FlandersSwann logo
  1. Home
  2. Interests
  3. Flanders & Swann
  4. At the Drop of a Hat

Songs For Our Time

Flanders: Donald and I have made quite a study of popular music over the next few years, and we've noticed that songs that include foreign phrases are nearly always hits. You think, there have been hundreds of them. There was "Volare", "Que sera, sera", and further back "Auf Wiedersehen My Dear"... what was the other one?
Swann: "Arrivederci"...
Flanders: "Arrivederci, Darling, is my Advice to You". All these, and many more have become hits. Now, we'd very much like to write a hit, wouldn't we?
Swann: Ooh, yes!
Flanders: You know, we've got to think of our old age and so on. And we'd like to write a song of this kind too, but when we looked into it we found so many of these phrases have been used.
  But I think we've managed to find one that hasn't. And here, in our bid for the hit parade, is the song we've built round it:
Both: Oh, it's hard to say...
Flanders: "Oly-ma-kitty-luca-chi-chi-chi"
Both: But in Tonga, that means... "No"!
  If I ever have the money,
  'Tis to Tonga I shall go.
  For each lovely Tongan maiden there,
  Will gladly make a date.
  And by the time she's said:
Flanders: "Oly-ma-kitty-luca-chi-chi-chi",
Both: It is usually too late!
Flanders: No, I don't think so really, do you? No, I think it's probably very much easier, if you want to write a hit, just to stick to the old "Moon in June". We tried that, too - we tried our own variation on that highly unoriginal theme. Like this:
  It's a satellite moon,
  It's a plagiarised tune,
  That duck on the lake's a decoy.
  There's a sodium glare,
  In the purifi-ow-i-ow-i-ow-ied air,
  And the girl in my arms...
  Is Mabel Figworthy and if she says "Oh really?" once more I shall break her neck!
  We feel that in this... in this... in this...
  What the world really needs most of all is not spite. We've got enough spite in the world. But another simple happy chorus song. Well, why not? Something in which all can join, for a change, something which expresses the feelings of all the ordinary people, all over the world...
  I think we've found such a song. It's called...
  It's called... "WHEEE!-POP!-OOOHHH!"
  This is a chorus song, please join in!
  Very interesting, actually, we originally thought of calling this song "WHEEE!-POP!-BLBLBLBLB!" but we thought this sounded rather stupid.
  A song, we feel, very much for our time:
Swann: Oh, when you're feeling kind of blue,
Flanders: Kind of blu...
Swann: And you don't know what to do,
Flanders: What to d...
Swann: And you've got a load of troubles on your mind,
Flanders: On your m...
Swann: If you face them with a smile,
  It will make your life worthwhile,
Flanders: (Grumbles)
Swann: And you'll find that every cloud is silver-lined.
Both: Sing this happy song with me,
  Such a simple melody,
  Once those skies above are grey,
  You can face the world today,
  If you'll only learn to say,
Flanders: All together!
Swann: When your life is filled with care,
Both: You will hear it everywhere,
Both: Though the world may wear a frown,
  Here's a way to win renown,
  Tell them as they strap you down,