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29 The Policeman's Opera
The Policeman's Opera - Print Email PDF 
Posted by bretta 12/06/2007


» The Policeman's Opera

(from C&G #139  June 2007)
Hi there pop pickers and welcome to another Goodies Music Review.
After receiving a chunderous ovation for their writeup of "Sick Man Blues", your music reviewers Peaches Stiletto (aka Linda Kay) and Emperor Caligula (aka Brett Allender) had been tossing up on the idea of doing their very own concert tour. Their proposed selection of songs including I'll Leave-ya Pukin' (as I dash to the) John's "Hopelessly Devoted To Spew", "Chuckin' All Over The World" by Splattus Throw and the big closing number of "See Ya Later Regurgitator" (an old Bill Paley and the Vomits track apparently!) would be sure to leave their audiences barfing in the aisles.  Additionally their sponsorship by Purgin' Airlines meant that the deal was in the (sick) bag before takeoff had even commenced.
However Peaches has now decided to hang up her yellow suede shoes and give up music … she's going to become a folk singer instead. According to Peaches, she's now "gonna write music from my heart, music that's in my blood, gut music, music you can feel in your intestines, sounds that grab your giblets, rhythm that sends you tapping your bowels, swinging your pancreas, bursting your bladder!!" And if that makes you feel sick, just wait until you hear the music!
Meanwhile now that Ian Thorpe has retired, the Emperor has kindly agreed to replace him. No, not in the swimming pool (even though the Emperor was a champion breaststroker in his school days … before being locked up in juvenile detention for it!), but as a replacement for Thorpie in the Uncle Toby's ads. Apparently there's a whole generation of Aussie kids who need convincing that their breakfast cereal is "fully sick" before they'll eat it, so without doubt the Emperor is just the right man for the job, especially the morning after a big "parma and pot" night out at his local pub!
But before they heave us to go and follow their gut feelings, we'll plod on over to your drunk and disorderly DJs and their review of "THE POLICEMAN'S OPERA" by The Goodies.
"The Policeman's Opera" can only be heard on the Goodies' 70's LP "Nothing To Do With Us".
Lyrics: sung mainly by Bill, with contributions from Graeme (as the Dreadcorps policeman) and Tim (as the Photofit girl). The song runs for more than 11 minutes, so the lyrics listing is a bit of an epic. Backing vocals (in brackets) are sung in a stereotypical English policeman's voice, except in the Dreadcorp section where they mostly sound distinctly Jamaican!
(Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello.)
(Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello.)
I walk my beat, I'm an … I'm an ordinary policeman
Great big flat feet and a bum that's slung too low
I shaved my head, 'cos I thought, yes I thought, I thought, I thought I'd look like Kojak
And now, now I'm too embarrassed, to take my helmet off
(Hello hello hello.  Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello)
The wind … whoa the wind blows cold, and it whistles round my naked brain
It's telling me, it's telling me no-one's ever gonna love a policeman with big feet and a saggy bum who never takes his helmet off, even in bed
And I feel (Yes) so-o (Yes) very very (Yes) frustrated (Mind your language!)
I started beating up old ladies (Well what's wrong with that!)
What can I do? (We don't know), What do I need? (We don't know)
Where can I go? (We don't know) Whoa, please help me! (How can we help?)
I feel so dumb (Well you are) I want to look nice (Well you don't)
I want to be … I want to be beautiful (You're just a plod)
Don't call me that! (All right then, pig) That's even worse! (Well so are we!)
Whoa-ho, I'm gonna cry! (Oh dear, oh dear) [crying] (Now then, now then) [more crying] (We understand)
[sobbing] (We've got to help, we know a way, to cheer him up) [crying] 
(Cheer him up, cheer him up, cheer him up)
(Cheer him up, we've got a man, to cheer him up, we've got a man, to cheer him up)
(Righto then, righto then, righto then)
(This'll be a job for the Dreadcorps. Yeah, this'll be a job for the Dreadcorps!)
(Hello hello man, hello hello man, hello hello man)
(Hello hello man, hello hello man, hello hello man)
(Hello hello man, hello hello man, hello hello man)
I didn't take much persuadin', to be the very first spade in the Metropolitan force
(Hello hello man, hello hello man)
I knew at first I'd be rejected, but now I'm well respected, and you know why of course
(Hello hello man)
The Dreadcorps coming, bringing happiness, the Dreadcorps coming, bringing joy
The Dreadcorps coming … Reggae with me and I'll show you a good time!
(Hello hello man, hello hello man, hello hello man, hello hello man)
You stand outside a club in Brixton, and you can get your kicks if you just sniff at the air
(Hello hello [sniff], hello hello, Wheee!)
But if you are a honky copper, you might come a cropper if you try to get in there
(Hello hello! Hello hello!)
The Dreadcorps coming, infiltrating, the Dreadcorps coming, confiscating
The Dreadcorps coming … I smell certain substances floating on the air
Certain substances (Certain substances), Certain substances (Certain substances)
[spoken, with backing of "Certain substances" and "The Dreadcorps coming"]:
Hey man, I've got a lot of naughty little fag ends I confiscated from the force downtown. I got tickets for the Test match. I got Bob Marley bootlegs, I got two Sunday Maychilds and there's nothing I can do about it. Man I could put the whole of Island Records out of business. You bored, man? You want a nice tatty dreadlock, pig? You going fine. Hey man, you really getting into those substances, hey man!
(Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey)
Please give me certain substances, oh I can't get enough
But who is this that frowns at me even as I take a puff?
"I am that Chief Inspector watches over all bad fuzz
That wicked weed's not what you need, what a policeman needs is love"
Love, love … I need love!
(Love! Love!)
When a policeman's down, he just loves to sit, playing making faces with his photofit (Oi)
I made a little face, just the other day, And now, now, now, now, now she's stole my heart away (Oi)
Photofit (ba-baby), photofit (love), photofit (ba-baby), photofit (love)
I love her drooping lips, and her crinkly hair, her tiny little eyes and her crazy stare (Oi)
Scar upon her cheek, that I'd love to kiss, oh no-no-no-nobody could look like this (Oi)
Photofit (ba-baby), photofit (love), photofit (ba-baby), photofit (love)
Well if you see her, call 999, I will apprehend her and I'll make her mine
Loveliest of the faces, on my list, and I know, know, know she does not exist
She does not exist, she does not exist (Oh yes she does) Oh no she doesn't (Oh yes she does) Oh no she doesn't
[overlapping:] (Oh yes she does, she does, she does, oh yes she does, she does, she does, oh yes she does, she does exist)
Oh no she doesn’t! (Oh yes she does, she does exist) Oh no she doesn’t! {Oh yes I do!} Oh yes she does!
(Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello.) Hello! 
(Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello.) {Hello!}
[partly sung; partly spoken:]
Who, who are you? {Who, me?} Have you … have you really come to see me? {Policewoman Edwina Krum …} Can I … can I believe? {Yes, yes you can} Oh what's that I hear you say? {I wish to confess, I love you!} Can you really, can you really, can you truly love, {I love}  can you really love, a man, a man they call Old Droopy Bum {I adore your bum!} Is it really true {it's true}, is it really true, is it honestly true,  {honestly} you're turned on by big flat feet {The bigger the better … feet, that is!}
(Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello.) {Hello boys!}
Oh, oh, I want you! {I want you!} Oh I need you {I need you too} Oh let me hold you {Come on, hold me, hold me} Oh {Oh} Oh {Ooh} Oh {Oh} Oh {C'mon get on with it!} Oh let's do it {Oh let's do it} Ah let's do it {Take me right here in the street, I don't care if there's a double yellow line, I don't care!} OK {OK then} All right {All right} All right, c'mon {Get on …} … take my helmet off!
{Oh, ha ha, look at that, look at Old Baldy! I'll have you lightly boiled! Hey why don't you paint it blue and stick your badge on it?!} Shut up! {Hey take … take your hands off my throat!} I'll bloody strangle you! {Call a policeman!} I am a policeman!! {STRANGLED SCREAMING}
The album cover of "Nothing To Do With Us" describes this song as being "a major Work in four movements – with a few bits in between", which sounds rather like the crime scene that might confront the coppers after a Pickfords employee has suffered homicidal road rage at the wheel of his furniture van … either that, or it could be their investigation of a mass gastro outbreak at the local takeaway restaurant! However Bill Oddie himself provides us with an even clearer photofit of this song's motives by confirming that it's a sendup of Queen's classic "Bohemian Rhapsody", even adding that it's "my favourite Goodies record of all time". And who are we to argue, Your Honour? Anyone suspecting that there is no possible correlation between The Goodies and Queen (apart from Tim playing one, Bill proposing to one (elsewhere on this album) and Graeme preparing to be beheaded by one!) only has to witness Bill's sparkling performance as Saint Augustine in "Superstar" to be convinced that the remaining members of Queen should have sent an SOS to Cricklewood when Freddie Mercury sadly passed away. (Ready Freddie, Crazy Little Man Called Bill!)
Anyway, if you'll allow us to elucidate (and yes, we'll even clean it up ourselves to avoid a ticket for littering!), Bill's cluey concept of a massive Queen-style epic which attacks police brutality while providing a helmetful of Goodies humour and a paddy wagon load of different musical styles proves to be a walloping success. There's the sad soppy section at the start where poor old PC Plod laments his lack of looks and loser's status while bawling as though he's accidentally uncorked his own canister of capsicum spray (albeit punctuated by a searing guitar riff in the middle).  However he soon is cheered up no end by the reggae-loving Dreadcorps who kindly clear all of his worries away with a whiff and a puff of "certain substances" which seemed to be in plentiful supply at the Island Records studios in those days! This carefree Jamaican jiving is rapidly banished with a sharp and dramatic blast of glam rock with the Chief Inspector which in turn gives way to the pure pop sounds of our ordinary policeman falling in love with a funny little face that he has created with his Identikit. His denial of her existence leads to the highbrow opera part of proceedings before the tempo again reverts to a pop/rock feel as he and his new girlfriend get acquainted and ready to rumble. His ill-fated decision to remove his helmet and bare his nude nut sparks her sarcasm and a rapid escalation into anger, violence and a screaming electric guitar solo which gradually morphs into the police sirens that are coming to cart Old Droopy Bum away to the Old Bailey for strangling his newly-created love.
(Peaches Stiletto):
What aspiring (and often perspiring) rock star doesn’t dream of producing their own epic rock opera? The Who, The Kinks, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and of course Gwar have all taken a crack at the lengthy rock opus (probably after downing too many Opus Ones). But what better subject matter could there be for such a musical drama than the life of a bald, low slung bummed, big flat footed, confused, easily-swayed, lovelorn and possible psychotic policeman? Frankly if Mr. Oddie had not tackled this subject himself it most certainly would have been covered by someone else (the aforementioned Gwar perhaps?) An Oddie but Goodie, our birdwatching music meister outdoes himself with his contribution to thematic composition (or decomposition, depending upon your point of view).
The hero of this woeful tale, who by his own description is about as attractive as a Private Dick Deadeye, wanders through several musical incarnations seeking the meaning of life, love and unhealthy diversions. The opening stanzas outline the poor slob’s sob story, a hopelessly lonely Kojak wannabe who apparently finds no solace in lollipops, littering or beating up old ladies. His fellow policemen are of little help, not only refusing to offer sympathy but openly berating their fellow man in blue while he’s, well . . . blue. Talk about police brutality!
As if this weren’t bad enough their solution after breaking the helpless slob to tears is to direct him to the Dreadcorps where he’ll be sucked into a life of tokes, which could definitely prove to be a drag. The Jamaican themed “Bobby” Marley is more than willing to draw this decidedly non-Rastafarian Rozzer into the depths of copper contraband until the stodgy Chief Inspector steps in to put his flat foot down and steer our hero to a less harmful, yet strangely perverted, hobby of Photofit Identikit obsession.
This might have been a harmless little diversion if the bald bizzie hadn’t somehow managed to Photofit together a likeness of a fellow officer, Policewoman Edwina Krum, who ironically shows up just as the lamentations and arguments about her existence are taking place. It’s love at first sight . . . and why not? What better love connection could there be for a bald, low slung bummed, big flat footed bobby than a droopy-lipped, crinkle haired, tiny eyed, crazy staring partner? Love at first fright? But of course things can’t end happily . . . this is an opera, after all! Overcoming his biggest insecurity about not wanting to remove his helmet, only to be derided again about his baldness by a fellow officer who is undoubtedly beneath him (lying on the street, to be exact,) proves to be the last straw. As her strangled cries fade the police sirens rise and we know things have indeed ended ugly . . . not that these characters weren’t ugly to begin with.
The final verdict? It’s a fair cop . . . this is an arresting number with a good beat. Our little Billy clubbed out an epic worth staging . . . then apprehending . . . followed by booking . . . and possibly incarcerating.
(Emperor Caligula):
Forming part of that thin blue line can really be a classical caper for any copper keen on his opera, even a peeler as unappealing as the man they call "Old Droopy Bum". For starters while cruising around in his patrol car he can tune his police radio to the Verdi pleasant strains of "La Traffic Violator" or the more dramatic "Aida like you to accompany me to the station".  And once back at the pig pen after a tough stint of pounding the Beet(hoven), he can enjoy the soothing sounds of Stravinsky's "Plodipus Rex", "Die Flatfoot Maus" by Strauss or even a little of Mozart's "Coppi Fuzz Bobby" when the heat is off and things aren't quite so bizzie.
Even after a crusher of a shift, he can put those socking great feet up at home and relax with his recordings of "Blue Meanie On 135th Street" and "The Merry Walloper". However he really enjoys his rozzered days off when he happily truncheons off to a night at the opera theatre to watch the real heavies in action. Those opera stars certainly fit the bill as they dispense with any need for tear gas by loading up high notes rather like rubber bullets and forcing London's finest to baton down the hatches as they go about disturbing the peace for miles around with performances of Dvorak's "The Dibble And Kate" and Gerschwin's "Piggy And Bizz".
Sadly our culture vulture constable will now have to scuffer a life sentence of opera-less hard labour, having made the considerably rasher move of applying the long arm of the law to the throat of his siren with brute force after getting fed up with her po-po-poking at his freshly-exposed chrome dome. Instead of divine love it's now a case of "divvy van shove" as he's off to the clink for a lengthy stint of doing the "Jailhouse Rock" with everybody else in that whole cell block. And when his wails of Engelbert's "Police Release Me" are finally answered many years from now, he'll no doubt be in agreement that Bill's classic cop opera is a Vivaldi but a Goodie!
Anyway there's no need for me to babylon about it any further … get hold of a copy of it by hook or by crook (or by Ebay – same difference!) and spend eleven minutes of your own life sentence thoroughly entranced with the many musical moods of this Goodies magnum opus (then again, that's a "big Irish cat" according to my Uxbridge English Dictionary!). Sex (well, near enough!) and drugs and rock and roll … very Goodie indeed!
Using the Black Pudding Rating System:
IIIII Superstar (Peaches Stiletto)
IIIII Superstar  (Emperor Caligula)
IIIII - Superstar.
IIII - Officially Amazing.
III   - Goody Goody Yum Yum.
II    - Fair-y Punkmother.
I     - Tripe on t' pikelets.

Now this song here has to be one of the best songs ever written-it has it all. Move over Freddy Mercury. I love this song, and your review was fantastic as well!!!!
Posted by:vanessa cricklewood


date: 15/06/2008 09:34 GMT
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