THIS MONTH’S PARODY (September) I’ve Got a Little List

The Mikado, most popular of all The Savoy Operas, opened for business at the Savoy Theatre, London, on 14 March 1885. In Act 1, Ko-Ko, The Lord High Executioner of Titipu, declares that ‘there will be no difficulty in finding plenty of people whose loss will be a distinct gain to society at large’. He then sings his famous ‘list’ song, ‘As some day it may happen that a victim must be found’. It has been parodied more than any other Gilbert & Sullivan number and, indeed, was added to and revised several times by Gilbert himself. Every  production since seems to have spawned a contemporary update. Here are just three – by Eric Idle, Alastair Beaton and myself.

I’VE GOT A LITTLE LIST from THE MIKADO

W S Gilbert

 
As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I’ve got a little list – I’ve got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed – who never would be missed!
There’s the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs –
All people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs –
All children who are up in dates, and floor you with ’em flat –
All persons who in shaking hands, shake hands with you like…that…
And all third persons who on spoiling tête-à-têtes insist –
They’d none of ’em be missed – they’d none of ’em be missed!
 
CHORUS:  He’s got ’em on the list-he’s got ’em on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed-they’ll none of ’em be missed.
 
There’s the banjo serenader, and the others of his race,
And the piano-organist – I’ve got him on the list!
And the people who eat peppermint and puff it in your face,
They never would be missed – they never would be missed!
Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
All centuries but this, and every country but his own;
And the lady from the provinces, who dresses like a guy,
And who “doesn’t think she waltzes, but would rather like to try”;
And that singular anomaly, the lady novelist –
I don’t think she’d be missed-I’m sure she’d not he missed!
 
CHORUS: He’s got her on the list-he’s got her on the list;
And I don’t think she’ll be missed – I’m sure she’ll not be missed!
 
And that Nisi Prius nuisance, who just now is rather rife,
The Judicial humorist-I’ve got him on the list!
All funny fellows, comic men, and clowns of private life –
They’d none of ’em be missed – they’d none of ’em be missed.
And apologetic statesmen of a compromising kind,
Such as – What d’ye call him – Thing’em-bob, and likewise – Never mind,
And ‘St-‘st-‘st-and What’s-his-name, and also You-know-who –
The task of filling up the blanks I’d rather leave to you.
But it really doesn’t matter whom you put upon the list,
For they’d none of ’em be missed – they’d none of ’em be missed!
 
CHORUS: You may put ’em on the list-you may put ’em on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed – they’ll none of ’em be missed!
 

I’ve Got a Little List

Eric Idle


If someday it may happen that a victim must be found
I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list
Of society’s offenders who may well be underground
And who never would be missed, they never would be missed.
There’s interior designers, window dressers and that sort
And grubbers who retire in strings the minute they get caught
Or those who have their noses pierced, or men who die their hair
Or idiots who host chat shows and disc jockeys everywhere
And customs men who fumbling through your underwear insist
They’d none of them be missed, they’ll none of them be missed.

CHORUS: He’s got them on a list, he’s got them on a list
And they’d none of them be missed, they’ll none of them be missed.

There’s people with pretentious names like Justin, Trish and Rob
And the gynecologist, I’ve got him on the list
Or muggers, joggers, buggers, floggers, people who play golf
They never would be missed. They never would be missed.
Or waitresses who make you wait, accountants of all kinds
And actresses who kiss and tell and wiggle their behinds
And poncy little singers who to entertain us try
By dressing up and women and by singing far too high
And who on close observance must be either stoned or pissed
I don’t think they’d be missed, I’m sure they’d not be missed.

CHORUS: He’s got them on a list, he’s got them on a list
And they’d none of them be missed, they’ll none of them be missed.

There’s the beggars who write letters from the Inland Revenue
And the gossip columnist, I’ve got him on the list.
Comedians and weightlifters and opera singers too
They’d none of them be missed, they’d none of them be missed.
Or traffic wardens, bankers, men who sell Venetian blinds
Or people who wear silly ties, Australians of all kinds
And nasty little editors who’s papers are the pits
Who fill their rags with gossip and with huge and floppy.. er.. writs
But anyway I think by now you must have got the gist
They’d none of them be missed. They’ll none of them be missed.
CHORUS: He’s got them on a list, he’s got them on a list
And they’d none of them be missed, they’ll none of them be missed.

 

 

I’ve Got a Little List from The Metropolitan Mikado (1985)

Alistair Beaton

As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I’ve got a little list – I’ve got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed – who never would be missed.
There’s the immigrant who visits us and stays for far too long,
All idiots who tell you that the guillotine is wrong,
All people who’re unable to adopt a servile tone,
All men who’ve got a willy that’s much bigger than my own.
All people who’re not rich enough to get extremely pissed,
They’d none of ‘em be missed, they’ll none of ‘em be missed.
 
CHORUS:  He’s got ’em on the list – he’s got ’em on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed – they’ll none of ’em be missed.
 
There’s the demonstrators who have flung their crutch against my foot,
And the union activist – I’ve got him on the list.
All wishy-washy churchmen who would turn the other boot,
They never would be missed, they never would be missed.
All stupid Ethiopians who sit and count their ribs,
All people who feed people when they could be feeding Tibs,
All those who in the game of life have drawn a rotten hand,
All people who refuse to kiss this green and pleasant land,
(TURNS ARSE TO AUDIENCE, POINTS AT IT)
And that nasty little wanker, the environmentalist,
I don’t think he’d be missed, I’m sure he’d not be missed.
 
CHORUS:  He’s got ’em on the list-he’s got ’em on the list,
And they’ll none of ’em be missed – they’ll none of ’em be missed.
 
There’s the filthy Irish Catholics who grovel to the Pope,
And the people who wrote this – I’ve got them on the list,
All people who’d look better when they’re dangling from a rope,
They’d none of them be missed – they’d none of ‘em be missed.
All people who think nuclear wars cannot be fought and won,

All people who read Guardians and live in Islington,
All people who look out of place upon my balance sheet,
All cripples who refuse to stand upon their own two feet,
There’ll be nobody forgotten – the computer’s got the list,
And they’ll none of ‘em be missed, they’ll none of ‘em be missed.
 
CHORUS:  The computer has the list, the computer has the list,
And they’ll none of ’em be missed – they’ll none of ’em be missed.

 

 

HIT LIST

Jeremy Nicholas (1985)

 If anybody asks me what annoys me nowadays
I’ve made a little list – I’ve made a little list
In the form of an affectionately-written paraphrase
Of a certain lyricist – I’m sure you’ve got the gist.
There’s the teenage motorcyclist who will never pass his test
With a bike that sounds like Concorde and who thinks that we’re impressed,
Those people with their music centres blaring on the train
Who’ll smash you face in if you have the courage to complain,
The platitudes of politician and trade unionist,
They’d none of them be missed – they’d none of them be missed.
 
CHORUS: I’ve got ‘em on the list, I’ve got ‘em on the list
And they’ll none of them be missed, they’ll none of them be missed.
 
There’s the pseudo-intellectual who shows off with quotes and facts –
He simply can’t resist. I’ve got him on the list.
And the man to whom twice yearly I am forced to pay my tax –
I know that I’d be missed if I wasn’t on his list!
There’s the chap that never listens who’s the dinner-party bore
And the feminist who doesn’t thank you when you hold the door,
The idiots on motorways who drive ten feet behind
And are either suicidal, drunk or absolutely blind
With silly stickers on the rear – the manic motorist –
I don’t think he’d be missed. I know he’d not be missed.
 
CHORUS: Yes I’ve got him on the list, I’ve got him on the list
And I don’t think he’d be missed. I’m sure he’d not be missed.
 
Those people who to concerts go to cough and clear the throat –
Though I’m a pacifist, I’d like to use my fist!
And experimental music that requires a programme note –
There’s another on my list: the modern symphonist.
All discotheques, computer games and people who jump queues,
And the chap who does The Times crossword and answers all the clues.
All those who moan about a programme but don’t switch it off,
And the Royal snoopers – bottom of the journalistic trough,
And finally the writer who’s a downright plagiarist.
They’d none of ‘em be missed, they’d none of ‘em be missed.
 
CHORUS: There are Sullivan and Gilbert – but they aren’t on my list
For without them I am certain that this song would not exist!

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