Devil's Music

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Gary Davies introduces "The Bishop & The Warlord".

Gary Woo! Get seriously down to that. Well now it's time to crank it up and tune it in, with some back to back fat beat, and have ourselves a rocking good time and no messing with the Bishop and the Warlord! Give me at least five!

The Bishop & The Warlord

"The Bishop & The Warlord" in performance. Stephen is dressed as a bishop, but with one leather cut-off glove. Hugh is fairly standard heavy metallurgist. Long hair, leather waistcoat, chain etc. Stephen sings from a pulpit, Hugh accompanies.

My baby turns some heads
When she walks in through the door
She's got ruby red lips
And legs down to the floor
She walks just like a wildcat
And she sings just like a dream
She's the greatest thing
That you've ever seen
Yes I need the heat of your loving, baby
You've got to burn with your desire
Start smoking at the edges
Set yourself on fire
You're mine mine mine mine mine
My baby is mine

Courtroom Scene

A TV monitor showing the last few bars of the song as played on Top of the Pops. Pull out to see that we are in an American courtroom. Stephen is in the dock, as the bishop. Hugh is the prosecuting attorney. Clerks, stenographer etc. scattered around. Seated next to Hugh is a woman covered in bandages. Hugh switches off the monitor and addresses the court.

Hugh "Set yourself on fire". Four words, your honour. Four innocent words. Every bit as common in our language as "freedom" or "vitamin-enriched". But play those words backwards, and what do you have? "Erif no flesruoy tes". But that isn't enough. These people are smarter than that, because if you play "Erif no flesruoy tes" backwards, you have "Set yourself on fire". A clear, explicit and unambigualistical instruction to my client, which she obeyed, to pour a can of gasoline over herself, and set light to it, causing untold physical and mental traumatisation.

Judge Let's get this straight, Mr Sanchez. Your client listened to the song ...

Hugh "Grease My Gristle, Blow My Whistle".

Judge Hm. Catchy title. And as a result, she set fire to herself?

Hugh Precisely, your honour.

Judge I see. And as a matter of interest, did she also grease her gristle and blow her whistle?

Hugh She certainly did, your Honour, causing herself grievous internal bruisality. That case comes to trial next month.

Judge I see. Any other cases pending?

Hugh Yes, your Honour. We have a suit of seven hundred million dollars against the group Queen, who caused my client to suffer a broken jaw, by urging her to become "champion of the world".

Judge In what?

Hugh Light middleweight boxing. Four hundred mil- lion against Frankie Goes To Hollywood, for instructioning her to Relax And Not Do It.

Judge Relax and not do what?

Hugh Relax and not apply the brakes of her automobile at a T-junction. And finally, nine hundred million against Jason Donovan.

Judge For what?

Hugh We haven't decided yet, your Honour.

Judge I see. Three billion dollars. That's a pretty substantial figure, Counsellor.

Hugh Well, to be honest, my wife and I are hoping to buy a little place down South, for weekends, space for the kids, you know?

Judge Really. What's it called?

Hugh Paraguay.

Judge That's nice. Now, do you have any witnesses?

Hugh I call the defendant, the self-styled clergyman of cool, the Bishop of Attleboro. Stephen as the bishop takes the stand.

Judge Take the book in your right hand and say after me. I have no objection ...

Stephen I have no objection ...

Judge ... to this trial being televised ...

Stephen ... to this trial being televised ...

Judge ... and subsequently being made ...

Stephen ... and subsequently being made ...

Judge ... into a motion picture, book, or stage musical so help me God.

Stephen ... into a motion picture, book, or stage musical so help me God.

Hugh What is your name, sir?

Stephen My name is William ...

Hugh Just answer the question yes or no, please. What is your name?

Stephen Yes..

Hugh Yes?

Stephen Yes.

Hugh That is your real name?

Stephen No.

Hugh No is your real name?

Stephen No.

Hugh No is not your real name?

Defence Objection your Honour. Counsel is badgering the witness.

Judge Hmm. Are you badgering the witness, Mr Sanchez?

Hugh Certainly not, your Honour.

Judge Good.

Hugh I am, possibly, weazelling the witness, and I certainly hope to squirrel him with my next question, but I am not badgering him.

Judge Mr Sanchez you're dicking me around.

Hugh No sir.

Judge Good. Proceed.

Defence But ...

Judge Your objection is overstained, Counsellor.

Hugh Now then, Mr Yes, you are the lead singer of the Heavy Metal band The Bishop And The Warlord?

Stephen That is substantially correct.

Hugh Substantially?

Stephen Well of course, being a bishop, I also have a great deal of work to do within my own diocese, as well as attending the Council of Synod meetings, which means that I can only devote limited time to the band, but in essence you are correct.

Hugh In essence I am correct, I see. And when you look upon the poor, wretched figure of my client now, Mr Yes, an innocent victim of your handiwork, how do you feel?

Defence Your honour, I really must stand up and make some pretence of earning my fee.

Judge Nice work, Counsellor.

Hugh I say again, how do you feel?

Stephen Well I'm most awfully sorry.

Hugh Awfully sorry?

Stephen Well it simply never crossed my mind that people could be told what to do so easily. I mean on my second album we wrote a song called "Bake Me A Love Souffle" ... if I thought that people would actually ... Hugh's client whispers to Hugh. Hugh produces a cake.

Hugh One love souffle, baked by my client sadly not at any personal injury to herself.

Judge Mr Yes, in the face of this evidence, I really have no choice but to find for the plaintiff. Have you anything to say before I name the figure?

Stephen Well, perhaps just one thing, your honour ...

Judge Yes?

Stephen Perhaps I might put it this way. One two three ...

Hugh Objection! Stephen starts to sing.

Stephen Woman! (Crashing chords)
Get out of my face!
Woman!
Woman drop your case.
Don't press those charges
Pay all my legal costs
You know that this case
Is as good as lost.

Forget the whole thing ever happened
And get yourself out of my life
Woman woman woman
Get out of my face. Pause: woman in bandages whispers to Hugh.

Hugh Your honour, it appears my client no longer wishes to proceed with her claim against Mr Yes, she wishes to pay all legal costs, to drop the case, and (she whispers again) she would also like permission to get out of his face.

Judge Such permission is so engranted, Mr Sanchez. Case dismissulated. Now, what next.

Hugh The state would like to call Mr Tony Inchpractice.

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