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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Monty Python: Making sweet, sweet music by julwis on 27 August 2006 1:31am
Found this article on AOL, the text is below if the link doesnt work...


Monty Python: Making sweet, sweet music

Comedy geniuses without doubt but don't neglect their musical output!

Quite why the other Pythons let Eric Idle and Michael Palin loose to create songs for the group is something that the public may never know. However, it didn’t turn out too badly.

The original television series only lasted for four outings, but Monty Python moved seamlessly into films, musicals, books and beyond. The combination of stream of consciousness, animation, sketches and musical items often pushed the boundaries of what was then acceptable and the group fell foul of many an opponent, whether the Christian church - on more than one occasion, moral guardians – more often than not, or the official censors.

Much like the comedy writing, the musical output of the group was a combined effort with the duties shared amongst Michael Palin, Eric Idle and slightly external contributors Neil Innes and Ray Cooper. The first song to make a public appearance was the Lumberjack Song, sung by Michael Palin, who through verse and chorus gradually reveals an alternate lifestyle enjoyed by the same said lumberjack.

The ode to the then ubiquitous meat product Spam followed in 1971, which to be fair, the company that produces Spam took rather well, displaying a British sense of humour about the parody and refraining from legal action. Two more songs followed in 1972, one writ large and one not quite so large. We Love The Yangtze was a tribute to the mighty river, while Eric The Half A Bee tackled the more challenging question of existence or, as described in the lyrics: “Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto half not be”.

As the group moved into film, their work became based around one theme. Their first target was King Arthur in Monty Python And The Holy Grail which contained the song Camelot. However, it was with 1979’s Monty Python’s Life Of Brian that they hit top stride, reworking a familiar tale but with a change of central character.

The musical highlight of that film was Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, which in effect became their theme song and a national treasure. It was adopted by fighting seamen – sung as they awaited rescue in the Falklands war - the losing crowd at the Manchester Olympic bid in 1993 and many a football fan alike.

It is a singsong work of brilliance, sung by a crucified Eric Idle at the climax of the film. One hundred and forty fellow victims join him as they sing to a literally mortified Brian the title into the credits. Originally released as a B-side to the single of Brian’s Song, the song remained close to British hearts and was released as a single in its own right in 1991.

Finally, a wry look at the Catholic teachings regarding sex provided the musical and dancing highlight in Monty Python’s Meaning Of Life in 1983. Every Sperm Is Sacred, sung by Michael Palin, explains to a questioning multitude of children why their singular father’s output is protected by the church’s doctrine and hence why there are so many of those children.

It was the last major collaborative effort by the group and they split for a final time to pursue successful solo careers. Their work was done, they’d changed the shape of comedy, musicals and even the way the man in street would talk. Not bad really.

Thereafter, Monty Python was no more.

The end.

Eight of the group's albums have been remastered and are being rereleased with many new extras on 4 September on EMI.
Re: Monty Python: Making sweet, sweet music by Spursfan on 27 August 2006 11:48am
Yes, I saw that article too, julwis.

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