with Dave: Morag is contemplating suicide
MORAG        The sea today
                        Is carbon black with brackish bouts
                        Of sullen spray
DAVE             The sea is cold Postmistress don't go so close...
MORAG        And all my weary bones
                        Will dream amongst the tides for I have filled
                        My bra with stones
DAVE             You're not alone Postmistress, don't go so close
MORAG        I will be nursed below
                       And rocked upon the bosom of
                       The undertow
DAVE             I will look after you Just give me a week or two...
MORAG        And Morag's hush-a-by
DAVE             Don't go...
MORAG        Will be the drift of currents shifting in a
                        Seamless sigh
                       And so goodbye


Sinners Down in the Darkest Pit
From On the Island of Aars, music by MS, Pleasance Edinburgh 2008/ London 2009.  Hamish MacSurname wields a tambourine as he whips up this call-and-response hymn
HAMISH          Sinners down in the darkest pit
MORAG                    Drowned in a tank of Satan's spit!
HAMISH         A Hindu, Sikh and a Jesuit
MORAG                    Drowned in a tank of Satan's spit!
HAMISH        What's that awful burning smell?
                         Belching forth from Satan's well?
                         What's become of Jezebel?
MORAG         Gas-mark nine in the fires of hell.
BOTH             Gas-mark nine in the fires of hell. Yeah!

The Song My Granny Frowned At

This was the spurious framing-device from Song My Granny Frowned At, 2006: Mark’s and my cabaret, which was a wallow through our back catalogue, together with new stuff.  At the top of the show;
My granny had a rocking chair
And high-piled white emulsion hair
And when I saw her, always there
Was crumpets.
I was young and debonair
And dressed in modish disrepair
With breaking voice and sprouting hair-
-y umpits
What happened, dear, today at school?
Have you been regular at stool?
And if not, what’s that awful ghoul
-ish pong?
I said, that reek of unwashed goat
Which you so sensitively note
Is Armpit, but today I wrote
A song!
She grabbed the chair and slapped her thighs
Volcanic passion filled her eyes
A song, she screamed, a song, why I’s
Your woman!
Sing, she yelled, sing if you dare
For in this head of livid hair
Opinions lurk that I will share
With you, man.
I answered her with quavering throat
And voice as dark as creosote
And trembled at the first note
Of my song
She listened with her head inclined
And facial grimace so designed
To let me know that in her mind
My song
Was wrong…
These are the songs
At which my granny frowned she
Sighed with every syllable
And gagged with every sound
Sing song, you can’t go wrong
Unless you’re in a granny’s flat
Where I sang a song my granny frowned at
I sang a song my granny frowned at
These are the songs
At which my granny sneered
Your mother married badly and
It’s turned out as I feared
Either you’ll think the same
Or you’ll conclude that she’s a twat
But these are the songs my granny frowned at
These are the songs my granny frowned at

And, at the end;

Those were the songs
At which my granny frowned
She cried your songs are excrement
I asked her to expound
She said she’d rather eat
Her central heating thermostat
Than hear one more song
I felt her words
As if a casserole of turds
Upon my dinner bowl
I stared upon the ground
Right there, I grabbed her chair
In which the bastard woman sat
And something turned red
Here in my head
Something went snap, because I killed her
The music gets all jump-jive and celebratory;
And now that she’s dead, dead, dead
Because of what she said, said, said
She’s absolutely dead, dead, dead
You know that my granny don’t frown at my songs no mo’
And now that she’s dead, oh my!
I can sing whatever I damn well like
Love’s An Aubergine or Life’s a Bike
You know that my granny don’t frown at my songs no mo’
Granny’s toast
Feedin’ azaleas
Granny’s close-
-er to Australia
Granny said
My songs were failures
And look at her now, boy.
You know that m’ granny’s tucked
Under the patio
Completely fucked
And laid out flatio
Granny’s wearing a concrete floor
She ain’t gonna frown about m’ songs no mo’
Granny’s dead
Like a see-through frog
Granny’s dead
Like a defunct dawg
Granny dead
Like a Dickie Bow
Granny dead
And the brave little fishy when he walked asho’
Granny’s dead
Granny’ dead
S’why I’m singin’ to yah
My granny paid for a point of view
And just remember I could do the same to you

Spring Valley

From The Scarecrow and his Servant, by Philip Pullman, adapted by Simon Reade, Southwark Playhouse 2008. 

This song has a very special meaning for me: after years of showing my music writing to Mark (Stevens) and him approving, but always tactfully improving upon it, this song, when I showed it him, elicited a nod of approval and the comment, you’ve got it now, and he changed not a note.  That meant a lot.  “Scarecrow” was the last project I worked on with Mark (he recorded the backing tracks for me, and arranged some of the tunes) before he died in 2009.  This is a “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” –ish song of yearning.

Spring Valley is a place that I dream
Where the waters giggle as they tickle the stream
And the breeze on your knees
Is as pleasurably pleasing
As bedtime treats
As chocolate cheesecake
And I know
Spring Valley is a dream I'll pursue
For my straw heart's practising the day that it's true
There'll be peace for me, Jack and pizza for you
When we finally reach Spring Valley
Spring Valley is a place we can go
When we're wacked and wearisome and wonky with woe
Where the wheat as it sways
Has a sweet way of saying
You're welcome here
Your skies are clearing
And I know
Spring Valley is a place we can be
Where health and happiness and breakfast makes three
And where every night, Jack the pizza is free
In the place they call Spring Valley
To which Jack replies..
Oh, not Spring Valley again!
Stop it, stop it!
Lord Scarecrow, there is no such place
No such place. 
And I know that
It’s a dream, it’s a story and it’s
Cruel, cruel to say that it's true
Only thirst and hunger and Death times two
And there's no place as Spring Valley
And later, when the scarecrow is (we think) dead;
Oh don't leave me here without you
This can't be, this can't be the end
We've travelled so far
And in a friendless world
You've been my only friend
And oh, Lord Scarecrow, I am deep in your debt
For my world turned possible the day that we met
If I live till ninety, I'll never forget
How a scarecrow loved his servant


Stop That Overture (That would be Opera)
From The Barber of Seville by Beaumarchais, adapted by Lee Hall, Theatre Royal, Bristol, 2006.  It seemed to me that an audience coming to see The Barber of Seville, never mind that the thing had been advertised as a play and not an opera, would nevertheless have some doubts in their mind, no-one ever having heard of it as a play.  I decided to attack the problem head-on, and this opening song is the result, where several operatic clichés were used in order to deny themselves.  We started on stage with a dumb-show of some elements of the plot, whilst Rossini’s overture was playing, which canned music was interrupted thus;
ALL                Stop that overture
                        Stop that overture
                        Stop that overture
BARTOLO                 Turn if off, turn it off
ALL                Stop that overture
                        Stop that overture
                        Stop that overture
BARTOLO                 Do us all a favour
ALL                Stop that overture by Rossini
                       You’ll give the audience the wrong idea
                       If they get an overture
                       An operatic overture
                      They’ll think they’re here t’
                      Here in the theatre
                      They’ll think they’re here to hear
                                  An Opera
                                  How quaint
                                  An opera
                                 Which they ain’t, no!
FIGARO         Especially those passages of droned narration
                        What d’you call it?
ALL                                          Recitative
FIGARO                                             Thank you. Recitative.
                        Bits of information both irritating and un-neccesative
                       Which no one can be bothered to turn into a song
                                  They’re frankly wrong
                                  And much too long
                                  And belong
                                   In a billabong
ROSINE          And the arias
                        It’s a worrying thing when sopranos start singing their arias
                        With a heave of the cleavage the diva gets bloody hilarious
BARTOLO     And the lugubrious bass
                        Has a |bearded lugubrious face
                        And a voice that can really go low
                        He’ll guarantee
                        Complete misery
                        In the long dark night of his solo.
ALL                That would be opera, opera
                        Oh, what a fright.
                        And so we won’t be singing opera
ROSINE/COUNT      And the duet
ALL                                     There’s always a duet
ROSINE/COUNT      After much heavy petting
                                   The lovers are getting down to it
                                    In a duet
                                    By the end of Act Four
                                    They’ll be dragging the au-
                                    -dience through it
BARTOLO                 It’s as sexy as suet
FIGARO         Spare us the swooping and whooping in parallel thirds
                        And the mad repetition of all of the words
ALL                The mad repe-, mad repe-
                        Mad repe, mad repetition
                        Petition, petition, petit
                        The words, the words, repeating the words
                        The the,
                        The the,
the the

ALL                That would be opera, opera
                        Christ, that would be shite
And so we won’t be singing opera...
ALL                For when the Barber of Seville
                       Was written, every boy and gil
                       Who mingled at the Comedie Francais(e)
                       Knew for sure and knew for certain
                       Lurking right behind the curtain
                      Written by Pierre de Beaumarchais
                      Was not
                                Was not
                                          Was not an opera
                       Never any thought
                      Was ever improperer
                      They were there
                     To see a play!

(They Call Him) Strindberg
From Strindberg, The Comedy, a National Theatre workshop production in 2006, written by Sean Foley.  Set in a period in Strindberg's life when he had given up writing plays, even though famous for it, and had retreated to an Absinthe-fuelled existence in a Parisian garret, obsessed with the paranoid conviction that (amongst other things) Ibsen is stealing his thoughts by means of electric rays. He claimed to have found a way to transmute sulphur into pure gold, and will shortly publish his method in the scientific journals, at which point his dramatic reputation will be relegated into a minor sideshow of his true genius.
                             They call him Strindberg
                             Of the naturalistic modern school
                             Of dramaturgy,
                             The writer of the rules
                            A maverick
                            A clever-dick
                            A giant and a jewel
                            But more than all of that
                            The man’s a catastrophic fool
                             He’s a fool
STRINDY                             I’m a genius
THEY                  He’s a fool
STRINDY                            I’ll go berserk!
THEY                  And a fool
STRINDY                            At the imbeciles
THEY                  Cannot be told
STRINDY                           Ign'rant of my work
THEY                 A numbskull, for
                            Believing Sulphur
                            Can be turned
STRINDY                          Can be turned
ALL                    Into gold, gold, gold!
                          They call him August
                          It’s a moniker that quite befits 
                          A smörgåstbord of
                          Sagacity and wit
                          A radical
                          A daddy-cool
                          Of politics and grit
                          But more than all of that
                          He’s a complete and utter tit.
THEY               He’s a fool
STRINDY                         I’m a genius
THEY               He’s a fool
STRINDY                        You’re all blind!
THEY               And a fool
STRINDY                        I’m a higher form
THEY               Cannot be told
STRINDY                       Of humankind
THEY               Thinking pulver-
                          -rising Sulphur
                         Can be turned
STRINDY                      Can be turned
ALL                  Into gold, gold, gold!
Dark, moody, suspenseful middle section
STRINDY       First you get a kettle
                        And you clean it out with Dettol
                        And you fill it with metal
                        Which is base
THEY                                     (which is base!)
STRINDY       Then you add a brandy
                        Which will always come in handy
                        For the science and getting
                        Off your face
THEY                                     (off your face!)
THEY             (sotto, so as not to upset him) It’ll never work!
                        It’ll never work!
                       The man’s gone mad
                       He’s a berk.                           
STRINDY       Then you grasp the nettle
                        Take your kettle full of metal
                        And you whip it with a length of
                        And then, the ingredient
                                             The mystical ingredient.
                        Which is secret
                        And is mine, mine, mine…
THEY             This'll be good.
The music turns all nursery-rhyme
STRINDY       I’ve got a bottle of electric thoughts!
                        Electric thoughts
                        Electric thoughts!
                        I’ve got a bottle and I’ll prove it in the courts
                        And it came from Saturn!
Somehow, through sleight of hand, he produces a nugget of
ALL                Gold! Gold! Gold!
                       The dream of the ancients
                       Of each human being
                       Of every last Tom, Dick and Harry
                       We barely believe
                       That we're actually seeing
                       It here in this garret in Paree!
                       They call him Strindberg
                       He’s a cut above the common throng
                       Of mortals who
                       In the pantheon belong
                       A visionary
                       And brother, we
                       Admit to being wrong
                       And retract the central tenet of our calminating song

                        For he's a genius

STRINDY                           I’m a genius
THEY             He’s a wonder
STRINDY                          I’m a wonder
ALL                And the truth can now be told
                       That the gloom-filled plays
                       Were just a passing phase
                       They are risible and rotten
                       And in time will be forgotten
                       But the world will always welcome
                                          Gold, gold, gold!


Stuck In a Bathroom

From Do You Come Here Often, the Right Size, 1997.  The show-opener, in which Sean and Hamish find themselves both bound and gagged – albeit in such a way as to not impair in any way, either their movement or their speech - find themselves trapped in a bathroom.  Mark Stevens worked for days recording a simply brilliant backing track for this.  Another song of mine from the state-the-bleedin’-obvious school.
In a bathroom
It’s grim
In a bathroom
With him

If only we could sing
(If only we could sing!)
We’d sing a song with singing in it
(With counterpoint to underpin it)
I’d sing the counterpoint this minute
If only we could sing!
We’d sing a song about escape
A song of freedom and escape
But our voices can’t escape
‘Cos they’re gagged with sticky tape!
One minute
(Four minutes)
It may be only one minute.
Four minutes
It may have been a month
(Four hours)
I think it must be October
Four hours
I remember
Stuck in a bathroom
If only we could walk
We’d walk around the room like this
And over here we’d reminisce
About the movement that we miss
If we could walk, if we could talk!
We’d talk of this, we’d talk of that
(We’d chit and chat and chew the fat)
But we can’t walk and we can’t sing
Because we’re prisoners of string,
We’re prisoners of string,
We’re prisoners of string!

Subtle Song

From The Remains of Foley and McColl, BBC radio 4, 2000
Blaring rock:
From now on we’re gonna
Be subtle
Everything crass goes in the
Coal scuttle
Gimme an S
Gimme a U
Gimme a T A L and a dictionary too
We’ve been in space in a
Space shuttle
But we’re coming in to land on the
Planet Subtle.


Too Damn Hot
From The Translucent Frogs of Quuup, music by MS.  Edith and Anthony, in a canoe in the Amazon, are hot. 
                         D’you know it’s too damn hot in the Amazon
                        You need not put pyjamas on
                        You need not
EDITH                              Put on  anything at all
ANTH                                                        Apart from y’ clothes

EDITH            Because the crash bang sun

                        Sledgehammers on
                        The cast iron anvil of the Amazon
BOTH             Cucumber cool it’s not
                        In fact it’s too damn hot.
                        It’s so steamy I might expire
                       You won’t see me, lobbin’ a log on the old log fire
                        It’s so damn hot in this piddly boat

                       You need not wear an overcoat
                       You need not wear diddly-squat
                       A pidderly plot
                       By Ridderly Scott
                       Is coming to get you
                       Ready or not                
                       It’s so steamy I might expire
EDITH                       (God help the babbies and the papas and the mammas on
                                     A quest for a siesta in the oven of the Amazon)
ALL                And I’m afraid
                       That we have strayed
                        Into a crazy cavalcade of Celsius and Centigrade
                       Too damn hot in the Amazon
                       You need not put pyjamas on
                       Cucumber cool it’s not
                       In fact it’s too damn hot.
                       Too damn hot
                                    Phew, what a scorcher!
                       Too damn hot
                                   What a day!
                       Too damn hot
                                   And though the sun is quieter now it’s still
                       Damn hot!

The Translucent Frogs of Quuup

See separate page for the show: individual song titles for lyrics;

A Moment in Time/ reprise
Eat the Frog
Love is like an Aubergine/ Love is Nothing like an Aubergine

Too Damn Hot
Welcome to Quuup/ Goodbye from Quuup



Trees (Are Beautiful People Too)
Originally from Road Rage, C4 sit-com festival, Riverside Studios 1999.  It has student-slacker references, so that when this was recycled for inclusion in On the Island of Aars, to be sung by Dave Bladget, the superannuated bass player out of Tungsten Orkid, I rewrote the second half, to reflect his rock-star roots   

Na na na na
Have leaves
Na na na neh nih noh nuh
Trees don't go to pubs or shops
Trees don't live in houses
Don't get hassled by the local cops
When they forget their trousers
They’re trees
Na na na na
They got leaves
Na na na neh nih noh nuh
Trees are green and trees are brown
Their outer bits are barky
And when the snow is heavy on the ground
They don't feel parky
But nevertheless I believe it's true
Trees are people like me and you
Beautiful people through and through
Trees are beautiful people too.
*Trees don't get the answers right
In school examinations
Trees don't stay up every bleeding night
Playing the Playstation
Trees don't spend their college fees
On cider to get pissed with
Trees don't study sociology
At Aberystwyth
But nevertheless I believe it's true
Trees are people with a point of view
Beautiful people through and through
Trees are beautiful people too.
Na na na na
Have leaves
Na na na neh nih noh nuh
*And Dave Bladget’s version;
Trees don’t sign four-albums deals
With a major label
Or celebrate with largely liquid meals
Under the table
Trees don’t travel overseas
For tax-evasion
Trees don’t tend to pass on STDs
To half the population

But nevertheless, etc




Trudging through the Foothills of Literature
From The Remains of Foley and McColl, BBC radio 4, 2000.  A cowboy song.
Come on let’s get out of this book
Trudging through the foothills of literature
There’s another one over yonder we could take a look
And trudge through a valley not far from here
We’ve been in Hollywood Wives for far too long
Where the dialogue’s weak and the smell is strong
And we’ll get there quicker with a scene-change song
Come on let’s get out of this book
Trudging through the foothills of literature.
We’ll camp for the night by the babbling Rupert Brooke
That’s trickling through a valley that’s near to here.
We’ll find a sleepy-time story in a flower-bed
Where the duck-down duvet and the pages spread
My feet are aching ‘cos they’re too well-read

Unexpected Tango
From Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, London Bubble at Greenwich theatre, 2002.  The Dame and Commander Hosepipe Bann are surprised to find chemistry between them...
HE                   I’m in shock!
                        To find me biorhythms all to cock!
                        My heart is beating like some hyperactive clock!
SHE                 I know.
                        And so,
                        Let’s chill the vibe
                        And thus perhaps
                        Avoid the possibility
                        Of cardiac collapse...
BOTH             And dance a tango ov
                        Surprising Lov
                        Surprising Luv
                        We’ll dance a tango uv
                       We’ll cut a light sashay
                       Like they do Buenos Aires way
                       And thus display
                       Our love.
                                   Like the cactus
                       They said our love would never blossom!
                                  But we’ll silence our detractors
                        With a love that’s truly ossom!
                       And ‘neath the desert skies
                       We’ll register our surprise
                        By dancing an unexpected tango
HE                   Let loose those startled feet
                        To the languor of a Latin beat
                        O that satin beat
                        Liquid and bittersweet
SHE                 We’ve been in quarantine
                        And our dancing from the Argentine
                        Was unforeseen
                        Like love
BOTH                          We declare
                       We’re feeling fruitier than mango!
                                     Let them stop us if they dare
                       As Vera and commander Bann go
                                     A tango
                      And ‘neath the desert skies
                      We’ll find we’re in paradise
                      By dancing an unexpected tango


Very Happy Memories of Holland
From On the Island of Aars, music by MS, Pleasance Edinburgh 2008/ London 2009.  Dave Bladget learns that Puupiline van den Blouws is Dutch
DAVE             I've very happy memories of Holland
                       Of summer days beside the Zuyder Zee
                       Man, I knew where I was at there
                       And in fact, I bought a flat there
                       By the water, by the water, least I think that it was me
                       Very happy memories of Holland
PUUP                                   I go now, goodbye

DAVE             I've very happy memories of Holland

                       The triumphs and the tantrums and the tours
PUUP                                   Please stop singing
DAVE             The dog-shit and the herrings
                       Where you kinds lose you bearings
                       Cos the shops display a window-dressing largely made of whores.
                       And I've very Happy Memories of Holland.
PUUP                                   What's that smell?
DAVE             Very Happy Memories of Holland.
PUUP             Go away
                        Stop singing
                        Something's minging
                        There's a really noxious smell
                        It's barely human
                        Christ, it's you man
                        I have died and gone to Hell
                        Stop singing
                        Gosh forsaken
                        You are makin'
                        Me feel ill
                        With your smelling
                        And your telling me
                        Your quite annoying
BOTH                         Very happy memories of Holland
                                     Very happy memories of Holland
PUUP                                                 Goodbye. Wash.
Puupiline makes to go, but Dave lets slip that he made a lot of money in metal and she mistakes, believing that the foul-smelling tramp has some secret regarding lucrative mineral rights on the island, and suddenly she’s interested...

DAVE             I've very Happy

PUUP                           No!
DAVE                                     Memories of Holland
PUUP                           Not mem'ries, don't mean your mem'ries
DAVE             Happy memories indeed
PUUP                           Tell me more about the metal, the money
DAVE             Though now, upon reflection
                        It appears my recollection
                        Is of temporary blindness caused by large amounts of weed
                        But I've happy memories of somewhere
PUUP                            I do not care
DAVE             And I think it might have been Sebastopol
                        No better lands....
PUUP                            I 've guessed it: than de Nederlands...
DAVE             Than Denmark
                        Lithuania's nice and Finland
                        And the rainier bits of inland
                        France but really I think dearly-est of Holl...
                        Here we go again
                       Those madeleines
                       Of mem'ry burpin' through me brain
                       Do you remember
                       That September?
                       Nor do I but mem'ry lane!
                       I know this much, man
                       That your Dutchman
                       Is your quintessential dude
                       And you're from Zealand
                        Keep it real and
                       Thanks for sharing all my
BOTH                      Very happy memories of Holland
                                 Very happy memories of Holland
                                 Very happy memories of
DAVE             Nice to have a sing song, eh?
PUUP                                                 No.


From The Scarecrow and his Servant, by Philip Pullman, adapted by Simon Reade, Southwark Playhouse 2008.   The recruiting sergeant sings the Act Two opener…

I 'opes as 'ow your interval was jolly
I 'opes as your interval was nice
I 'opes as you had ice-cream and a lolly
I 'opes you guzzled fizzy drinks wiv ice..
A Scarecrow and his Servant
Might give minor satisfaction
But now we've got the army
And some proper, manly action
We got a war!
We got a war!
War is wonderful
War is glorious
War is all of this and more
Peacetime's pitiful
Pointless and laborious
Gimme, gimme a good war
War is elegant
War is honourable
War is fashionable and fun
If you're feeling all
Wobbly, weak and vulnerable
You'd better get yourself a gun
Man is highest of the creatures
Capable of anything at all
Beasts have nothing they can teach us
About the tooth and claw
Of whatever it is we're fighting for
Stand up straight, m'boys and
Brace your shoulder and aim thus
Who we're firing at
We're really not particular
's long as it's them and not us
There, a village lies in tatters
Yonder is a man has lost his arm, and
Here, is nothing much that matters
Just the populace
Who till everso recently owned the place
War is natural
War is beautiful
War is everything and how!
If you're breathing...
(And many of you are breathing...)
You're half-way close to suitable
To stand up and fight!
Learn how to kill!
Sign up and join the war now!


We’re Both Dead
From Do You Come Here Often, The Right Size 1997.  This song started life as a things-could-be-worse song, but the overtones of Death were present in the situation of two-men-stuck-for-eternity-and-for-reasons-they-never-fathom-in-a pastel-coloured-bathroom, and this is what came out.  The chorus grows each time it returns, reminiscent of many sing-along folk songs, such as “One Man Went to Mow”.  I am particularly pleased with the exponential growth of the horror, and with the half-rhymes, and masculine/feminine relationship of the couplets at the ends of lines one and three of the verses: “bus/from us”; “garden/Canada”; “beach/damage”.  So ner.

If one day we’re reading on the bus
And the man behind asks
            If he can borrow the newspaper from us
And if on returning it, he’s folded it all wrong
We’ll turn to him immediately and scream this song;
We’re both dead but we came back
We don’t know what your game is but we don’t intend to crack
And you can try to mess with us
When we’re on the bus
And you can even fold our paper till it’s less than flat
But we’re both dead and you’ll not compete with that!
If one day, we’re walking in a garden
And a girl comes up with
            A mallet she says was a present from Canada
If she’s a psychopath and smacks us in the jaw
Will sing this song discretely as we hit the floor;
We’re both dead but we’re still here
We’ve been kippered like a chicken and the marinade was fear!
And you can punch me in the face
That’s a painful place
Try to mess with us
When we’re on the bus
And you can even fold our paper till it’s less than flat
But we’re both dead and you’ll not compete with that!
            If we’re ever of here we’ll be inclined to say
            That we thought we’d never see again the limpid light of day
            Our hearts are made of helium; our heads are full of hay
            And Life will be quite different now we’ve
                        Both of us tragic’ly passed away. . .
And if one day, we’re strolling on a beach
And a war breaks out with
            The likely result of collateral damage
And if we’re the targets as the missiles start to rain
We’ll quickly hit the chorus in the seconds that remain;
We’re both dead but we don’t care
Our breakfast was dejection and elevenses, despair
And you can shoot me in the knee
Painful as can be
March me into camp
Starve me till I’m thin
Flopsy-flapsy skin
Strip me of my name
Both of us the same
Make me dig a pit
That’s nasty bit
Punch me in the face
That’s a painful place
Try to mess with us
When we’re on the bus
And you can even fold our paper till it’s less than flat
But we’re both dead
We’re both dead
We’re both dead



Welcome Home from the Wars

From Much Ado About Nothing Duke’s theatre, Lancaster; Promenade-in-Williamson-Park season. 1987.  This was sung by a large choir of local volunteers, at the start of the play when the lads return from the war – obviously – and the thing of which I am most proud about this song (other than my pitiful smugness at having milked the “ane” rhymes) was that I got the whole choir to do a comedy ending.   Two “Welcome Home From The Wars” as final cadences, but with enough pause between so that the characters could think it was all over, and be interrupted, and  then a third suggested but never happening, by getting the whole choir to do an in-breath, going nowhere.  Much jollity

Welcome home from the wars!
From Death’s fell jaws victorious!
Welcome home from the wars!
O, sing your song euphorious!
When the grim-fac’d foe came in marshal vein
Thru’ the tedious plain
And the pouring rain
With a sword profane
Having Honour slain
            Off ye went for the cause!
Just like the ancient Dane
Or the bold Charlemagne
On a fierce campaign
In a strange terrain
Ye did fight in disdain
Of a painful pain
Neither did complain
Nor remain in vain
But did strain
To regain
For the Duke’s demesne
Honour (slain)
To Her feet again
            Hark to the cheers and applause!
Welcome home from the wars!
            Welcome home from the wars!


Welcome to Quuup
From The Translucent Frogs of Quuup.  Edith and Anthony awake in a village, mid-jungle.  The locals sing loudly at them
Sound the gong!

Sound the gong! Sound the gong!
Welcome to Quuup
Welcome to Quuup
I’d like to form’lly
Announce on be-
-half of the group
Welcome to Quuup
Welcome to Quuup
It’s super-doop
Brothers and sisters
Got vis’tors
And we’re cock-a-hoop
To see you in Quuup
Anthony and Edith realise they have arrived at their destination;
We’re here in Quuup.

Among the Quu-uuup
Who would have dreamt fundament’ly
That Marigold-Bentley
Would be showin’ his face in
Unpackin’ his case in
The Amazon basin...
Edith excitedly has noticed that everyone is naked
We’re here in breasts

I mean Quuup...
Where Life is bouncy
Who would have dreamt that we’d make it
To somewhere so naked
And I’d be showing my face in
Unpacking my case in
Undoing my stays in
This rather amazin’
Magical place
Majestical place
Magnificent place in
The Amazon basin...
Welcome to Quuup

(We’re here in Quuup!)
Welcome to Quuup
(We’re here in Quuu-uup!)
Now that we’ve metcha
You betcha
We’re looping the loop
And at the end of the day
It’s balls in the net
A game of two halves
And too many cooks
When all’s said and done it’s
Welcome to Quuup!
And, after the adventure is over...


Goodbye from Quuup

 Goodbye from Quuup!
Our spirits droop!
Now that you’re leaving
Our tears fall
Like some kind of soup…

Welcome to the Cottage see Cottage


What a Pair
From Cinderella, Lewisham 1996, and for Improbable theatre, 1998.  In 1996 I had for a couple of years, been writing songs for, and had played Dame in, the Bubble panto, and was looking to do so for the third year running.  The Bubble pantos – a left-field alternative variant – were at the time ensconced in the charming hostel-for-rats that was the Albany Empire (now revamped, before you sue), in Deptford, South-East London.  Down the road at the Lewisham theatre was the big, commercial panto-with-TV-stars-and-sports-personalities, on which we at the Bubble rather sniffily looked down.   In spring 1996 I got the job of being Clingfilm in London’s Burning, and for some reason Peter Duncan (who was dong the pantos at Lewisham) thought I might be already a TV name to put on the poster for the panto at the Lewisham theatre.  In this he was wrong, and when autograph hunters were hugging the stage door for the thrill of an X from the likes of Tessa Sanderson, Cheryl Baker, Brian Hibbard out-of-the-Flying-Pickets and Bodger and Badger, I got little more than a puzzled enquiry of who the fuck are you?  Anyway, Duncan poached me.  Peth, who ran the Bubble, wrote and directed the pantos, tempted me back with the timeless negotiation, “whatever Duncan is paying you, I’ll halve it!”  I appreciated the offer, but didn’t take it, and went to Lewisham, which felt at the time like a betrayal of principles for the promise of Lucre.  Which, incidentally, was seven-hundred quid a week, I recall.  Anyway, there I was off to do panto with the above-mentioned stars, to be an Ugly sister with Brian H the other one.  Well, I thinks to meself, well, I’d better write a song.  I want something funny to sing, and not just rehashed versions of Buck’s Fizz.  So I wrote the following, innuendo-heavy piece of smut and told Peter Duncan I had done so.  He said he’d put me in touch with his MD, a man called Mark Stevens, who came round to my kitchen one Saturday morning and I showed him this song.  That was the first time I met Mark and, like many times in the years to come, he took my careful manuscript of chords and melody, sat thoughtfully at the piano for a few minutes, before playing a better version and saying to me, “is this what you meant?”  So, this song has especial memories for me, being the first thing out of many which Mark and I worked on together.  I miss him a lot.  
UGLY 1          Out of me ‘n’ her
                        I’m the one what’s cleverer
                        I’m famous for me brilliance and brain
                        Not bragging,
UGLY 2                          No…
UGLY 1          No.  Not bragging
UGLY 2                          No…
UGLY 1          No. not bragging but I read a book
UGLY 2                         Once.
UGLY 1          I suspect you’ll
                        Have spotted the intelleckchool)
                        And the Handsome Prince will very soon find
                        He’s gob-smacked by the size of me mind.

UGLY 2.         I'm more gorgeous-er
                        I'm bog-off drop-dead gorgeous-er
                        One glimpse has driven grown men insane  / to drink
                        Not bragging,
UGLY 1                           No…
UGLY 2          No.  Not bragging
UGLY 1                           No…
UGLY 2          No. not bragging but I got the look
UGLY 1                           Innit
UGLY 2          I see me as
                        Sort of Twiggy meets Cam’ron Diaz
                       And the handsome Prince will be thrilled to bits
                       And gob-smacked
UGLY 1                                              Yeah
UGLY 2          By the size of me personality
UGLY 1          You're the prettiest
UGLY 2          You're the cleverest
BOTH             But together we're the very, very, very best
                        We'll get a standing ovulation
                        When they set their eyes upon this cataclysmic combination
                        What a pair!  We'll be there,
                        We'll be absolutely fab
                        When we turn up, posh, in a minicab,
And cor,

                        When we walk through the door it'll be
                        Woarr!  Phwoarr!  Gimme more!
                        We'll be adored
                        And applaud-
                       -ed for being so glam
                        As we knock back another Babycham/ a pint of Babycham
                        And the prince will be heard to declare,
                                     Blow me!  What a beautiful pair!
                        What a pair!  And the heir
                        To the throne will agree
                        That to marry me (me!) me (me!) will be his destiny,
                                     And Jeez,
                        He'll be down on his knees givin’ it
                        Please!  Don’t tease! Give us a squeeze!
                        And we’re so class it’d be absurd
                        For him to snog up any another bird
                        And the prince will be heard to declare,
                                    Blow me!  What a lovely set of circumstances
                                   Blow me!  What a beautiful pair!

When all the World’s a Supermarket
From Mother Goose and the Wolf, London Bubble at Greenwich theatre, 2003.  This was sung by the incomparable Linda Dobell, who died in 2009, leaving the world noticeably a poorer place
When all the world’s a supermarket
For every cart a place to park it
What a crowd
What a crowd
Makes you proud
To catch such a crowd
And no other shops will be allowed
When all the World’s a supermarket
Even when days are cold and dark it
Will be light
And at night
Twice as bright
As the brightest day
And all other shops will fade away
When all the World’s a supermarket
Everyone will pay
Just to be in the supermarket
To dream their lives away
Twenty-four hours a day
If I’ve correctly judged my target
Everyone loves a supermarket
Can’t deny
You adore
Buying more
More and more and more
With luxury lino on the floor
A big happy face above the door
The people enthralled for evermore

Wiggery Wack Woo (The Suicidal Fish song)

From Bewilderness, The Right Size, 2001.  At a point in the show where Sean and Hamish, wandering in their strange purgatory, sit by a camp-fire, looking for comfort.  They decide to sing a song to cheer themselves up, but the song somehow turns tragically in on itself and, when it’s over, leaves everyone much more depressed than they started.  Another cosy reference to 1950s life-story-with-a-moral songs (See No Room for Dickie and Life’s Like a Bicycle for others)

Wiggery wack woo
Walk in the wiggery wood
Pingy pong poo
I bet I could
Once there was a fish in a big fish pond
Who thought to walk in the wood beyond
Out in the wiggery-wack waggery-wack wood
And he said to his mum
I bet I could (It can’t be difficult just to)
Wiggery wack woo
Walk in the wiggery wood
Pingy pong poo
I bet I could
His mummy said son that’s a damn fine plan
But you’re a fish, and frankly, I doubt that you can
(Y’know that) Dreams are fine in the middle of the night
But in the cold light of day
They’re shite (you might as well be singing)
Wiggery wack woo
Walk in the wiggery wood
Pingy pong poo
I bet I could
The little fish frowned
And his face grew long
At the fatalistic message
Of the matriarchal song
There must be more to Life
Than a stagnant pond
I must abscond
And take a
Wiggery wack woo
Walk in the wiggery wood
Pingy pong poo
And so the fishy kissed his
Mamma goodbye and he said take care
I’m doing this for pond-life everywhere
He wiggery-wack walked till the ground grew dry
And all that was above him was a biggery-blue sky
The beauty of the world made him gasp and cry
And a bird flew down from a tree nearby
And pecked, pecked, pecked, pecked out his eye
And a badger came along and ripped out his innards
And that was the end of the brave little fish

William T G Moreton

From Penny Dreadful’s Etherdome, 2011.  William Moreton was the first, successfully to anaesthetize a patient for surgery.  He borrowed the idea of using Ether; then attempted to disguise the stuff with orange-oil, and patent it as a substance called Lethion.  He failed in those aspirations, but nevertheless, goes down in history as the father of anaesthesia
Hand out the laurel crown of fame

Hand out the laurel crown of fame
(oh won’tcha) Hand out the laurel crown of fame
And sing his name!
William T G Moreton held ma nose

I’m comatose
Total oblivion
Didn’t feel the knife
I owe my life
To that there Lethion
Yes, I guess it’s true

I’ve writ a new
Chapter in history
Doin’ jes’ ma bit
To benefit
Suff’rin’ humanity
ALL                Moreton!  William T G Moreton!
                        My hero!
MORETON   Moreton: me!  Say it again
ALL                Moreton!  William T G Moreton!
                        Kiss ma baby!
MORETON   Moreton: me!  Remember the name
ALL                Moreton!  William T G Moreton!
                       Kiss ma baby!  Kiss ma baby!  Kiss ma baby!  Kiss ma baby! 
Moreton, raise your glass

You betcha ****
Be gone the woebegone
Carnival the street
We’re proud to meet
The man of Lethion
Cast the man in bronze!
Place him upon s-
-ome kind of plinthery
This American
This noble man
Has come to set us free
                        Free from ouch!
                        Free from grief!
                        Free from squealing
                       As they pull your teef!
                       Imagine the pain of Dentistry is
MORETON   And yours for a very small fee
Moreton leads the way

Startin’ today
Life’s gotten easier
Moreton’s Lethion
Ushers a dawn
Of anaesthesia
Moreton gets the vote
He floats the boat
He’s in the pantheon
Moreton is the man
He’s got the plan
Headline the Lethion
We can’t overstate
The huge importance
Of this invention of
William Moreton’s
Someone’s making history
MORETON   And it’s me!
ALL                And it’s Me!

From The Translucent Frogs of Quuup, music by MS.  Anthony asks Edith to marry him…This song led onto Braziuw, and has the same chorus.  Yes and Braziuw acted as a musical continuum which took our story from the marriage proposal directly to them being in a canoe in South America.  Mark and I were smug about that.
EDITH:           Yes! I could say no, but no
                         I sooner go with yes!
                        And when step out in a pale pink dress
                         I’ll look divine
                        And thus the bottom line is yes.
ANTH            Yes! You’ve made a chap
                        An apogee of happiness
                        And you won’t mind if darling I confess
                        Had it been no
                        I’d be a melancholy mess
They get married
VICAR            Brethren, what do you say
                        To honour and obey till death?
E & ANTH                         I do, do, be do
VICAR            And thou, wilt thou
                         In summer sun
                        Or rainy weather
                        Here’s your certificate.
E & ANTH    Too, too, too and ever so now we’re wedded
                        Plot a course for matrimonial bliss
VICAR            See you at the Christening!
E & ANTH    Do, do, do, I can’t believe that I said it
                       Smoochy hugs and coochy-coo kiss, kiss, kiss
                       All at once we’re suddenly rather growed up
                       All at once we’re suddenly ten feet tall
                       Aged aunts and uncles that somehow showed up
                       For our big day they came to hip-hooray
                      All the way they came to hear us say
Edith suggests a honeymoon in Brazil
ANTH            Yes! I could say no, but no
                        I’d sooner go with yes!
                       And for my paperclips I couldn’t care less
                       Me and my bride
                       We’re going for a ride South-West!


You’re a Cow, I’m a Boy – see I’m a Boy, You’re a Cow



You’re Nice
From The Barber of Seville, by Beaumarchais, adapted by Lee Hall, Theatre Royal, Bristol, 2006.  In this song, Figaro is encouraging the Count to invent a song with which to serenade Rosine, who is on a balcony.  The Count is rubbish at it, so Figaro has to help: a sort of musical Cyrano moment
COUNT          You’re nice, you’re nice
                        You’re nice, you’re nice
                                     You are nice.
FIG                 (SPOKEN) You’re nice?  Is that it?
COUNT          (SPOKEN) Pretty good, huh?
FIG                 (SPOKEN) It’s a great start. 
COUNT          (SPOKEN) There’s more!
                        I think you’re nice
                       So much so I’ll say it twice
                                     You are nice.
FIG                 (SPOKEN)      Tell her you love her.
COUNT          I love you
FIG                              That’s good.
COUNT          Or at least I think I do
                        Actually I probably do
                        You and me and me and you
                        Could possibly rendezvous
                        Take a walk around the zoo
                        To marvel at the kangaroo
                        Eat a plate of Irish stew
                        ‘s amongst the things that we could do…
FIG                 (SPOKEN) Enough of the oo rhymes.

FIG and BAND         And all of this

                       Could be ours, sweet miss
                       And a solit’ry kiss
                       Would suffice
COUNT                     Cos you’re nice
(SPOKEN)    What a team
FIG                 (SPOKEN) Verse two.  You’ve got your theme.  Develop it like a sonnet...
COUNT          I’m no fool
                        And actually it’s pretty cool
                        To stand beside a swimming pool
                        Instead of in a vestibule
                        Singing of all the things that you’ll
FIG                                                                 Do
                        To make me happy
COUNT          You could change my nappy
ROSINE          (SPOKEN)                              Eh?
FIG                  (SPOKEN) Nappy not good.  Nappy not good
COUNT          (SPOKEN) It’s all I could think of. 
FIG                 (SPOKEN)                              Leave it to me
FIG and BAND            I only sing of babies

                        For my Love is like a child
COUNT          Like a rabid dog with rabies
FIG and BAND  I’m impassioned and I’m wild
COUNT          Like an episode of Neighbis
FIG                                                     What?
COUNT          In that it’s pretty dramatic actually
COUNT          You’re nice!
FIG & BAND You’re so nice that a solitary glance
                         Has made my whole world dance
                         In a different way
                         Even the stars in the seen-it-all skies
                        Are full of surprise
FIG                  And they seem to be declaring
COUNT          You’re nice
FIG and BAND          You took my heart and a solitary smile
                        Has made my life worthwhile
                        Singing hip hooray
                        The angels all are envious in so-called paradise
COUNT          Cos you’re absolutely a thing of beauty
                        And probably really…
(SPOKEN)      N...oh, there’s one more thing……
                       My name is Lindor
                      And I am of the masculine gindor
                       I believe I’ll love you till I die
                      Yours sincerely
                      Thanking you
                      And could you please reply
ROSINE          Oh Linda,
                        What a strange name for a man
                        But I can hear you singing
                        Your singing and your lyrics
                        Have put me in hystirics
                        But from the deep-down in my torso
                        I should like to say that orso (also!)
                        You’re nice!
FIG &BAND  You’re so nice that a solitary glance
                        Has made my whole world dance

                        In a different way
                        Even the stars in the seen-it-all skies

COUNT/ROSINE      You’re nice
FIG and BAND You’re so nice, you’re nice, you’re nice!
FIG                 Nice!


 From The Translucent Frogs of Quuup, music by MS.  Starving in the jungle, Anthony and Edith eat the forbidden fruit of the Yumamá, which sends them tripping.  Edith realises with horror that she is part of a narrated play.  Mark had the idea that the further we got into the territory of the Quuup tribe, the funkier the music should get.  This, on the borders, was a Jobim-inspired bossa,

ALL                  We’re in the wild wonky world of Yumamá
                         Where there’s a mild sense of something gone too far
                         And there’s a song that’s in the air
                         And it’s coming out of anywhere.
                                    And Yumamá
                                              You and me and the Yumamá
                                              You and me and the Yumamá


EDITH              We’re in the wild
                                  Can you hear that ?
ANTH                                    What?
EDITH              Wonky world of Yumamá
ANTH                                    What?
EDITH              Where there’s a mild
                          There’s singing and a sense o’ something
                          I dunno what it is but there’s a song
                          There’s a song that’s in the air
                                  Can you hear it?
                                              Can you hear it?
                                                      Can you hear the song?

ALL                 We’ve run aground on the banks of Yumamá

                         We’re lost and found in the don’t know where we are
                         We’re like the dodgems at the fair
                         And the pedals made of Camembert
                                  And Yumamá.
ANTH              I hear nothing but the bubbling blue
CHRIS                                                      Said Anthony
ANTH                                                                   Of the blue canoe.
                         I see nothing but loving you
CHRIS                                                      Said Anthony
ANTH                                                                   How soft the air is
                         I’m like the dodgems at the fair
                                                                Of Camembert
                         And Yu-
EDITH                      Can’t stand it
ANTH                           ma-
EDITH                                 Fact I hate it
ANTH                                   ma..
EDITH                                         Got a feeling that I’m being narrated.
CHRIS                                                      Said Edith.
ALL                                      You and me and the Yumamá
                                             You and me and the Yumamá

Edith searches the canoe, determined to find the stowaway who is narrating her.  As she does so, she is narrated

                         It’s all absurd in a song of Yumamá
                         Where every word is a bunch of blah, blah, blah.
                         It’s gonna drive you round the bend
                         And you never know when it will end.

CHRIS & EDITH     This isn’t happening this really can’t be happening
                         Really, really, really can’t be happening
                         When every word, every syllable of the song is just a
                         Blah, blah, blah.
                         It’s gonna drive me round the bend
                                         And when’s it gonna end?