Friday, 20 May 2011

The Hugh Laurie Song

Recently, the British actor, Hugh Laurie (of hit US TV series House fame), made an album of blues music with a whole bunch of well-regarded musicians and singers. Now, Hugh is a very gifted musician and, while not necessarily an outstanding singer, can at the very least hold of tune.

I heard the album playing in the local record shop (or what passes for one around here) and bought it – because of the music, rather than the singing, I should point out.

I brought it back into the office and, as just a few of us were in that day, we played the CD out loud.

My colleagues absolutely tore it to shreds.

According to them, it was not even remotely authentic, it was a cynical piece of self-indulgence, and it was not very good either. I think they were being a bit harsh.

But, I never pass up the opportunity for a comedy song, so I put their criticisms to music. This is a hastily-made recording of it.

The Hugh Laurie Song by DelusionsOfAdequacy

You are too middle-class to sing the blues.
Even though your only aim is to amuse.
You’ll never sound like you’re from the deep south
While that silver spoon sticking out of your mouth
That plummy accent should be reading the news.
You have no right to sing the blues.

Your home is just too fine for you to sing the blues.
That Georgian townhouse, in its secluded London mews.
Your snow white carpets, B&O, that good feng shui,
You’d never catch Robert Johnson using pot pourri.
With your designer bidets in every en suite loo.
You have no right to sing the blues.

You are just too well-fed to sing the blues
The finest Michelin-starred cuisine is yours to choose.
I bet the last time that you tasted famine
Was when Harrods ran out of smoked salmon.
If hunger’s never forced you to eat your own shoes,
You have no right to sing the blues.

Now we’re not saying white men don’t know trouble,
But, Hugh, I really hate to burst your bubble.
The Blues was born of suffering across the Atlantic
And public schoolboy, Oxbridge types are just inauthentic.

So unless you’ve pissed your life away on drugs and booze.
You have no right to sing the blues.
You’re too happy
You have no right to sing the blues.
You’re too rich
You have no right to sing the blues.
You’re well-adjusted
You have no right to sing the blues.


  1. Poor old Hugh

    I bet the last time that you tasted famine
    Was when Harrods ran out of smoked salmon.

    I mean that just couldn't happen, could it? You're getting me worried now!

  2. Well I never, you absolutely proved why Hugh should not be singing the blues. Oxbridge etc.

    Actually, we watched the programme with Hugh and those excellent musicians singing and playing. Although we agree that Hugh is a talented and musical musician (you'll know what I'm talking about - not all musicians are musical) we also think that his singing passes muster, not a lot more. His voice does indeed lack authenticity; he was having fun and he can afford to indulge his love for the blues and boogie and I quite enjoyed the session, but he is not a great blues singer.

    No offence to you or Hugh Laurie.

  3. Loved it!
    I watched the show and was in that two minds place. I didn't like his voice either, but I didn't doubt his enthusiasm, knowledge and genuine love of the genre.

    He actually was a rowing Blue, I believe.

  4. Relax, Niamh, it's just a song. Harrods would never run out of anything - ever!

    Friko, you're right, he's no blues singer, but if he manages to inspire someone to explore this glorious genre, then fair play to him. I like him, I like the album.

    Titus, I wish I'd known about the rowing blue, I could have worked it into the song somehow!

  5. You mean his stint on Blackadder wasn't Blues-inspiring? It does take quite a bit of squinting to see a blues man in THOSE characters. But I don't care - I just like to watch him :)

  6. as a person who merely aspires to singing I quite like listening to blokes who can't sing either - Dylan, Knopfler...

    I'll probably but the album when it's discounted myself, but as you say - if someone else finds blues then it's worth it

  7. the song is great by the way - you always think of musical ideas that would never occur to me, and your voice is just getting better all the time

  8. I liked your song, it made me giggle!

    I'd say Hugh's play-acting as a Blues singer is rather innocuous but far better and actually much more fun than what was attempted by Arnold or Ronald play-acting as politicians.

    And as you say, if it helps to popularise the genre, then, well-played Hugh!

    Kind regards, Kitty

  9. DFTP - perhaps there should be a special genre for borderline cannot singers and many thanks for the kind words.

    Kitty - glad you got a giggle and, you're right, Hugh does far less damage than most politicians.

  10. He was perfect as Bertie Wooster in "Jeeves and Wooster" - and sang in the style of a 'toff' as well as tinkling the ivories far better than I could.
    But don't give up the day job Hughie old bean.

  11. Philip, you're right, he was great in Jeeves and Wooster and I heartily wish he would bring out an album of those kinds of songs.

  12. oohh.. we were the cynical feckers when we saw him on jools..this song is just fantastic! absolutely laughed out loud through the whole thing :-D that's what makes me mad, you can get people like hugh laurie who have no genuine talent (lets face it, the songs were pretty mediocre in their delivery and writing)but because he has fortunes, he will be a sucess I heard something outrageous like he has broken the record for the highest number of pre-release orders!?.. ffs!.. then there's the like of yourself, quite obviously very talented, brilliant voice, fantastic song-writing, sumptuous guitar playing, a million times more talented, even when just taking the piss! why aren't you on jools holland and selling millions of records!?... *HEAD EXPLODES FROM THE ANGERNESS OF IT ALL!

  13. Watercats - I don't doubt the man has musical talent (he plays piano better than I ever will) and I don't doubt he loves the music. You're right though, anybody else with similar talent levels would not get a look in. Many will buy the album because of his name alone. I'll never be famous or get on Jools (too old and ugly, for a start) but seriously pleased ye liked the songage. Cheers.


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