Thursday, July 09, 2009

Brother Gorilla

Reading the news the other day that 30 chimpanzees had escaped their enclosure at Chester Zoo, I was reminded of that delicious Georges Brassens song, Brother Gorilla, which the late Jake Thackray used to feature in many of his performances. There is a good clip of Jake doing the song on YouTube and I am enclosing a link with this post.
The song dates back to the days when France still used capital punishment and is a wonderfully witty and shockingly stinging attack on the practice. The song tells the tale of a circus gorilla who, through "an administrational cock-up", manages to escape. Having just one thought on his mind ("he was just at the difficult age") he sets out to lose his chastity. All the women who had been previously watching him with lascivious joy did a bunk ("which shows how devious and whimsical women are") and the only two people left in the path of the love-sick monkey are a little old lady and a Petty Sessions Judge. The final three verses conclude the story :
It would be curious and uncanny,
Say, if the choice were up to you
To ravish a judge or a granny
And you didn't know which to do.
If I were in such a position
And the choice had got to be mine,
I'd beg the old lady's permission
But go for grandma every time.
Brother Gorilla!
Though the gorilla is very proficient
In the role of a paramour
His mental equipment's deficient
And his eyesight's awfully poor.
With a Palaeolithic leer
He gave the old lady the miss
And, grabbing the judge by the ear,
Gave him an introductory kiss.
Brother Gorilla!
In time the gorilla's desires
Were more or less gratified.
The judge, being rather biased,
Couldn't see the funny side.
He was kicking and screaming and wailing
When his moment of truth had come,
Like those wretches he orders daily
To be taken away and hung.
Brother Gorilla!
Listen to Jake Thackray sing it, it is superb.

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