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This song was originally part of a 1932 West End revue called “Words And Music” – which contained various sketches and eighteen songs, with all words and music written by The Master, Noël Coward.

It was sung by FOUR people in succession, who are standing in a cinema queue. Each part consists of a prologue and four verses. First, here is the FULL lyric…

THE SOCIETY WOMAN:

(prologue) I met him at a party
Just a couple of years ago
He was rather over-hearty and ridiculous
But as I’d seen him on the screen he cast a certain spell
I basked in his attraction
For a couple of hours or so
His manners were a fraction too meticulous
If he was real or not I couldn’t tell
But like a silly fool I fell

Mad about the boy
I know it’s stupid to be mad about the boy
I’m so ashamed of it, but must admit
The sleepless nights I’ve had about the boy

On the silver screen
He melts my foolish heart in every single scene
Although I’m quite aware that here and there
Are traces of the cad about the boy

Lord knows I’m not a fool, girl
I really shouldn’t care
Lord knows I’m not a schoolgirl
In the flurry of her first affair

Will it ever cloy
This odd diversity of misery and joy
I’m feeling quite insane and young again
And all because I’m mad about the boy

THE SCHOOLGIRL:

(prologue) Homework, homework
Every night there’s homework
While Elsie practices the gas goes pop
I wish, I wish she’d stop
Oh dear, oh dear
Here it’s always, ‘No dear
You can’t go out again, you must stay home
You’d waste your money on that common Picturedrome
Don’t shirk—stay here and do your work.’

Yearning, yearning
How my heart is burning
I’ll see him Saturday in Strong Man’s Pain
And then on Monday and on Friday week again
To me, he is the sole man
Who can kiss as well as Coleman
I could faint whenever there’s a close-up of his lips
Though John Barrymore is larger
When my hero’s on his charger
Even Douglass Fairbanks Junior hasn’t smaller hips
If only he could know
That I adore him so

Mad about the boy
It’s simply scrumptous to be mad about the boy
I know that quite sincerely, Houseman really
Wrote The Shropshire Lad about the boy

In my English prose
I’ve done a tracing of his forehead and his nose
And there is, honour bright, a certain slight
Effect of Galahad about the boy

I’ve talked to Rosie Hooper
She feels the same as me
She says that Gary Cooper
Doesn’t thrill her to the same degree

In Can Love Destroy?
He meets with Garbo in a suit of corduroy
He gives a little frown and knocks her down
Oh dear, oh dear, I’m mad about the boy

THE COCKNEY:

(prologue) Every Wednesday afternoon
I get a little time off from three to eleven
Then I go to the picture house and taste a little of my particular heaven
He appears
In a little while
Through a mist of tears
I can see him smiling
Above me
Every picture I see him in
Every lovers’ caress
Makes my wonderful dreams begin
Makes me long to confess
That if he ever looked at me
And thought perhaps I was worth the trouble to
Love me
I’d give in and I wouldn’t care
However far from the path of virtue he’d
Shove me!
Just supposing our love was brief
If he treated me rough
I’d be happy beyond belief
Once would be enough

Mad about the boy
I know I’m potty but I’m mad about the boy!
He sets me ‘eart on fire with love’s desire
In fact I’ve got it bad about the boy!

When I do the rooms
I see his face in all the brushes and the brooms!
Last week I strained me back and got the sack
And had a row with Dad about the boy

I’m finished with Navarro, (He thrills me to the marrow)
I’m tired of Richard Dix, (I sit through all his tricks!)
I’m pierced by Cupid’s arrow
Every Wed-nes-day, from four to six!

‘Ow I should enjoy
To let ‘im treat me like a plaything or a toy
I’d give my all to ‘im and crawl to ‘im
So ‘elp me God, I’m mad about the boy

THE TART:

(prologue) It seems a little silly
For a girl my age and weight
To walk down Piccadilly
In a haze of love
It ought to take a good deal more to get a bad girl down
I should have been exempt, for
My particular kind of fate
Has taught me such contempt for
Every phase of love
And now I’ve been and spent my last half-crown
To weep about a painted clown

Mad about the boy
It’s pretty funny but I’m mad about the boy
He has a gay appeal t
hat makes me feel
There may be something sad about the boy

Walking down the street
His eyes look out at me from people that I meet
I can’t believe it’s true, but when I’m blue
In some strange way I’m glad about the boy

I’m hardly sentimental
Love isn’t so sublime
I have to pay my rental
And I can’t afford to waste much time

If I could employ
A little magic that would finally destroy
This dream that pains me
And enchains me
But I can’t because I’m mad about the boy

All of which raises a number of interesting points…

Despite including the above number AND “Mad Dogs And Englishmen” the revue was only a medium hit.

The Boy in question has been the subject of much debate. Coward himself claimed a number to have been his inspiration. And the movies named in the lyric are no help – they do not EXIST!

Graham Payn, who would become Noël’s life-partner (he played his assistant in “The Italian Job” – made just before The Master’s death) began his career – at fourteen – in this revue (although their personal relationship did not begin until a decade later).

The lyric includes the word “gay” – which, despite its other meaning’s wide introduction in the late Sixties, had been thus used much earlier, including during the Twenties and Thirties. It had even been used to describe “rent boys” in the Victorian era. However, said usage had always been somewhat VAGUE. Therefore, its inclusion here may just be incidental.

As can be seen, the song is split into four distinct sections, each with its own quite different perspective. And so, to sing it as a solo piece presents DIFFICULTIES. The Master himself recorded a couple of versions – one with a solo piano – the other with Ray Noble’s orchestra (neither were released until MUCH later).

Generally, the first section – The Society Woman” – is married to the end of “The Tart” – the last section. Although – “I have to pay my rental And I can’t afford to waste much time” is confusing, out of context.

Also, Coward later wrote additional lyrics to tailor it for male vocalists – but few dared sing them.

In “The Magic Christian” (1969) a drag queen serenades Roman Polanski, miming to the song (which was actually recorded by Peter Sellers). Then he rips off his wig to reveal that he is – Yul Brynner (it’s that kind of movie).

In the Seventies, gay activist and singer Tom Robinson covered the song.

And in 1992, a version by Dinah Washington, recorded decades earlier, belatedly charted as a result of its use in an award-winning British jeans commercial which “referenced” the 1968 Burt Lancaster film “The Swimmer” (which was also the title of the ad).

However, to date the song has yet to be sung to its full, intensely passionate potential. For THAT, it needs to be covered by a gay MAN.

Here is Noël’s version… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=401MVAMdO84

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Yes – I had to look this UP.

At some point in your life, you have to make a decision; do I continue to hang on to everything that Might Come In Handy One Day – or throw out everything I would not rescue if my house was ON FIRE. Well?

The first course of action will result in you becoming a HOARDER – living in a house where every room is filled with crap from wall to wall and floor to ceiling – with channels through it, to allow access.

And quite likely, all SORTS of unwelcome wild-life.

The second will result in you living the MINIMALIST lifestyle – where first-time visitors will assume you just moved in.

However, there is a Third Way.

Keep the stuff that LIKELY WILL come in handy one day, but stash it somewhere out of the WAY – like a loft, garage or Spare Room – leaving your LIVING space spartan.

Then you have the Best Of Both Worlds.

You’re welcome.

The feminine equivalent of bachelor is spinster – not “bachelorette”.

And the feminine equivalent of hero is heroine – not “shero”.

The Barbie ad-man clearly has hit for brains.

And why does the Amelia Earhart one have a massive cameltoe?

…Or more properly, a quarter MILLIARD hits – two hundred and fifty million hits – 250M hits – 0G25 hits – whichever way you shake it, that is a LOT of hits. And I just PASSED it.

To put it into perspective, that is seven hundred and fifty Woodstock Festivals. Remember that helicopter shot of the crowd, near the end of the film? Well, seven hundred and fifty times THAT.

Or if you like sport, picture capacity crowds at the new Wembley Stadium every Saturday afternoon – for over FIFTY YEARS.

Perhaps you prefer the theatre. Then imagine a full house at the Radio City Music Hall (U.S. – 5,960 seats) EVERY NIGHT for A HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN years. Or on my side of The Pond, the Hammy-A (Hammersmith Apollo – U.K. – 3,632 seats) for nearly TWO CENTURIES.

Stood around a stage on a salt flat, the crowd would stretch beyond the HORIZON (taking the curvature of the earth into consideration).

It is the ENTIRE ADULT POPULATION of Western Europe. Look it up.

Ditto the United States Of America.

This last is FASCINATING given according to Stats, around half my “flock” is IN America. Does this mean that if I walked down Main Street USA, half the people I passed would have been “touched” by me?

Probably not, since some are undoubtedly “repeat customers” – but how many?

There is clearly no way of knowing; but at a wild guess, I would say that at least one in FIVE of those people would be MINE.

Anyhoo, most of the above numbers are for my audio-visual uploads – up last year from 100,000 hits a day to 125,000 – that is better than ONE A SECOND, 24/7/52. In fact, while you have been reading this far, I just got another hundred or so hits. From all over the World. Russia to Chile. Canada to Saudi Arabia. China to the afore-mentioned States. In fact, seemingly everywhere except Africa (no cable?)

However, the figures for my WRITTEN stuff (like THIS) are less attractive (then again, as I have repeatedly opined; No-one Reads Anymore).

Even at their HEIGHT, my three columns, BOOK and two long short stories on WordPress only gleaned around a hundred hits a day – and over the years since, they have dwindled to a miserable twenty-two.

But this is because WordPress does not PROMOTE work – that is YOUR job. And whilst I have shamelessly linked selected written pieces to my YouTube “mega-hits” (well; despite years of WORK they do not earn me any MONEY – no; invasive, pushy, controlling, arrogant GOOGLE keeps all THAT – and then treats me like sh*t – so why not?) – WordPress is still SINKING.

Nevertheless, this year help was at hand – in the form of QUORA.

Quora is a Q/A service. Rather like Yahoo Answers – but WAY BETTER.

They started late – in 2010 – and have only gotten big in the last couple of years.

And they DO promote work.

Thus it was that I duplicated about TWO-THIRDS of the 1,128 pieces (1,129 including this one) that I have written for WordPress – onto Quora, by “tweaking” them to become Answers to Questions (the old, topical pieces being unsuitable).

The project took me several weeks to complete, but the results were very PLEASING. In just a couple of months, I steamed past the WordPress hit number – which had taken nearly a DECADE to achieve – and currently, after about six months in all, Quora has nearly DOUBLED that number.

The totals are WordPress: 209,026 – and Quora: 368,000+.

And while WordPress continues to generate those twenty-two LOUSY hits a day – maybe LESS by now – Quora consistently gets me around EIGHT HUNDRED. This is still a long way short of the hundred and twenty-five (well, -four) THOUSAND my A/V stuff gets – but a colossal improvement nonetheless.

Plus while my A/V stuff is the product of others (I am merely a universal DJ/VJ) the WORDS are ALL MINE.

So rest assured, dear reader; as long as there is breath in my body and ideas in my head – I WILL BASH ON!

Cornelius on… Brexit

As discussed elsewhere in these ramblings, the MAIN reason Brexit won over sanity – and Trump won over Old Ma Clinton – was fear of foreign terrorism, following twelve months of atrocious examples of same.

And other factors clearly helped.

Like a certain shadowy multi-billionaire – and the Russians.

But most people’s acknowledged concern is IMMIGRATION. Little Britons imagine the Channel swarming with economic migrants, all eager to make it to a land of plenty.

However I suspect if Brexit DOES happen, twenty years from now the Channel will INDEED be swarming with economic migrants.

ALL GOING THE OTHER WAY.

I’m 65 now. And what I am about to say should be OBVIOUS to anyone of my advanced years – but it may be instructive to a younger person.

When I was in my twenties, my peers were only too happy to tell me what was WRONG with me. My clothes were wrong, my taste in music was wrong, etc. And for a while I worried about these shortcomings.

But then one day, while a “friend” was telling me how my taste in music SUCKED, I stopped him and asked him who HE liked. He proceeded to run off a list of then-current pop bands. At which point, the TRUTH began to dawn on me.

After DEMOLISHING his argument by pointing out that my favourite artists covered at least a DOZEN different genres of music, from Sixties Pop and Soul, through Disco (this was the Seventies) Fifties Rock ‘N’ Roll, Classical, Rockabilly, Electronic, Thirties Art Deco, Opera, Orchestral, Rhythm & Blues to Baroque (Eighties New Romantic, Techno and Trance were still years off) while his were limited to just ONE genre – I began to realize my peers’ other points were also flawed.

Eventually, I began to see life as it is. You have to like yourself for whom you ARE – not try to change yourself into someone ELSE, to suit others.

Take a long, objective look at the person you are and if that person seems basically a good chap or chapess – be happy with THAT.

The thing is, when you meet someone, they will have qualities you like – and some you do not. But instead of trying to CHANGE them, decide whether their good points outweigh their bad. If they do, cultivate that person. If not, dump ’em. After all, the qualities you do not like may just be the ones OTHERS will ADMIRE. Meat – poison.

And when someone meets YOU, they can do the same.

All of which means that if you are okay, you will have friends. In fact even if you are NOT okay, you will still have friends – people who are as utterly screwed up as YOU!

No-one is perfect – but CHANGE yourself? Bollocks. Life is too short.

I ESCAPED cold, wet, miserable, overpriced, over-regulated, rip-off Broken Britain more than fifteen years ago – and settled in The Land Of Smiles (warm, sunny Thailand). I have NEVER regretted my decision.

And this year’s list (they have had one every year since 2006 – composed by the RESIDENTS) of the Top Ten (actually, eleven) Worst Places To Live In England shows why…

(10) DOVER. All in all no-one wants to live here, but it’s the cheapest sh*thole in Kent. It’s unloved and unwanted which is why I believe the German Air Force should have done their jobs properly and levelled the place back in the 1940’s and maybe it wouldn’t look like the scrotum of Quasimodo that it does now.

Let us for a moment imagine that the British Isles are the silhouette of an old man. Scotland is his cap, Cornwall his toes, Anglia his curved spine, making Dover his herpes-infested arsehole.

(J9) BRISTOL. The faces of pensioners with black eyes peering off of the front pages isn’t news – it’s just sad. “Beaten For The Price Of A Bag Of Fish And Chips” was one headline I remember.

Beneath the veneer of textbook overdone hipster pretentiousness is the same Bristol of old, where the West Country chavs spew out their own unique interpretation of the English language and the estates surrounding the city are looking more and more like the bad parts of Mogadishu. The CEX [a big store that sells techy goods] smells like hangover piss mixed with wet dog, and the shops are opening and closing down faster than you can say “Bristol is gross”.

(J9) BLACKBURN. If you live here, I’m sorry for you – and if you haven’t ever been here, then stay away.

The place makes Syria look calm. You can guarantee if you dare to walk down its down-trodden dogsh*t-ridden estates (mind the needles), you will almost certainly spot the inhabitants walking freely in dressing gowns, fluffy slippers, undoubtedly pregnant, with a fag in their gob going to pick up another free prescription from the overly-used clap clinic.

Drug dealers, dole wasters, bums, guttersnipes, fallen women, young slappers and their steroid-pumped teenage boyfriends – it’s a f*cking nightmare! A cross between “Shameless” and the “Star Wars” Cantina at best.

(8) ACCRINGTON. The Chernobyl of the North West. The town isn’t full of bad points. There’s a Poundland, Home Bargains, Iceland, Netto and Aldi. Get my drift? This is as good as it gets…

Do not visit this dump, there’s nothing remotely interesting. Never associate with the general raised trash here and if you are a positive person like me, this place can suck the life out of you, literally! There is a big dirty banner down the middle of Broadway (the main shopping street) which is supposed to be in honour of the Accrington Pals [a military regiment] but it is so dirty and weathered that it now just looks like a grey tarpaulin.

(7) HULL. I was born and bred in Hull. What a f*cking dump this place is.

Just spend ten minutes stood outside the Maternity Unit at Hull Royal Infirmary. Watch in amazement as 15-year-old Courtney shouts at her three kids to “fooking get back ‘ere or I’ll fooking bray yer” – as she chain-smokes her third fag before re-entering the building to spit out another no-dad brat.

(6) CASTLEFORD. Recent highly scientific research (namely walking down the high street) points to one in three inhabitants below the age of thirty fitting neatly into the chav box.

In a town where everybody is a blood-relative of the person next to them, you have to wonder whether the essence of chavdom stems from bad breeding, or in the case of Castleford, possible inbreeding. A trip to Castleford is a real eye opener… and you need to keep your eyes open because if you dare to close them, they’ll have your wallet faster than you can say ‘XR3i.’ Suffice to say, if someone wanted to give Yorkshire an enema, this is where they’d stick the tube.

(5) BLACKPOOL. The best thing about BLACKPOOL is the M55 out.

While in Blackpool all you smell is weed, McDonald’s, KFC and dried up piss. You may think it’s a jolly seaside resort with candy floss and donkeys, but actually it’s a scumbucket for the transients who come here to draw benefits in a holiday resort instead of an inner city.

(4) ROCHDALE. Take in the smells; the strong whiff of tobacco and fatty foods with subtle hints of exhaust fumes, sweat and damp vegetables from the market area – with a subtle undertone of vomit, Karate aftershave and old cheese.

No need to hide the rolls of fat around one’s midriff, no need to bother with personal hygiene or inconveniences such as make-up or combs. You are now standing in the centre of the universe. Breath deep, my friend – soak it up. Then make your choice – leave fast or stay forever. Welcome to the cesspit of the universe, where evolution took a break and spat out this breed of useless slack-jawed yokels with less IQ than a glass of water. If you have a choice; visit Rochdale or have your gonads beaten 800 times with a rusty sledgehammer wielded by a German bodybuilder …take the hammer.

(3) LIVERPOOL. Situated on the border of Northern England and Wales, the city draws together the very worst characteristics of both regions; Welsh pig-headedness and Northern self-righteousness.

The rows of empty red-brick terraces are now almost a part of Liverpool’s heritage. Fancy that; hundreds of empty houses amidst a housing crisis – yet still nobody wants them. Says it all really. And don’t get me started on their self-pitying – just Google the dead baby/chicken foetus story. What a bunch of morons! A word of warning to non-scouse females: fail to go into town with the required levels of fake tan and you will instantly be sniffed out as a fraud. Seriously, the girls here are so unbelievably orange that even the thickest of sunglasses will be rendered useless. It literally peels the retinas from your eyeballs.

(2) ROTHERHAM. I wish I had a great story about twatting a chav for being cheeky or something – but the truth of the matter is, I put as much distance between me and the population as possible after that first visit.

I stopped going into the town centre. There was no point. I like a pint without violence. I like to sometimes buy stuff that costs £1.99 – or more! After a year of reading headlines in the Rotherham Advertiser like “Chip Pan Fire Guts House”, “Body Found Outside Takeaway’”and “ASBO Grandad At It Again” I decided I somehow didn’t fit in and moved away.

(1) HUDDERSFIELD. There’s nothing but pound shops and a few coffee shops. It’s polluted, unclean and full of idiots – a horrible place to live. Huddersfield is a rough, boring, chavvy, crap-hole. For a demo of the chav scooterists trying to impress the scummy lady-chavs, simply go and look in the Morrisons car park from about 7pm onwards. Thousands of the cretins – unfortunately they never seem to fall off. So, in short, if you like your car windows, teeth, kneecaps etc. – then avoid this sh*thole like you would a man with leprosy!

Speaking personally, I’d have fitted South Shields in there somewhere.

You know how when you’re having to wait in your car in a town-centre with nothing to read, so you just begin watching the passers-by, to spot good-looking ones? In two hours, I failed to spot ONE.

I wonder if they’re all in North Shields…