Saturday, 18 October 2008

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

Surely one of the most idiotic of the many hundreds (thousands) of song-poems released over the decades has to be this little number, Cara Stewart's masterpiece of inter-cultural understanding Song of the Burmese Land.

Released on AIR records around 1962, it's one of a large number of four track EPs put out by this company. Written by one L Hazlewood (one would assume not Lee, the author of These Boots are Made for Walkin'), this particular release also featured Bob Brown singing You're My Lucky Number, Lang Crosby performing Little Bell by Bright McWhorter, and Sonny Marshall with the odd ode Ben Sira In The Garden.

So great is this catastrophic calypso that I feel duty-bound to share the words with you:

Burmese Land is Like Monkey Land, a bothersome, troublesome place
Burmese Land is Like Monkey Land, listen, I'll tell you so

The ??? Government told the people: When ten o'clock strikes night
Don't make a noise, don't be a nuisance, let the people sleep
Let the people sleep

If a permit you should get you can make a noise
If anyone asks, you can say: 'A permit we have got'

Always at this feast, always at that feast - Chinese, Burmese, Indian
Doom doom doom dang dang dang
Boom boom boom bang bang bang
A permit we have got
A permit we have got

Burmese Land is Like Monkey Land, a bothersome, troublesome place
Burmese Land is Like Monkey Land, to the lunatic asylum I'm going

With the recent political upheaval in Myanmar (Burma) the rediscovery of this little gem could not have come at a better time. If you fancy more like this, hike on over to the ever-wonderful WMFU, where you can download two whole collections of similar song poem nonsense, MSR Madness Volume 5: I Like Yellow Things and Volume Six: Rat a Tat Tat America!


  1. Youtube link:

  2. The unknown word in the lyrics is "AFPFL", which Cara attempted to sing phonetically. The Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League ruled Burma from 1945 to 1964.

    1. Thank you so much for clearing that up. You've ended a decade-long mystery!


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