These are some cabaret songs in progress. I don’t know which one to finish first, so I leave it up to you, Gentle Reader. If no-one responds I shall pretend that dozens of you did, and choose a song for myself.
1. An old man, on his deathbed, imparts this wisdom to his loved ones:
When I look back on my life,
I spent seventeen years of it
Looking for socks,
On my knees, under couches
Under couches, in boxes
If I had to do it over,
I’d spend more time on a beach in Ulladulla.
I’d buy more socks in one damn colour,
If I had to do it over …
(Sydneysiders may substitue Cronulla for the beach if they wish. International visitors should reflect on the fact that we’ve been adapting to your locales for decades, and deal with it.)
2. A song recounting a common male experience. Not me, of course, but others…
Stop apologising for your hair – it looks great
Stop saying you’re fat – in fifteen years,
we’ve all put on some weight
something something something
something something something ow
You were do-able then
And you’re do-able now
something something something ow
You remember that night
When we stayed out drinking?
And now, you wonder, what were we thinking?
I was thinking of doing you then,
And I’m thinking of doing you now.
3. You know how when you get dumped you discover how popular you were, but you were off limits, so you weren’t aware of it? Come Back (So You Can Leave Me Again):
blah blah blah and then
My phone rang with invitations
From thirteen single men
Oh, come back
so you can leave me again
Doo-bee doo-bee something something ooh
And this time, if you’re lucky,
Maybe I’ll leave you
4. My Fundy Christian Girl
She likes to sing
Yes, she does
She likes to dance
All night long
She knows her mind.
You can tell
When she’s outside Family Planning screaming that you’re going to Hell
She’s my fundy Christian girl
God says we gotta wait ’til we’re married
We wait and wait all week and then
We do it like bunnies on a Sunday,
Get forgiven and the cycle starts all over again.
My friends say that I must be crazy,
How can I stand to be so good?
Then she does all my cooking and my cleaning
Like her fundy books says a fundy woman should
A wuh-uh-oh-woah-woah etc.
And I will love her ’til the end of time
which she promises is coming soon …
5. Cabaret shows often finish with ballads like Kander and Ebb’s My Own Space, a number that summarises the singer’s life philosophy with wry humour and truly staggering self-regard. So this ballad is called Make Me Happy:
Everybody hungers for the secret
of love that burns forever, like an eternal first kiss.
And all the time, I think I’ve known the secret.
It’s simple, my darling, it’s this:
Make me happy.
Every time we wake,
let’s devote the day
to finding some new way
to make me happy.
You, you’re always saying you need a purpose,
and you do.
You, you need a purpose
and I need someone to
make me happy;
change your dreams to mine.
Make me happy, my love,
and we’ll be fine.
6. There are , I believe, no cabaret songs about vasectomies. So I’m going to write one, about mine. It’s called An Apology (To My Balls).
Now that we’re talking again,
Can I apologise?
You did one thing really well
You did one thing to perfection
You served your term, and then the firm
moved in a new direction
Don’t see this as an ending
It’s an unexpected freedom you’ve found
And I’d still love you
to hang around …
Let the voting begin!