6 Aug 2020
We had a discussion a week or so about “What was the first record you bought?”, “what was the first concert you went to?” etc.
I leapt off the couch, the venue for most such discussions, and raced into the spare room and grabbed the box that contained our records. We don’t have a record player anymore, but some things are just too special to get rid of.
Obviously one such “too special” item was the very first single I ever bought. From way back in the dim distant 70’s. I couldn’t have told you the name of it until I dug it out, but I do remember keeping it. The title is “Skydiver” by Daniel Boone. It sits alongside other too valuable to turf singles by the Bee Gees, the Ferrets, Sweet, Darryl Cotton, Smokie and more 🙂 Our record collection also includes a bunch of Marcia Hines records that Simon received as presents from workmates many decades ago. When he received the first record he thought “Ok that’s nice” and then the penny dropped when subsequently around twenty people also gifted him the identical record. The penultimate record still had the 20c price label attached from the disposal shop they’d bought them at. They even melted one down and shaped it into a bowl.
Anyway – I have a fairly eclectic musical taste nowadays and my play list on my phone (where all my records ended up) ranges from classical through to current music and a lot of in betweens.
I’m very fond of musicals too, having grown up seeing The Sound of Music maybe a thousand times, as well as My Fair Lady and pretty much anything touched by Andrew Lloyd Webber. They sit in the music file on my phone alongside pretty much any artist you could think of (ok not punk for some reason).
But the purpose of today’s diarrhoea (I can see you wondering if we were ever going to get there) was the other day my phone was playing songs at random from the thousands of songs it has, and the one it played was from My Fair Lady – specifically “I’m an Ordinary Man”.
If you haven’t seen MFL, it’s about a bloke called Prof Henry Higgins, a linguist, who has a bet with one of his cronies that he can change a cockney flower seller into a lady by virtue of teaching her how to speak like a lady. Short story he succeeds and they live happily ever after.
In the day nobody probably thought too much about the songs but I have to confess that the song “I’m an ordinary man” always kind of made me intensely dislike Professor Higgins. He sings (with perfect vowel sounds of course) about how he likes nothing more than to live his life free from strife and to do exactly what he wants. But he warns that to let a woman in your life is to invite eternal strife, and how she will basically make your life a misery (paraphrased so feel free to google the lyrics). He goes on for about four verses on how awful it would be to have a woman in your life.
Of course by the end of the movie he admits that he has grown accustomed to her face, and tells her to fetch his slippers in the oh so romantic conclusion to the film.
It made me sing along a little louder with Eliza’s song “Just you wait Henry Higgins” where she promises to get dressed and go to town when he yells he’s going to drown, and so forth.
But as I was listening and humming along to the Ordinary Man song the other day, I started making up new words to the song.
So apologies for the blatant sexism, but here’s Heathers version of:
I’m an Ordinary Woman…..
….But, let an old man in your life
And your serenity is through
He’ll redecorate your home,
from the pantry to your phone
And then go on to the enthralling fun of overhauling you
Let an old man in your life
And your social life is screwed
Make a plan and you will find he has something else in mind
Instead of coffeeing with friends you’ll sit around and watch him change channels instead!
(I’m working on more verses….)
Got any more songs we need to rewrite lyrics for??