Sunday, June 5, 2011

And now for something completely different . . .


 

I was comfortably ensconced in my favourite chair in front of the Teev, watching The Amazing Race on Sunday morning when the familiar sound of a Bing Lee commercial came on. . . “I like Bing Lee, I like Bing Lee . . .”

See an example at:

The lyrics to the ad at the above link are:

I like Bing Lee
I like Bing Lee
Their prices are very low, you see
From here to China
It’s Bing Lee for me.

What younger generations may not realise is that the original of the above words and music was a Monty Python 1980 song called “I Like Chinese”, a song that would today be regarded as non PC.

Hear it at:

The lyrics are:

The world today seems absolutely crackers
With nuclear bombs to blow us all sky high.
There's fools and idiots sitting on the trigger.
It's depressing and it's senseless, and that's why...

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're always friendly, and they're ready to please.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
There's nine hundred million of them in the world today.
You'd better learn to like them; that's what I say...

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They come from a long way overseas,
But they're cute and they're cuddly, and they're ready to please

I like Chinese food.
The waiters never are rude.
Think of the many things they've done to impress.
There's Maoism, Taoism, I Ching, and Chess.

So I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
I like their tiny little trees,
Their Zen, their ping-pong, their yin, and yang-ese.

I like Chinese thought,
The wisdom that Confucious taught.
If Darwin is anything to shout about,
The Chinese will survive us all without any doubt.

So, I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're wise and they're witty, and they're ready to please.

All together.

[verse in Chinese]
Wo ai zhongguo ren. (I like Chinese.)
Wo ai zhongguo ren. (I like Chinese.)
Wo ai zhongguo ren. (I like Chinese.)
Ni hao ma; ni hao ma; ni hao ma; zaijien! (How are you; how are you; how are you; goodbye!)

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
Their food is guaranteed to please,
A fourteen, a seven, a nine, and lychees.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
I like their tiny little trees,
Their Zen, their ping-pong, their yin, and yang-ese.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees...

Some trivia:

The song is performed and written by Eric Idle.

It was originally part of Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album which, as the title suggests, was made to complete a contractual obligation with Charisma Records.  That album created controversy not because of the I Like Chinese song but for some others.  The first, Sit on My Face, sung to the tune of Gracie Fields’ song Sing As We Go, drew threats of copyright breach in respect of the melody.  The second, Farewell to John Denver, had Eric Idle impersonating John Denver singing Annie’s Song.  After a few bars the singer sounds as though he is being strangled.  On legal advice it was replaced by an apology, but it remains on some later versions and compilations.

The Chinese lyrics translate to “ I like Chinese, I like Chinese, I like Chinese, how are you, how are you, how are you, goodbye.”

Bonus Trivia:
With 41 stores, Bing Lee is the largest privately owned electrical retail business in NSW.  It was formed in 1957 by Bing Lee and his son Ken when Bing bought an electrical repair business in Fairfield, NSW.  The business was turned into an electrical retail outlet, being boosted by the sale of televisions and whitegoods, washing machines, cooking equipment and audio equipment, all in heavy demand at the time.  Bing died in 1987 aged 79, Ken died in 2007 aged 75.

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