History of Obscenity, a song by John Atkins.
For two voices, guitar and drums. The notes say: "To be sung with tremendous gusto, not too fast, with very clear enunciation." (You'll have to do that yourself!)
Let's begin our story in 1928
When Lady Chatterley changed her mate
Some years later a jury had to state
If it was obscene.
A peer of the realm said, "The lesson for me
Is not the morality of Lady C
But whether to give gamekeepers liberty
To be obscene".
The nation rocked
To the tune of Lady C and her lover.
The prudes were shocked
When the court agreed it didn't matter who she had above her.
The four-letter words flew thick and fast
The journalists wondered how long it could last,
And all because poor Lawrence felt the time was past
For words to be obscene.
At his painting exhibition, for purity's sake,
The police moved in and tried to take,
As well as works by Lawrence some pictures by Blake,
For William was obscene.
Is a name that we'll remember till the urge to laugh dies out,
We call him Jix,
Just a funny title for a ministerial lout.
Another to remember was Ulysses
With a blow-by-blow account of Molly's ecstasies
But the courts and the Bench of Bishops are so hard to please
They say it's obscene.
Even that dull novel, The Well of Loneliness,
Got its author Radclyffe Hall into a nasty mess,
The nation had no stomach for a lesbian caress,
It was obscene.
They called it French
For a smuthound always likes to blame another nation
You cannot quench
The thirst of people when they're steeped in righteous indignation.
Perhaps the biggest joke was when a Swindon magistrate
Horrified by mankind's constant urge to copulate
Declared Boccaccio's Tales were quite unfitted to relate -
They were obscene.
Now something really nasty, well, for instance, Peyton Place
Is guaranteed to bring a smile to the suburban face -
At least, when it has had enough of Arsenic and Old Lace -
It's not obscene.
It all began
When Adam needed someone else to help him pass the time
The original plan
Accepted everything they did and nothing was a crime.
God took a rib from Adam, without a by-your-leave
And then by sheer wizardry he made a girl called Eve
Everything was open, they had nothing up their sleeve
To be obscene.
Then came the disaster, fig-leaves and screams,
Peeping through the fingers, lust, nocturnal dreams,
And so they managed to frustrate the Almighty's early schemes,
And were obscene.
Thou shan't commit
Adultery nor mayst thou write about this wicked feat
But it is fit
To be malicious, stupid, cruel and to lie and cheat.
The detective novel is quite OK
You can read murder every day
So long as there's no tumbling in the hay
Which is obscene
Puritans and hypocrites are there for all to see,
The thought of pleasure angers them to a frightening degree,
They hate the body, sex, each other, themselves, and you and me,
We're all obscene.
Take Fanny Hill
Which Cleland wrote for readers who were healthy and sane
But some were ill
And offered him a hundred pounds so that he shouldn't do it again.
A naughty book at half a crown
Would ruin all the lads in town
But the price goes up and the readership's down -
The rich aren't obscene.
The gospel of love becomes the gospel of hate,
It soon will be a sin to take a mate
The moral of this story is "It's never too late
To be obscene".
The Arabian Nights
Were full of stories of a man's way with a maid
And Wuthering Heights
Show how a nice young lady's sexual urges never fade.
We have the clatter of the tea-cups, clackety-clack,
All the ladies gossiping, yackety-yack,
Disgusted by the stories of a girl upon her back,
It's so obscene!
Or is it envy?
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