Monday, 12 March 2018

Just take a deep breath, a sip of champagne

Oh dear. Not only has it been a gloomy, drizzly start to the week, but we lost two cultural icons in one day - from very different ends of the spectrum, admittedly.

First off (and following in the footsteps of the slew of "national treasures" who went last year), another of the mainstays of British light entertainment for the past seven decades, a master of the quick-fire gag (he made the Guinness Book of Records in 1974 for telling jokes at a rate of 10 a minute for more than three hours) as well as of slightly surreal comic lunacy and even ventriloquy, Sir Ken Dodd died at the ripe old age of 91. A true all-rounder, he was not only renowned for his crowd-pulling (and often five hours long) stand-up shows, but also had a massive career as a singer - his song Tears outsold everyone except the Beatles, becoming the third biggest single of the 1960s! And here he is:

He was followed in his journey to Fabulon today by the master of the art of "smart, wearable couture", favourite designer of style icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, Hubert de Givenchy.

Inevitably, I have featured the great man as an "exhibit" over the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp before - see here, here and especially here.

Obviously, he never sang. However, on this Tacky Music Monday, we feature the most famous song to name-check him...

Here at La Cage we live life
How should I put it? On an angle
Just take a deep breath, a sip of champagne
Open your eyes and what do you see?

It's rather gaudy but it's also rather grand
And while the waiter pads your check, he'll kiss your hand
The clever gigolos romance the wealthy matrons
At La Cage Aux Folles

It's slightly forties and a little bit new wave
You may be dancing with a girl who needs a shave
Where both the riff-raff and the royalty are patrons
At La Cage Aux Folles

La Cage Aux Folles
The Maitre d' is dashing
Cage Aux Folles
The hat check girl is flashing
We import the drinks that you buy
So your Dom Perrier is Canada Dry

Eccentric couples always punctuate the scene
A pair of eunuchs and a nun with a marine
To feel alive you get a Limousine to drive you
To La Cage Aux Folles

It's bad and beautiful, it's bawdy and bizarre
I know a Duchess who got pregnant at the bar
Just who is who and what is what
Is quite a question at La Cage Aux Folles

Go for the mystery, the magic and the mood
Avoid the hustlers and the men's room and the food
For you get glamour and romance and indigestion
At La Cage Aux Folles

La Cage Aux Folles
A San Tropez tradition
Cage Aux Folles
You'll lose each inhibition
All week long we're wondering who
Left a green Givenchy gown in the loo

You go alone to have the evening of your life
You meet your mistress
And your boy-friend and your wife
It's a bonanza, it's a mad extravaganza
At La Cage Aux Folles

Hubert was probably incredibly proud...


  1. Replies
    1. ...and Major Charles Winchester from M*A*S*H (David Ogden Stiers) just the other day. 'Tis the season, methinks. Jx

  2. Ken Dodd was a genuinely funny man and a loss
    Givenchy a genious of fashion and a loss
    La Cage pure joy


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