Thinking about Gordon's Brown's current addiction to self-revelation in the media, I was reminded of this song by Clive James and Pete Atkin. The message: don't sell your soul for money or fame. Or, in Gordon's case, don't prostitute the memory of your dead relatives for a little bounce in the opinion polls.
Last night I drank with a practical man
Who seemed to think he knew me well
He had no debts and he had no troubles
All night long he kept setting up doubles
And he asked me 'What have you got to sell?'
'I'll see you right' said the practical man
'A boy like you should be living high
All you do is get up and be funny
And I'll turn the laughs into folding money
Can you name me anything that can't buy?'
'So you deal in dreams' said the practical man
'So does that mean you should be so coy?
I fixed one chap a show on telly
Who limped like Byron and talked like Shelley
Through a ten-part epic on the fall of Troy'
'I'll tell you what' said the practical man
As he tapped the ash from a purple fag
'Let's head uptown for a meal somewhere
You can sing me something while we're driving there
There's a grand piano in the back of my Jag'
So I sang my song to the practical man
It sounded bad but she couldn't hear
And the silent lights of town went streaming
As if the car was a turtle dreaming
The night was sad and she was nowhere near
'It's a great idea' said the practical man
As they brought in waiters on flaming swords
'You love this chick and it's really magic
But she won't play ball -- that's kind of tragic
Now how do we get this concept on the boards?'
'I see it like this' said the practical man
As he chose a trout from the restaurant pool
'We change it round so she's going frantic
To win the love of the last romantic
And you're the one, her wild creative fool'
So I thought it all over as the practical man
Watched them slaughter the fatted calf
I saw again her regretful smile
Sweet to look at though it meant denial
It was bound to hurt but I had to laugh
And that's when I told the practical man
As he drank champagne from the Holy Grail
There are some ideas you can't play round with
Can't let go of and you can't give ground with
'Cause when you die they're what you're found with
There are just some songs that are not for sale.
I am aware that this is copyright material, and if any copyright holder is upset by this and wishes me to remove it, I will do so.