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The Philosopher's Drinking Song -- Monty Python

And now for something completely different... It's
(Poem #615) The Philosopher's Drinking Song
 Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
      who was very rarely stable.
 Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
      who could think you under the table.
 David Hume could out consume
      Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
 And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
      who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.

 There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
     'bout the raisin' of the wrist.
 Socrates himself was permanently pissed.

 John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
     after half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
 Plato, they say, could stick it away,
      'alf a crate of whiskey every day!
 Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
      and Hobbes was fond of his Dram.
 And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
      "I drink, therefore I am."

 Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
 A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.
-- Monty Python
What, you haven't heard this before? Quick - run out and beg, borrow or
steal a recording of Monty Python's Flying Circus, and give the Bruces a
listen. You won't be disappointed.

thomas.

PS. Did you know that according to the Guiness Book of Records, the single
concept with the largest number of different words/phrases to describe it is
'the condition of being inebriated'?

[Irrelevant Details]

Composer: Eric Idle.
Author: Eric Idle.
First heard on Monty Python's Flying Circus.
The Second Series (aired from Sep. 15, 1970 to Dec. 22, 1970).
Episode 22: How To Recognize Different Parts Of The Body.
Recorded 25 September 1970, Aired 24 November 1970.

[On Monty Python]

Monty Python's Flying Circus" premiered in October of 1969 and those who
fell under its spell were destined never to view parrots, hedgehogs, Spam,
or the everyday act of walking in the same way again.

C'mon, Python loyalists, con-FESS. You can't go into the cheese section of a
supermarket without smiling and perhaps looking about for Greek musicians,
now can you? Or see the plaid flannel shirts favored by lumberjacks and not
want to burst into the chorus of a certain song? Doubtful, because that's
just the kind of effect Python has had on people.

The cast of the Flying Circus came together in what can best be described as
a chain reaction. It started when John Cleese and Graham Chapman approached
the Michael Palin/Terry Jones team about doing a project together. The
latter agreed and suggested bringing in Eric Idle, who in turn recruited
Terry Gilliam.

The first episode of Python went out late on a Sunday evening in a time
period usually occupied by a program devoted to religious discussion. So
imagine the shock of those who turned in expecting to see that only to be
confronted with Picasso doing a painting while riding a bicycle, the deaths
of famous historical figures judged in the manner of the Olympics, and the
story of a joke soooooo funny that anyone who heard it literally died
laughing.

So the Python series began and would continue for the next five years,
during which time the Pythons broke most of the rules about what television
and comedy should be. From ex-Goon Spike Milligan came the idea that
sketches didn't necessarily need a beginning, middle, and end. This, along
with the advantage of having Gilliam's animations to connect disparate
sketches, took the emphasis away from the punch-line and allowed the
free-flowing stream of consciousness which would become the Python
trademark.

The final program was transmitted on December 5, 1974, and Python as a
series was history. Yet in a sense they were just beginning. Though he had
bailed out of the fourth (and final) series, John Cleese was happy to work
with his partners when they decided to bring their supreme adeptness at
being silly to the big screen in a series of films that began with "And Now
For Something Completely Different" and ended with "The Meaning Of Life",
which won the prestigious Jury Award at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival.

What made Python click? At its best, this partnership was something akin to
a good marriage, where one partner's strength compensates for the other's
weakness, and the result is a harmonious whole. In this case, the verbal
strength and logic of Cleese, Chapman, and Idle was perfectly complemented
by the imaginative visual flair of Jones, Palin, and especially Gilliam.
Though they have all gone on to do successful solo projects, there was an
energy at work here which will never be duplicated.

-- Michelle Street,
http://www.stone-dead.asn.au/resources/articles/britcomedy-digest/celebratin
g-25-years.html

[Links]

The Philosopher's Drinking Song appears in the sketch starring 'The Bruces';
you can read the entire sketch here:
http://www.montypython.net/scripts/bruceskit.php3

You can listen to the Bruces singing this song (at machine-gun speed, and in
good Aussie accents to boot) here:
http://www.library.adelaide.edu.au/guide/hum/philosophy/philos_song.au
and here:
[broken link] http://www.montypython.net/cgi-bin/dl/full.cgi?philosop.wav

There've been quite a few poems about the pleasures of alcohol on the
Minstrels; see, for example:

Belloc's "Pelagian Drinking Song": poem #78

Baudelaire's "Enivrez-vous" ("Get Drunk!"): poem #581

Harivanshrai Bachchan's "The Tavern": poem #72

Rumi's poem of the same name: poem #513

The immortal Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: poem #162

Of course, there's always the danger, while drinking, of having the same
fate befall you as David O'Bruadair; see his marvellous "A Glass of Beer":
poem #185

And finally: all the names mentioned in today's, errm, poem, are of bona
fide honest-to-goodness real McCoy philosophers; to find out more about
their work, I can't do better than to recommend the Encyclopaedia
Britannica, http://www.eb.com/.

43 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

J S Mill said...

thanks for putting the lyrics to the python song on the web!
I just wanted to send a quick note, however, saying (admittedly as a pedant) that the proper spelling of Mill's
forenames is "John Stuart", not "Stewart".
Cheers!
-a philosophy grad student

Newtown School Computer Room PC 35 said...

Monty Python, the speakers of a generation. Dunno which one, but I'll find out someday.
Class poem.

ash.

AbbaDingo said...

Line six should read:
Schopenhauer and Hegel.
-----William

Jason said...

I just saw the Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl DVD and, now they
might have changed it from the original, but they've got a sing-along
part to this song and the lines in the above poem "David Hume could out
consume/ Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel" are, in the live preformance... "David
Hume could out consume/ Shopenhauer and Hegel"... Just thought i'd fill
in all those super python fans out there

Bruno Teles said...

And if i'm not mistaken, john stuart mill is particularly ill on half a pint
of shandy not after it

cheers

great website by the way

piss head dave said...

reading this i have an overwelming sence of raging thirst other than drinking me own piss im off down the pub to drink someone elses

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