Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Very Model of a Modern New Conservative

This is a bit more ambitious that what I usually do here –in fact, it’s several hundred miles outside my comfort zone – but once I had the idea I couldn’t resist trying. Hopefully, the poor recording quality helps to conceal the lack of tunefulness. [Update: as the consensus is, correctly, that the recording is the worst thing ever, I've taken it down. The lyrics will do.] (With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan, whose Major-General’s song from The Pirates of Penzance I have of course ripped off, using music from here.)

I am the very model of a modern new Conservative
Of Thatcherism’s image I’m a necessary purgative
Of middle England’s prejudices, I’m still quite affirmative
I’m sure those immigrants can find somewhere that they prefer to live.
I like to ride a bicycle for photo-opportunities
If you doubt I’m a real Tory I can put you soon at ease
I want to spend your money saying marriage is superior
And not (well hardly ever) getting rid of my wisteria.

Our public spending plans are years of jolly, harsh austerity
If anyone survives, there’ll be a furious posterity
For lesser men may find my fiscal policy perturbative
But not this very model of a modern new Conservative.

My modern Tory party is a model of plurality
For rich people of any age or race or sexuality
We have reformed ourselves with an impressive singularity
To look as nice as we need to to win more popularity.
My policies and principles have seasonal variety
My Bullingdon and PR background give me notoriety
I wish I could deny it but they’ve got me bang to rights, you see
And yes, I know precisely what is meant by ‘Big Society’.

I’m silver-tongued and shiny-faced and empathise most cheesily
I charm the lords of Fleet Street quite embarrassingly easily
I am the very model of a modern new Conservative
And adding ‘new’ to ‘modern’s not redundant but superlative.

I’ve Osborne, Clarke and Hague (who sadly wasn’t quite electable)
I’ve Ashcroft, Fox and May (who wears those kitten-heels delectable)
I’ve Hammond, Hunt and Herbert, and I’ve Gove and Grieve and Grayling
I’ve Duncan Smith and Neville-Jones – I just can’t see us failing.
We aim to be the model of a modern Tory government
We’ll hack away at benefits and say we’re ending smotherment
Of paupers who, without handouts, will dance themselves a merry dance
And then we’ll use the proceeds to cut taxes on inheritance.

In my desire for power I’m increasingly hyperactive
You say you want a leader but I think you just deserve a spiv
And so I’ll give you all the bullshit that I’ve got the nerve to give
For I’m the very model of a modern new Conservative!

I’d like to apologise to any notes that I may have accidentally hit during the recording of this song.
(Also: this take-off of Common People is a far, far more professional David Cameron satire song. And if you want to see Gilbert and Sullivan done properly – indeed, superbly – I recommend seeing The Pirates of Penzance at Wilton’s Music Hall in east London, showing until 16 May.)


Tom said...

That's actually really impressive. I mean, your singing is atrocious, and the music sounds like it's being played on a Casio keyboard submerged in a bath, but the lyrics are very good...

Find someone who can sing a bit and shove it together with a bit of animation and you've got yourself a surefire youtube hit.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant Tom.

Tom Freeman said...

Ooh, I spy a crowdsourcing opportunity. How splendidly Web 2.0! Anyone with better musical and production skills fancy a go?

And thanks! Normally I’m the kind of guy who shudders even to hear his own voicemail message, but I thought it’d be interesting – for me, anyway – to combine one of my better talents (ahem) with one of my very worst ones.

Andrew said...

Like it. Kudos for keeping the meter, too - that must have taken some doing.

I'd help, but I have no musical talent whatsoever. Damian?

Tom Freeman said...

It took nine takes (not counting plenty of rehearsal) to make it to the end without stumbling over the words or running out of lung capacity. Once I'd managed that, I was so pleased that little things like pitch or timbre or non-droniness paled into insignificance.

More reaction: "Only a mother could love the voice" - my mother.

Anonymous said...

I did love the Common People song. Well done on your efforts!

Thanks, too, for the election coverage. It's a very interesting election, no matter what other Americans say...