Sean Tierney

mickjoeA Tweet caught my eye recently. It was a parody of Fly me to the Moon entitled
‘Fly me to Dunoon’.
I wondered if the person who tweeted was aware, consciously or unconsciously, that the song was originally penned by a friend of mine, the late Sean Tierney. Sean wrote loads of songs, mainly parodies, several of which were used by Billy Connolly and others. I had a look some old stuff I had including an old CD “Pastiche, Parody & the Art of Course Singing” and other bit and bobs. Some of his songs were quite ingenious. As well as ‘Fly me to Dunoon’ there was:
‘I get no kick from Strathblane,
Going to Larkhall doesn’t thrill me at all.
So why should it be true
That I get a kick out of Rhu?’

He rarely wrote down the lyrics and he often changed the words to suit the company of whatever pub he was in. From memory I remember one of Cliff Richard’s hits getting the treatment,
‘Got myself a drunken’ steamin’ false teeth losing drivelin’doll
Bevies every nigh, looks a fright ‘cos she’s into alcohol…

I can’t remember the rest but it goes along the same lines and ends with;
‘Gonna lock her up in a trunk so no big drunk can steal her away from me’
He wrote a song of two Glasgow policemen growing up together to the tune of Maggie Thatcher’s favorite song ‘Two Little Boys’. It’s often sung by Glasgow singer Charlie Devlin so I know most of the words:
“Do you think I would leave you lying
When I can lie my head off too.
If some *** squawks in the witness box,
I’ll cover up for you.
I’ll tell a pack of lies, pull the wool over their eyes,
The way the sergeant taught us to…
Before you count to three, we’ll both be off Scot free,
‘Cos we’re two little boys in blue.”

His parody ‘The moustache my father wore’ is hilarious but caused endless rammies in pubs because most people simply heard the tune and didn’t listen to the words. Another that caused people to freak out was one to the old South Pacific tune, ‘There is nothing like a Dame…’
‘We can lighten up your wallet
We can lighten your skin tones
We got bandages and splints to mend your broken bones
We got hospitals, infirmaries and all with accolades
What ain’t we got?
A cure for AIDS!
We got lotions, we got potions,
We got capsules, we got pills.
We take the Hippocratic Oath, we take care of alt your ills.
We got paranoiac psychopaths, whose fears we can expel.
What can’t we cure? … you know damn well!
(Spoken) Now you’ve got something to put on that top hat and morning coat for…….. Cos’ what they got there ain’t no antidote for……
(Chorus) There is nothing that cures AIDS, nothing in the world They’re giving gravediggers extra spades – for there is nothing that can cure AIDS’

There’s another verse to this but I think you get the gist of it. I remember this one because he had me write it down and send it of to the TV show ‘Spitting Image’. They like it, but thought a bit too controversial even for them and I think you can understand why. People who knew Sean used to reel back in horror as they found themselves laughing at the last line. I managed to get a letter in the Herald on the day of his memorial service around April 2000. I’ve lost it now but it told of the day I met Sean in Heraghty’s bar.
‘How is that book of yours going,’ I asked.
‘Well it like this,’ he said ‘I worked in Mitchell Library so I did some research on what makes a best seller. Cowboy books are popular and so are books about sex. And books about hospitals – you know, doctors, nurses that kind of thing…sell very well.’
‘So, how far have you got?’
‘Not that far… but I’ve got a title…’ he hesitated, ‘It’s called..
‘The Nurse wore Spurs’
I’ve posted up a eulogy to Sean published in the Herald by Jack McLean. Its well worth a read…

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