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BURCHELLS OF BATTERSEA RISE, THE From the London Revue "Sigh No More" (1945) (Noel Coward) Cyril Ritchard, Madge Elliott, Joyce Grenfell & Graham Payn - 1945 We are those people who seldom make fusses You see us in tubes and in trams and in buses We couldn't be classed as 'Noblesse' Nevertheless, we're not so humble Any observer who's really observant Can see how we flinch at the phrase 'Civil Servant' The Government fools us, bureaucracy rules us But still we mustn't grumble We're the class that they take for a ride Still we say with commendable pride We're the Burchells of Battersea Rise We're the backbone of England and proud of the fact Though in utter confusion we're frequently hurled By political views from the News of the World We're supposed to be solid and wise Though we don't hold with boasting out loud of the fact If the workers unite We'll be Left and quite Right And cry, "Oh what a surprise For the Burchells of Battersea Rise" Though we're fed up with restrictions and strictures We learn about life from the Press and the Pictures So all our inaccurate views You must excuse and rise above them Having survived over five years of war If the National Government wants an encore We shall pray that it warms up and fill some more forms up To prove how much we love them Though we're dead against rocking the boat Still we hold the majority vote We're the Burchells of Battersea Rise We believe every word that we read in the Press When encouraged to argue and stick out our chins We go off at half-cock and bureaucracy wins We resent and detest and despise Being talked of as 'This Happy Breed' in the Press If the author we meet We'd be happy to greet Him with two lovely black eyes From the Burchells of Battersea Rise We're the Burchells of Battersea Rise And we see at least four double-features a week To American war films we'd rather not go For we say, "How, by golly, would Hollywood know?" If they have people in to advise We can only surmise that their teachers are weak Though we've seen many actors Win through through Max Factor's We can't hand them a prize From the Burchells of Battersea Rise We're the Burchells of Battersea Rise And we've written and written and written again To some local official who Dad seems to think Might concede us a permit to build a new sink We've already had several tries It's as bad as the Battle of Britain again Though we've drawn up the plans We shall sit on our cans Till the old bastard replies To the Burchells of Battersea Rise We're the Burchells of Battersea Rise And we all believed firmly in 'Peace-in-our-time' We heard speeches from Germans and Eyeties and Frogs No one knew what they meant, so we went to the dogs And the Government told us such lies We've heard plenty of cackling old geese in our time We were mugs to agree But in future we'll see That they don't capitalize On the Burchells of Battersea Rise We're the Burchells of Battersea Rise And when foreigners murmur, "We hope you're all right" How we wish that they'd buzz off and leave us alone For we live chock-a-block in an occupied zone With the land full of alien spies Poor old England's a bleeding Utopia all right We've got Bishops and Peers Who will burst into tears If the Huns won't fraternize With the Burchells of Battersea Rise We're the Burchells of Battersea Rise And we're faced with a dismal selection again We may find if we swallow the Socialist bait That a simple head cold is controlled by the State Though we know Winston Churchill is wise And we'd love him to win the election again If he's forced to say 'Yes" To the Beaverbrook press There'll be loud animal cries From the Burchells of Battersea Rise (Transcribed by Mel Priddle - July 2018)

    





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