Thursday, 6 September 2018

Tom Lehrer, Tom Jones - and a Boris Johnson campaign song

How might the American singer/songwriter and satirist Tom Lehrer bring inspiration to British political leadership campaigns? Probably not by suggesting that enthusiastic support for poisoning pigeons in the park would be a keynote environmental vote winner. But if we were to combine his spoken introductions to “Oedipus Rex” and “It Makes A Fellow Proud To Be A Soldier”, we might find a clue for our theme: “…and I am convinced that the only reason for the failure of this candidate’s leadership bid last time around….you’re way ahead of me…is that he did not have a rousing campaign song with which to rally his potential followers.”

Let us apply this theory to – you’re way ahead of me – the case of a well known current aspirant to the Conservative leadership, and borrow a song from another famous singer by the name of Tom. “The Young New Mexican Puppeteer” was a hit for Tom Jones in 1972, reaching number 6 in the UK charts. A few lyrical amendments may go down well with Boris supporters, and of course badly with Boris haters…

In the Palace of Westminster
Worked a most concerned MP
He said lately I have noticed
The PM hardly speaks for me
She spreads the gloom from her advisers
“The UK can’t survive alone”
He said “I’ll lift the people’s spirits
With Brexit vision of my own”

The blond Conservative Brexiteer
He saw the people all live in fear
He thought that maybe they’d listen to
Boris telling them what to do
So he got to grips with Remain falsehood
He made some speeches and he was good
And folks came running so they could hear
The blond Conservative Brexiteer

First he quit the Foreign Office
“The Chequers Plan’s a steaming turd”
Then he echoed Winston Churchill
“Take back control, embrace the world”
Determined as the Iron Lady
Convinced the battle would be won
He knew he’d smile with satisfaction
When Theresa May was gone


Now his speaking skills were clever
And he gave the people hope
When he got across the message
To make the most of Brexit’s scope
They voted for him in their millions
And he smashed Corbyn and the Reds
And then they wrote him up in all the papers
And this is what the story said


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