Looking on the bright side

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According to the BBC, a police boat in London was playing Monty Python's "Always look on the bright side of life" for listeners near the Thames last week:

The official video for that song:

And a seasonally relevant parody, which does an unusually good job of imitating our president's rhetorical style:


  1. Philip Taylor said,

    March 28, 2020 @ 8:49 am

    How the h@ll does he get teeth that white ?!

  2. Steve Jones said,

    March 28, 2020 @ 10:43 am

    With seasonal irreverence, we always wanted to do the Python song as an encore to the Matthew Passion. This post opens with a story about corpsing during the crucifixion:


  3. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    March 28, 2020 @ 11:29 am

    Is this “language” log, or “unthinkably insulting blasphemous mockery of the most sacred event of Christianity” log?

    Seems as though nothing of linguistic value would be lost with the removal of the second video link and Steve Jones’ comment.

    Pax & Bonum

  4. Keith said,

    March 28, 2020 @ 12:06 pm

    Quite typical of th eBritish sense of humour to play that song, although the following lines from the song might be a bit too close to home for people who have lost a family member to covid-19.

    Always look on the bright side of death
    Just before you draw your terminal breath.

  5. Leo said,

    March 29, 2020 @ 4:43 am

    I'm very fond of Monty Python, but that song is a ghastly earworm, and for the police to blare it out during a medical crisis is breathtakingly crass and inane.

  6. Leo said,

    March 29, 2020 @ 4:48 am

    It's also my experience that anything described as 'wonderfully British' is likely to be an embarrassment.

  7. Philip Taylor said,

    March 29, 2020 @ 6:23 am

    I am British, and carefully avoiding any reference to the Monty Python sketch in deference to Benjamin, I don't find the police's broadcast of the song during the current crisis in any way crass — as soon as I heard it in this context, I smiled : it captures perfectly the British attitude to crises in general and to this crisis in particular. Of course, if it were to be played to an audience known (or even suspected) of including anyone personally affected by the crisis by (for example) the infection or death of a family member or friend, then it would be inappropriate in the extreme, but I am certain that the vast majority of the unaffected population would find it as amusing as I did.

  8. James said,

    March 29, 2020 @ 6:51 am

    @Benjamin E. Orsatti:

    Yawn. Really? Grow up.

  9. Philip Taylor said,

    March 29, 2020 @ 9:24 am

    Sorry, James, I think that you are completely out of order. I am not a Christian, not a believer in any God in fact, but I respect the position of those who are believers, no matter whether they be Christian, Muslim, Hindu or whatever. Benjamin has stated that he finds parts of the original post an "unthinkably insulting blasphemous mockery of the most sacred event of Christianity". Is there any reason at all not to respect his position, and to try to avoid causing any further offence ? What possible benefit can there be in seeking to mock someone just because their beliefs do not accord with our own ?

  10. Rodger C said,

    March 29, 2020 @ 11:46 am

    Only slightly off-topic (and I hope only slightly blasphemous): Surely Trump's call to pack the churches on Easter gives a whole new meaning to "Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain."

  11. Counterbander said,

    March 29, 2020 @ 9:59 pm

    Lose the videos – albeit amusing – unless there's a linguistic comment of interest. I haven't seen one yet.

  12. C said,

    March 30, 2020 @ 4:50 am

    The song is one of the most popular ones at English funerals these days – and that includes those in Christian churches!

  13. R. Fenwick said,

    March 30, 2020 @ 5:53 am

    Benjamin has stated that he finds parts of the original post an "unthinkably insulting blasphemous mockery of the most sacred event of Christianity". Is there any reason at all not to respect his position, and to try to avoid causing any further offence?

    For a number of reasons I won't get into here – it's really not the place – but perhaps most pragmatically because like many other Christians over the thirty years since its release, he's entirely failed to grasp the fact that The Life of Brian really isn't and never was about Christ Himself (and tangentially, Christ had no monopoly on crucifixion, either).

  14. Victor Mair said,

    March 30, 2020 @ 6:06 am


    If you "lose the videos", what would be left?

  15. Rodger C said,

    March 30, 2020 @ 7:12 am

    @B. Orsatti: In approaching Life of Brian, I find it helps to realize (as R. Fenwick alludes) that it's not so much a parody of the Gospels as a parody of Sunday-school quarterlies.

  16. KeithB said,

    March 30, 2020 @ 8:47 am

    I get the "social distance" that MP put between Jesus and Brian – Jesus is handled quite reverently in the movie – but you have to admit there is a bit of wink, wink, nudge, nudge there.

  17. 번하드 said,

    April 2, 2020 @ 3:17 pm

    If you want the public to listen to the authorities, for many people a little bit of humor will go a long way.

    I remember seeing signs in Korea saying "If you sit here, the flowers will feel pain" or "we (the flowers) hate cigarette butts" and thinking that this softer way to say it sure motivates me better than "It is strictly forbidden to X".

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