And Then We Wrote...
At the Drop of Hat
At the Drop of Another Hat
Tried by the Centre Court
MF: Hello, I'm Michael Flanders, the beautiful and bearded one, and the first question comes from practically everyone, when did you and Donald Swann first meet? Mister, er, Swann.
DS: Well, we first met at school in 1936, and we first appeared on stage together in At the Drop of a Hat on the last day of 1956.
MF: So the next question, really, is what were we up to during that missing 20 years? Well, then we wrote, hence the title. Among other things, like going to university, winning the war, and so on, we wrote songs for revues, and this evening we've got together with a group of friends we made in those days- Pat Lancaster, Charlie Mitchell, Ann Rogers and Julian Orchard
to give some of those songs another airing, songs of which we have no record, because, well, they didn't make records of revues in those bad old days.
DS: We wrote our first song in the summer of 1948.
DS: I'd gone over to Michael's home near Hamstead Heath, to see if he could think of some words to a tune I'd written, that went something like this. It all sounds a bit like Gilbert and Sullivan, don't you think?
MF: Yes, I say, it does. Well, why not. It must be terribly boring in the D'Oyly Carte company, having to do everything exactly as it always has been done. Idea! And there we were - I put some words to that tune, and then I wrote some more words for Donald to set to more music, he wrote some more music which I set to words, then he wrote some more words and I wrote some music, and it all went beautifully hand - in - hand until we ended up with a trio - for three people.
DS: We tried it out on our families and friends...
MF: ...and anyone who happened to be passing..
DS: ..and we changed it and polished it, and finally I took it off to show to the producer Laurier Lister, and he said he'd like to have it for his new review, 'Oranges and Lemons',
MF: ...and the opening of that review in November 1948 was an exciting evening for me, when I was winched into a seat at the old Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, to see the very first performance of our very first song, wittily called 'In the D'Oyly cart'...
DS: Spelt CART...,
MF: Sung then by Diana Churchill and Max Aiden and Rose Hill, and recreated for you now by Ann Rogers, Julian Orchard and Pat Lancaster.
Originally from the album 'And The We Wrote...'. Written for the revue 'Airs on a Shoestring'.