Sorry, I meant to see your show – the lyrics!

By request, here are the lyrics to my song, commissioned to open the 2011 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. I owe a clear debt of gratitude to the superb opening number to this year’s Tony Awards.

I’ve also uploaded the demo I made for the singers:

Sorry, I meant to see your show (demo) by Robbie Ellis

Some lyrics changed in the rehearsal process (and we certainly slowed it down from my speed-demon intentions), but most remained the same. Forgive my falsetto for soprano parts.

“Sorry, I meant to see your show” was performed last night at the Wellington Opera House by MC Emma Kinane and the Shoreline Cab Savs (Carmel McGlone, Bryony Skillington, Jess Robinson, Martyn Wood, Nick Dunbar & Gareth Farr/Lilith La Croix), with me (Robbie Ellis) on piano.

Wellington, you capital of culture!
We love you and we love your theatre scene.
There’s BATS for all the crazies, and Circa for old ladies,
And Downstage, where the finances are lean.
Pōneke, we welcome you this evening (haere mai!)
To a ceremony honouring success. (tino pai!)
With 108 shows eligible, from the tame to the unpalatable,
We’re giving props to just the very best.

It’s the critic’s job to say they’ve seen every blessed play
But I can’t come to everything, you know (bro you know!)
You simply can’t be thorough in Te Whanganui-ā-Tara
So sorry, but I meant to see your show.

I thought that your season was four weeks long,
But it was only three weeks, I got that one wrong.
I missed your presentation cause of my procrastination,
Sorry, I didn’t see your show!

I wanted to see it, don’t think I’m a jerk.
It started at 8:30 but I was at work.
No time for relaxin’, had to meet with Peter Jackson!
Sorry, (sorry!), I meant to see your show!

I’d never lie to you, I truly wish I could have seen it,
But The Hobbit made me sign a Don’t-See-Other-Shows agreement.
I booked my place for Tuesday night, I told you in a tweet,
But I got distracted up the Coast when I met Happy Feet!

The Cap Times, they loved it, Dominion Post too,
But I shouldn’t have logged on to read Theatreview.
My need to see it got away once John Smythe gave the plot away
So sorry (sorry!),
I really truly honestly no-shit sorry-my-cat-was-sick meant to see your show!

Ladies and gentlemen, your MC for the evening, the lovely Emma Kinane!

You scheduled your new play for during the Cup
But I was over rugby and I live in the Hutt.
C’Mon Black! and Nepia, nothing makes me sleepier,
So sorry, I didn’t see your show.

I heard that The Engine Room was awesome for sure,
But I was sick and tired of the ’81 Tour.
I’d beaten you to get a wage when we were on the set of Rage
So sorry (sorry!), I didn’t see your show.

You invited me on Facebook and I hit “Maybe Attending”
But Maybe’s really ‘No’ and that’s the message I was sending.
I’ve blocked your status updates so you might call me a wanker
But I’ve got so sick of theatre spam I’ve also blocked Brianne Kerr! (Sorry Bri…)

So… welcome to theatre’s Christmas work do
Just sit back, relax, as we congratulate you!
We’ll now get off the stage as this song’s lasted fucking (Os-)ages!
(Fuck me that was a long play…)

But… sorry, (sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry)
Sorry (sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry)
I really truly honestly no-shit don’t-you-believe-me dog-ate-my-homework had-to-wash-my-hair-that-night
Meant to see your show!

2 thoughts on “Sorry, I meant to see your show – the lyrics!

  1. […] show”, which was performed brilliantly by the Shoreline Cab Savs and MC Emma Kinane. (Edit: Lyrics & demo here.) It’s quite appropriate: out of the nine shows that won awards – the cream of this […]

  2. […] years ago I was fortunate enough to write the opening number for the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards in Wellington – very much in the style of a Tony Awards opener. That’s a song that has […]

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