Posts Tagged ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’

I always play a bit of music on Sunday mornings here, usually trying to link it to whatever is going on in my little world of paint or out there in the larger world. You know, a relevant song for a new painting or for a current event that might be dominating the news.

But sometimes they are songs that I simply like, songs that have meaning for me. Songs that make me cry. Or songs that make me happy and maybe even laugh.

I didn’t want to go with songs that make me cry today. There’s been enough reason to cry lately without having to be prodded.

So, I am opting for a song or two that make me happy. Make me smile and actually chuckle. Plus, you can easily link both with the situation at hand.

Facing hardship is an integral part of the nature of being alive. Illness and injury, death, loss, failure, humiliation– we all face some or all of these things in our lives.  Some face fewer and some even more of these hardships, but none are completely exempt. While facing my share–which are no more than most– I have always found music and humor to be effective coping mechanisms.

For me, it helps sometimes to laugh at my misfortune, especially if it has come about at my own doing. Laughing makes the situation seem smaller, less momentous. Laughter actually belittles the moment. I know that in the aftermath of some of my most down moments that I have some soothing salve in laughing at myself and the moment as I lick my wounds.

So, let’s lick our wounds and have a couple of songs. Both are from Eric Idle of Monty Python’s Flying Circus fame. He wrote most of the songs that the troupe employed in their shows and movies. We were lucky enough to see him many years ago, I think it was 2000, at Carnegie Hall for a very enjoyable evening of his songs and some well known Python bits.

The first is  a beautifully shot film of a sing-along performance of Always Look on the Bright Side from the film, Life of Brian. The song has become over the years the go-to song in Britain when they are facing adversity, a screw you to the problem at hand.  In recent days, a tug on the Thames River has been blaring it from loudspeakers as it chugs up and down the waterway.

Plus, this version has pipers. What more could ask?

The song here at the bottom is The Galaxy Song from the film, The Meaning of Life. It puts the problems we face into a galactic and universal perspective.

So, give a listen. Maybe sing along and smile. But do try have a good day.

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It was 42 years ago today that the BBC first broadcast a sketch comedy show that ran for only 45 episodes over four season but has endured the many decades since, inspiring countless adolescents and adolescent-minded adults such as myself with a brand of humor that was smart and irreverent.  And silly and ridiculous.  I am, of course, talking about Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

While it had a relatively short lifespan on television, the Monty Python name survived through a series of films over the years that have gained cult status including Monty Python and the Holy Grail which became the Broadway hit, Spamalot.  I remember going in high school to first see the film at a downtown theatre that no longer exists.  It was playing on a double bill with a much cruder and pretty much forgotten film, The Groove Tube. I can’t recall much about The Groove Tube but for The Holy Grail I mainly remember laughing with joy, even through the final credits.  I’ve seen the film dozens of times over the years and always find myself giggling like a kid a each.

Many of the skits have become embedded in the consciousness of the population.   You still hear of high school kids today who revere the show and can and do recite many of the skits verbatim, much to the delight of many around them, I’m sure.  Did I say delight?  I meant chagrin.  Okay, the skits are funny– when Michael Palin or John Cleese or the other Pythons are doing them.  But I’m glad that their humor still makes the young giggle in the same way that I experience those many years ago.  Hopefully, when I’m many years older, I’ll be shaking my fists at kids to get the hell off  my lawn and to stop singing that damn Lumberjack song!

Here’s a taste of the Pythons.  It’s their classic SPAM  skit, with all the shrillness that Terry Jones can muster as the waitress.



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