WRITTEN BY AND STARRING
GRAHAM CHAPMAN JOHN CLEESE
TERRY GILLIAM TERRY JONES
ERIC IDLE MICHAEL PALIN
DIRECTED BY TERRY JONES
ANIMATION AND SPECIAL SEQUENCES BY TERRY GILLIAM
PRODUCED BY JOHN GOLDSTONE
TO BE INTRODUCED BY
(Apart from some
(Everything except excerpts from the film done by Gustaf
Sjöblom May 1995)
(Inside record sleeve)
A UNIVERSAL RELEASE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK RECORDING
Record produced by Andre Jacquemin & Michael Palin.
Engineered, mixed and edited by Andre Jacquemin at Redwood
THE MEANING OF LIFE
Lyrics by Eric Idle. Music by Eric Idle & John du Prez
Lyrics and Music by Eric Idle and John du Prez
Lyrics and Music by Eric Idle
THE NOT NOEL COWARD SONG
Lyrics and Music by Eric Idle
CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN
Lyrics by Terry Jones. Music by Eric Idle.
All recorded at Brittania Row.
EVERY SPERM IS SACRED
Lyrics by Michael Palin & Terry Jones.
Music by Andre Jacquemin & Dave Howman.
Arranged bt Mike McNaught.
Recorded at Redwood.
Incidental music: De Wolfe & Ready Music.
Songs published by Kay-Gee-Bee Music Ltd.
Original Film Soundtrack recorded by Garth Marshall
and mixed by Paul Carr & Brian Paxton.
The Fairly Incomplete and Rather Badly Illustrated Monty Python
Song Book, plus free CD
Available at bookshops everywhere for just 12.99 or order
direct on 0933 41051
The Meaning of Life
AN ACROBAT WRITES
Seldom in the history of mankind has there been an attempt to
explain the Eternal Question in quite such a stimulating and
provocative way as in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. It
leaves Mary Poopins standing and makes Bobby Vee's 'Rubber
Ball' seem almost irrelevant. Who are these philosophers of
those wacky Wittgensteins of wit? and why does their message
ring so true even in these days of hyperinflation and massive
Graham Chapman, a Leicester man, rose to fame in the
Cambridge University 'shitties' team which toured Ghana in the
mid-sixties in an unsuccessful attempt to popularize this
game*. Even as a youth Graham had been concerned with major
philosophical questions. Not content to room the streets of
Harborough abusing freemasons like normal children of his age,
Graham wanted something more, something deeper, something
that woukd last. As his choirmaster recollects, 'Graham would
always be asking "why?", even at weekends. With his expressive
face and arrow through the neck kit, it was always likely that
Graham would go into comedy. It was through comedy that
Graham met his fellow philospher - John Cleese. John, born of
Jungian stock on the seafront at Weston-Super-Mare, spent the
first thirty-six years of his life perfecting a very clever
trick. But like
any other healthy normal boy, John wanted to know what life was
all about - why hair grew under his arms and what you would
call an Archbishop if you met him in a train. 'I remember him
being endlessly inquisitive,' recalls Arthur Sporritt, who ran
sweetshop near John's home. He'd want to know all the
constituents of liquorice and why so few toffees were cut
at the end. Sometimes we'd be up until 3 or 4 in the morning
answering all his questions. It must have stood John in good
because in the 1960's he was made Head of Comedy on the
North Sea Oil Rigs and has never looked back. His colleague
Eric Idle is a philospher's philospher. His provocative
and super dinner parties have endeared him to thinkers the
over. Whilst most adults of his age are out windsurfing, Eric
more likely to be found at work theorising, trying desperately
get to the bottom of it all. Someone who once taught Eric is
confident that he will find the answer. 'Eric was a very
determined boy . . . when everyone lese said "No", Eric would
say "Yes". That's how he lost his front teeth.' Descartes is
hero. 'René was doing what Python's doing now two hundred
years ago', says Eric's answering machine.' Another Cartesian
thinker is rugby-playing, non pipe-smoking gourmet and
Terry Jones, who used to argue for Wales, until injury forced
into premature retirement. Rubbing his nose ruefully, Terry
'I went in a bit hard against England I suppose. I said
about The Royal Family having less English blood than
Papadopolos, and I don't remember anything after that.' Terry
fact fled from Wales early in his life, dragging his father and
mother, much against their will, to live in Esher, Surrey. One
Esher man who remembers Terry well is Laurence Phipps. Another
is Ronald Cheddington. Terry is the only member of the Python
team who has seen a Flying Saucer. Terry Gilliam, who has
based his philosphical method on the works of Bruce Lee, is the
most active of all the Python thinkers. Born in Minneapolis, he
been imbued with a passion for knowledge throughout his life.
Not content with mastering the spelling of 'Corn Flakes' Terry
wants to make his own film. He has an engaging air of
wonderment and innocence which has endeared him to many
producers. Terry is continually probing, challenging, testing
himself. Never satisfied with just being good at something.
wants to be the best, and he can now reverse quite large family
saloon cars into very tight spaces, backwards, up a hill. This
the sort of man he is. Michael Palin, on the other hand, is
mistaken for a woman., but his soft voice and 48 inch bust
conceals a hard, tough, shrewd little thinker. As his chemist
'If Michael comes into the shop and asks for Interdens, I don't
stop to ask why.' Michael comes from the tough Sheffield school
of philosphy. It's difficult to define their ideas precisely,
regard logical positivism as 'fucking rubbish' and Spinoza's
definition of Substanc as 'crap'. Michael brings to the group a
tight intellectual discipline and a rather shabby brown Mini.
The team wrestled for many months and weeks before they came
to lay down the basic principles on which Monty Python's The
Meaning of Life is based. Now you have it in your hand. At
it may not be easy to follow the thread of their gist. Don't
philosphy is never easy, otherwise everyone would be at it.
Listen again and again. Buy another couple of records - it may
help. Above all don't give up. Don't just dismiss this album as
inconsequential comoc rubbish. Humour was a stage that the
Python team went through on the road to self-realisation. Now
they are there. Now they are prepared to share with you all the
fruits of their enquiries. This is why we have asked your
store owner to stock Monty Python's The Meaning of Life under
Philosphy. Thank you.
'Shitties' involves the retention of coins between the buttocks
delivery into a beer mug from a height of 24 inches or more.
Other Great Philosophy L.P´s
Ethics (after Dark) - Koo Stark and Brian Redhead
Great Motivist, Deontological and Consequence Theories
(Various Artists K-Tel)
Free Will - My Way - Frank Spinoza
Deductive Logic - Richard Clayderman
Bishop Berkeley's Theory of Immaterialism - narrated by
(End of record sleeve)
Table of Contents
Fried Babies 4
BBC News 4
Martin Luther 4
Tea of 1914-1918 4
Terry Gilliam 4
Warrior Accountance 5
Search for missing leg 5
"What's that?" 5
The Final Journey 5
Album Dedication 5
No piranhas 6
Michael Palin: Congratulations, record buyer! You are now the
proud owner of the first soundtrack album ever to be introduced
by live fish! Apart from some copies of Shane...in South
(Meaning of Life Song)
Michael Palin: Somewhere in the world, a baby is born every 1.7
seconds. This means, that in the time it takes to fry an egg in
a conventional frying pan, over 137 babies have been born.
Unless you like your egg really crispy and golden brown on the
outside like I do, in which case you could have over 200 really
crispy, fried babies. Or, if you're cooking on gas, about 194.
But of course the real problem, is that by far the great
majority of these fried eggs are born in areas least able to
(The 3rd World)
Michael Palin: But the tragic events of No. 42 did not go
unobserved by the neighbors.
Radio: This is the BBC home service. Here is the news: The
British invasion of Russia ended quietly yesterday with the
unconditional surrender of Moscow to Lieutenant Simon Pring. In
Düsseldorf, the Brititsh pair Nanet and Napoleon Hardcastle
have won everything they possibly could have entered for. And
British weather has been named by Climate Magazine as the best
in the world.
GC: Look at them...
Michael Palin: The Adventures of Martin Luther! An exciting and
controversial examination of the protestant reformer whose re-
assessment of the role of the individual in Christian belief
skook the foundations of a post-feudal Germany in the grip of
the sixteenth cent-
(Growth & Learning)
Tea of 1914-1918
Michael Palin: So tea was taken in the heart of France. The
dying rays of the summer sun drimted on fresh sliced cucumber
sandwhiches and caught the rought textured richness of the
Garibori biscuits. The sound of crackling brandy snaps filled
the still air. The soldiers chattled over their Swiss roll and
spread thick butter upon their scones. Squatties passed the
milk to ... and Colonel offered apricot jam to their batman,
generals and runners sat down to crumpet together. The Great
Tea of 1914-1918 had begun.
Fish: They haven't said...
TG: Hello, this is Terry Gilliam welcoming you to side two. Of
course you won't be seeing my animations on this, being a
record. My normal contributions is of course mainly visual, and
one of the things I'm most proud and to happy of have
contributed to the film is opening sequence about Pirate Clark.
Now, this began years ago when I was really quite a young man,
about 45-46, ah, I remembered coming home from a ...
Michael Palin: So the intepid warrior accountance cruised away
into the sunset, keeping alive the highest ideals of British
courage and dedication. Ideals tested many times before, on
even fircer battlefields. The Zulu wars 1888.
Man: Yes, sir!
Search for missing leg
Michael Palin: All that day and much of the next night, the
search party pursued their quest for Perkin's missing leg.
Deeper and deeper into the jungle they went, waiting with
incredible patience for their servants to cut down the huge
trees and savagingly twisted arners. They found the legs of
many creatures, including a matching pair belonging to a Swiss
missionary and a almost hairless left leg, identifiable only by
a faded Victory Brand socks suspender. The next morning found
them with fifteen legs, only one of them British, and none the
same colour as Perkin's. Worse still, they were entering the
darkest, densest part of the whole soundtrack album, legendary
middle of side two, blowing panic written on it. They beagn to
hallucinate, dreaming in their wildest moments they were Henry
Kissinger's uncle and aunty.
Woman: Live organ transplants? What's that?
Waiter: Well, that's, uh...kind of a blink.
(Live Organ Transplants)
Waiter: ...a hose.
Michael Palin: 23 courses later.
Waiter: Finally monsieur...
Woman: I didn't even eat the mousse!
The Final Journey
Michael Palin: So death took them down the last road. The final
journey from which there is no return, when the meaning of life
itself would finally be revealed.
Reaper: Behold Paradise!
Michael Palin: This album is dedicated to fish the world over.
In seas, on plates, in ponds, restaurants, kitchens or
aquariums, shelves or buckets. In lakes and streams and
freezers, to all those silent unsung fish who have given their
lives of countless centuries so that other, bigger fish may
live. In the hope of this album, we promote a new spirit of
harmony and understanding, in the oceans of the world, every
dollar or pound or peso or don spent on the purchase of this
record will go towards helping fish and all who love them.
Fish: That was terrific!
Michael Palin: I've been asked to add that none of the money
will go to piranhas or hammerhead sharks or their
relatives...or sea urchins...or those rather strange, flat
things with huge, illuminous eyes, but you only found those
about 40,000 feet down.
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