banner - Momus

Momus -
"The Mother-In-Law"

[ from the album "The Ultraconformist" (1992) ]

Lyrics

Wakey, wakey

I, Bill Cotton, was the entertainment king
I ruled without hate or malice
And now that I'm on trial
I recall no crime
I remember Alexandra Palace
When I started there I was a teenager
But not like they are today
All anoraks and acne
My face was polka dotted but my popular demotic went down dandy
Setting the house on fire
'Tll Adolf's rockets described their arcs
And brought the old place down
But speaking seriously ever since then
My aim has been to entertain the mother-in-Law

I was everybody's drunken brother-in-law
But my wedding reception roses were microphones
And when the table was cleared and the dishes were done
They gathered round their master's voice in every home
Then crackling Berlin and Hilversum and Rome gave way to a Cockney twang
With the timing of a jazz age genius
I remember those religious broadcasting blokes used to stop me right on Portland Place
And quote me right to my face
"In the land of the blind the winking man is king"
But speaking seriously ever since then
My h-aim has been to h-entertain the mother-in-Law

Then in the years that followed the war
I was moved from razzmatazz to administration
Well they say we've all got a cross to bear
Mine was the task of altering
An eavesdropping to a voyeuristic nation
Well I never met Logie Baird but from what I've heard that man
Was a smash hit at parties
If you asked him to describe TV he immediately dropped to his knees
And mechanically scanned the carpets in 240 lines
Or was it 405? Well never mind, they were punchlines every one
But speaking seriously ever since then
My h-aim has been to h-entertain the mother-in-Law

To cut a long story short I ended up in court
With the entire cast of the Black and White Minstrel Show
(There must be a million or more)
So tell me where have I seen these pearly gates?
Where have I heard that title before?
"The Day of Judgement" - must be cable or Channel Four
But when I'm introduced I can't believe my ears
I stand accused of blasphemy and making graven idols
And for the first time in my life (although I realise I'm dead)
I laugh my head off when I'm fed my ultimate punch line
My five-minute call for the eternal show time
"The devil is the mother of my wife"
But speaking seriously ever since then
My h-aim has been to h-entertain the mother-in-Law