Saturday, 27 June 2009

There are bad times just around the corner

This afternoon I was at "A Marvelous Party" - a celebration of Noel Coward at the Florida Studio Theatre.

Coward's wit came through in his old chestnuts "Don't put your daughter on the stage Mrs. Worthington", "Mad Dogs and Englishman"; and "A Marvelous Party".

I was especially taken with "There are Bad Times Just Around The Corner", which apart from some topical references to Reds and Pinks, seemed very apposite to what I recently saw of today's Britain.

Verse 1 They're out of sorts in Sunderland
And terribly cross in Kent,
They're dull in Hull
And the Isle of Mull Is seething with discontent,
They're nervous in Northumberland
And Devon is down the drain,
They're filled with wrath On the firth of Forth
And sullen on Salisbury Plain,
In Dublin they're depressed, lads, Maybe because they're Celts
For Drake is going West, lads,
And so is everyone else. Hurray-hurray-hurray! Misery's here to stay.

Refrain There are bad times just around the corner,
There are dark clouds hurtling through the sky
And it's no good whining About a silver lining
For we know from experience that they won't roll by,
With a scowl and a frown We'll keep our peckers down
And prepare for depression and doom and dread,
We're going to unpack our troubles from our old kit bag
And wait until we drop down dead.

Verse 2 From Portland Bill to Scarborough They're querulous and subdued
And Shropshire lads Have behaved like cads From Berwick-on-Tweed to Bude,
They're mad at Market Harborough And livid at Leigh-on-Sea,
In Tunbridge Wells You can hear the yells Of woe-begone bourgeoisie.
We all get bitched about, lads, Whoever our vote elects,
We know we're up the spout, lads.
And that's what England expects.
Hurray-hurray-hurray! Trouble is on the way.

Refrain 2


There are bad times just around the corner,
The horizon's gloomy as can be,
There are black birds over The grayish cliffs of Dover
And the rats are preparing to leave the B.B.C.
We're an unhappy breed And very bored indeed
When reminded of something that Nelson said.
While the press and the politicians nag nag nag
We'll wait until we drop down dead.


Verse 3

From Colwyn Bay to Kettering They're sobbing themselves to sleep,
The shrieks and wails In the Yorkshire dales Have even depressed the sheep.
In rather vulgar lettering A very disgruntled group
Have posted bills On the Cotswold Hills To prove that we're in the soup. While begging Kipling's pardon There's one thing we know for sure
If England is a garden We ought to have more manure. Hurray-hurray-hurray! Suffering and dismay.

Refrain 3

There are bad times just around the corner
And the outlook's absolutely vile,
There are Home Fires smoking
From Windermere to Woking
And we're not going to tighten our belts and smile, smile, smile,
At the sound of a shot We'd just as soon as not
Take a hot water bottle and go to bed,
We're going to untense our muscles till they sag sag sag
And wait until we drop down dead.

Refrain 4

There are bad times just around the corner,
We can all look forward to despair,
It's as clear as crystal From Bridlington to Bristol
That we can't save democracy and we don't much care
If the Reds and the Pinks Believe that England stinks A
nd that world revolution is bound to spread,
We'd better all learn the lyrics of the old 'Red Flag'
And wait until we drop down dead.
A likely story
Land of Hope and Glory,
Wait until we drop down dead.


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