Tried by the Centre Court
At the Drop of a Hat
At the Drop of Another Hat
The Bestiary of Flanders and Swann
And Then We Wrote...
We introduce a note of topicalia, inter alia. And I think one of the subjects most topical at the moment in all our minds is the subject of the commonwealth. The commonwealth, and whether England should leave it or not. We have a song about the commonwealth, it's called 'Commonwealth Fair', I think you'll recognise the music, the words are pretty familiar, too.
We'd like to sing you a commonwealth song,
All-along, down-along, round-along, lee,
There isn't much of it, it won't take us long,
Without Eire, South Africa, and probably India, Tanzania, Singapore,
Old Southern Rhodesia and all, old Southern Rhodesia and all.
The commonwealth hasn't much meaning today,
All-about, turn-about, round-about, lee,
Except for the few who're still willing to play,
Like Australia, New Zealand and Canada:
Well, that's about the lot, really.
And that doesn't include Montreal,
That doesn't include Montreal.
The others may still wear the commonwealth coat,
Though there's practically nothing on which we agree,
What does commonwealth mean, when it comes to the vote,
To Malaysia and Malta And Cyprus and Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago
and Gambia and Zambia and Milawi (that's Nyasaland) and Kenya and Ceylon and Nigeria and Sierra Leone,
Pray silence for the prime minister of Antarctica!
Ark! Ark! Ark! Ark!
Uganda and Ghana and all,
Old uncle Nkrumah one and all.
That is a terrible song. We have to re-write it every morning. I was very worried about this song, they change their names, so many of these places, they keep dodging around all over the place and I rang up the commonwealth relations office - hadn't got any relations there, but rang up anyway - they were very nice, this is true - as sure as I'm riding this bicycle. No, I rang him up and said this is a very foolish question, I'm terribly sorry, but I'm writing this song, could you tell me exactly who is in the commonwealth, and this charming man said, well, as a matter of fact the file is in the other office.
We've got another topical song coming up, though, I think it'll be fun, it's about Aden, it's about the Durham light infantry going out there, and it goes something like 'dashing along the Suez canal, to save the aden bases'. We get nothing but trouble - the sort of problems we have, we never found a descent rhyme for Khrushchev until he'd gone. Did he fall, or was he pushedoff. No use now, really.
Originally from the album 'Tried by the Centre Court'.