» Ballad of the OK Te...
GOODIES MUSIC REVIEW #46 –
BUNFIGHT (THE BALLAD OF THE OK TEA ROOMS)
Hi there pop pickers and welcome to another Goodies Music Review.
Since their last music review of "Show Me The Way", Emperor Caligula (aka Brett Allender) and Peaches Stiletto (aka Linda Kay) have indeed been lonely, lost and longing to go home, but Peaches' family changed the locks while she was away and the Emperor's family moved house altogether without telling him, so they continue to wander around the countryside, completely unwanted and unloved by anyone (rather like the plague of Rolf Harrises, but even the Rolfs were more popular!)
Therefore the Emperor has joined the only organization left for people like him – the Salvation Army – where he can fulfil his urge to wear a silly hat, enjoy barking commands at a line-up of Salvo ladies (until they rebel by pouring their hot tea all over him and shoving their biscuits up somewhere that makes him walk funny … the only time that the word "funny" has ever been used in conjunction with the Emperor, come to think of it!) and capture the Lone Scout, whose home-made atom bomb is the only thing on Earth that fizzles out even more lamely than the Emperor's jokes!
Meanwhile Peaches has sought directions to the Eurovision Raving Loony Contest, where she has been competing in style with lots of falling down, slipping on banana skins, being flattened by a train (providing Bill with another good ole country sound), headbutting a truck ("just putting on my Mack!") and being shot from a cannon, before accidentally being squashed by a 250kg slab of hindquarter beef that dropped on her from a crane as she was manoeuvring it into a giant roasting pan.
While waiting for the coroner's likely finding of "attempted silverside", we'd better cross over to the corned beef, er … Cornish town of Penenink and our duelling DJs for their review of "Bunfight (The Ballad Of The OK Tea Rooms)" by The Goodies.
"Bunfight (The Ballad Of The OK Tea Rooms)" can only be heard in episode 5/12 Bunfight At The OK Tea Rooms, as it has not been released commercially on any of the Goodies' albums or CDs.
Lyrics: sung by Bill
Three brave men went searching
For a fortune in the west
Now they face each other in the dawn
The finale of their dream
In the land of clotted cream
Turned against their fellows
Who had a lust for jam and scones .... scOnes!
Men called him Wild Bill Oddie
And his friend was Texas Tim
They walked tall with their tomatoes in their hand
Their foe was Greedy Graeme
Who felt sure that he could slay 'em
With his pair of red ripe squirters
They'd be defeated easily
On and on strode Graeme
On and on strode Bill and Tim
'Til at last they stood there silent face to faces
Then Graeme softly spoke
And he pulled his master stroke
By suggesting that they turn their backs
And walk eleven paces
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...... ooooh!
All hell broke loose in Pennenink
No citizen was safe
With Graeme's tomato flying through the dust
And nobody can say
How much sauce was spilt that day
But by the end those two brave men
Were lying in the dust
His chums lay in the ketchup
And his gal ran to his arms
But even as they kissed she met her doom
For if you double-cross a friend
You'll get squirted in the end
At the Bunfight at the O.K. Tea Rooms
At the Bunfight at the O.K. Tea Rooms!
Not since Gary Cooper strolled down the center of town to the lilting music of Dimitri Tiomkin and echoes of Ned Washington’s refrain “Do not forsake me, oh my darling,” has a song been so closely connected with a classic cinematic Western showdown. Bill belts out this ballad with bravado, telling the tragic tale of our three heroes who were once friends but are now bitter enemies. Wild Bill Oddie and Texas Tim, having been repeatedly cheated and swindled by the villainous Greedy Graeme (who is every bit as avarice as he was as the head of the Goodies Pirate Radio Station / Post Office) have no choice but to confront their nemesis with their red ripe squirters, all other gentlemanly means having been extinguished by the use of a nefariously placed toaster. It should be noted that the penultimate scene leading up to this finale has been strictly dialogue-free, so it is extremely refreshing to delve into a narrative song which spells out exactly what is happening as it is happening, parodying a device overtly used in many westerns. (One blatant case in point is the theme song to the John Wayne / Kirk Douglas horse opera The War Wagon. The lyrics of that opening ballad, which also happens to come from the pens of Tiomkin and Washington, proclaim rather unnecessarily “Look at those horses, what’re they draggin’? Heavily guarded, what is that wagon?”) Missing from most western movie songs is that nifty little pop beat which is so immediately identifiable as Goodies music, that comes between the lyrics during the height of the bloody, or rather tomatoey, carnage. It’s a shame no version of this song separate from the laugh track and sound effects exists, as it would certainly earn a place in any “best of” soundtrack collection! Tiomkin and Washington, eat your hearts out, maybe with some strawberry jam and scones (pronunciation of the latter still up for debate!)
It's the big bunfight in Penninink, and Wild Bill and Texas Tim have got themselves in a bit of a jam – strawberry jam in fact, with a side-order of scones (make that "scOnes" if you insist!) for good measure. It's all dairy well and good to seek a showdown in the land of clotted cream, but their face-to-faces duel is with none other than the devious Greedy Graeme and his pair of red ripe squirters. Rather than being a squirt himself, Greedy Graeme is actually the main sauce of this confrontation of condiments and will relish the chance to gun down his fellow Goodies in a miso-match of firepower when it really splatters; a gravy prospect that rightly has Tim and Bill in a pickle. A shootout in Worcestershire might have been more chilli, soy they say apparently, butt-er the streets of Penninink will end up paved with fools cream for Greedy Graeme when his gal meets her doom first; as his lust for jam and scones will ketchup with him eventually and he'll cop his self-inflicted just desserts to the hauntingly menacing tune of this fantastic "gold top" song.
Using the Black Pudding Rating System: