Today, 23 June 2016, Britain votes on whether to stay in or leave the European Union. Britain first applied to join the Common Market – or the European Economic Community as it was then called – in 1961, although the application was vetoed by De Gaulle in 1963, on the grounds that Britain lacked commitment to European integration. Plus ca change!
In recent years John was a fervent opponent of the EU, and would definitely have voted for Brexit, if he had had the chance. In 1962, he wrote some slightly tongue-in-cheek lyrics about how welcome Britain would be in the Common Market, for the first UCL Stage Committee Revue, ‘Falling Flat’. The song was set to the tune ‘If you’re Irish, come into the parlour’, a recent release by Ruby Murray.
“If you’re British, come into the Market,
We’ve a place right here for you,
You may have got some ties,
With other British guys,
But we hope the Commonwealth just fades and dies.
If you’re British, come into the Market,
There’s a welcome here for you,
We’ve got the Dutch, the Frog, the Kraut,
It won’t be the same if you stay out,
If you’re British, come into the Market too!”
Many thanks to Owen Bentley, who preserved these, and other, lyrics from the Revues for over fifty years!