Click on this link (twice) to hear this demo track from Spamalot, sung by me.
13 Burn Her
Sometimes even nicely done things can bite the dust. For instance this song, which I always loved and was originally in Act One of Spamalot in Chicago. It was a song for Sir Bedevere and followed the witch scene from The Holy Grail. “We have found a witch, may we burn her!”
The problem was that having taken the trouble to reduce the play to consistent characters who run all the way through, the audience were suddenly faced with Hank Azaria and David Hyde Pierce on stage as not Lancelot and not Robin. In other words it became revue.
Sara Ramirez was fun as the witch, and at the end while she was being burnt, she flew off to safety, since she was a witch! But at this point the play simply lost all semblance of having a real plot and Mike Nichols felt strongly that it should go, and I agreed with him, and when we cut it the story was much easier to follow. Nice song though! (I’ve updated it a little.)
When I was just a young chap in me nappy
Me pappy said “Son life can be quite cruel.
If you do not want to be unhappy
Never marry witches that’s a golden rule.
There is only one way to survive ‘em
They will always play you for a fool
If you find a witch then you must take the silly bitch
And string her up
And turn her into fuel.
Put her on the barbecue and turn her,
Scratch that itch before that bitch can spurn yer
Grill her that won’t thrill her but it certainly will learn her,
If you burn her
Burn her till she’s cooked all the way through.
String her up and try her
And then fling her on the pyre
And then light the fire and toodle-oo!”
I have learned that men are all the same.
One minute they are hot
For everything you’ve got
Then they try and fry you
And they’ll even crucify you
I don’t care what nasty things you do
It is godforsaken
Turning me into fried bacon
Au revoir, goodbye cia ciao adieu.
She is on the menu for today.
Just like Joan of Arc
We’re gonna light the spark
Fricassee her then let’s see her
Maybe we’ll rotisserie her
Oil her, boil her,
Broil her till she’s done all the way through.
We’ll burn her and we’ll baste her
And perhaps we’ll even taste her
When we’ve turned her into good witch stew!
She may be a good looker
But you still have gotta cook her
For a hooker ain’t no good for you.
c) Eric Idle & John Du Prez. Rutsongs & Ocean Music.