Tuesday, December 20, 2016

indelible moment: "Scrooge" (1970)

One of the most delightfully perverse moments in movie-musical history is performed early on in "Scrooge," Ronald Neame's 1970 adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," with songs by Leslie Bricusse.

In it, Albert Finney, so obviously relishing the role of Ebenezer, lurches through the streets of London, scowling at passersby and declaring in rhyme (courtesy of Bricusse's intricate, socially incorrect wordplay): 

"Scavengers and sycophants and flatterers and fools
Pharisees and parasites and hypocrites and ghouls
Calculating swindlers, prevaricating frauds
Perpetrating evil as they roam the earth in hordes
Feeding on their fellow men
Reaping rich rewards
Contaminating everything they see
Corrupting honest men like me!"

"Humbug! Poppycock! Balderdash! Bah!," Finney/Scrooge declares before breaking into Bricusse's marvelously demented song, "I Hate People," whose lyric sounds even more deranged when seen on paper. Or in this case, on computer screen.  Happy Holidays?  Indeed. Here goes...

"I hate people!
I hate people!
People are despicable creatures
Loathesome, inexplicable creatures
Good-for-nothing, kickable creatures
I hate people!
I abhor them!
When I see the indolent classes
Sitting on their indolent asses
Gulping ale from indolent glasses
I hate people!
I detest them!
I deplore them!
Fools who have no money but spend it
Get in debt, then try to end it
Beg me on their knees to befriend them
Knowing I have cash to lend them
Soft-hearted me! Hard-working me!
Clean-living, thrifty and kind as can be!
Situations like this are of no interest to me
I hate people!
I loathe people!
I despise and abominate people!
Life is full of cretinous wretches
Earning what their sweatiness fetches
Empty minds whose pettiness stretches
Further than I can see
Little wonder I hate people
And I don't care if they hate ... me!"


Charlotte said...

And I thought I was the only one to love this song. Fabulous!

Sheila said...