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That's how it is with me, folks. Slightly grim, slightly rude, reassuringly clever.—Mitch Benn
Mitch Benn is a British satirical songwriter, best known for his topical comedy songs on The Now Show. His favourite topics include James Blunt, Coldplay and Twitter (where he had a feud with Stephen Fry, which was settled when Fry agreed to make him 'Viceroy of Facebook' in return for Benn giving up the quest to be 'King of Twitter'.) He is Liverpudlian-Scottish and looks a bit like a Viking. He has released several albums, some solo and some as 'Mitch Benn and the Distractions'.
He's done two other radio shows: Mitch Benn's Crimes Against Music started out with him discussing various aspects of music and musicians with Robin Ince, before the third series became a sitcom about him and Ince going on tour. Either way, the plot was an excuse for him to play his songs and Ince to be rude about them. The Mitch Benn Music Show is simply him showcasing his favourite comedy records by others.
Tropes used in Mitch Benn's songs include:
- Anti-Love Song: Plenty, including "Now He's Gone" and "Imagine You Were Mine". The latter is a Stalker with a Crush song.
- Author Existence Failure: "Please Don't Release This Song"
- Black Comedy: A lot of his comedy songs seem to be about death. Often real deaths. "Rock'N'Roll Hall of Death" is about a museum dedicated to how rock stars died ("We got Mama Cass's sandwich box and Brian Jones's flippers"); "Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation" is about people who hanged themselves, and whether they were attempting this ("Did they wanna die? There's no way of knowing/They couldn't tell if they were coming or going").
- Boy Band: a song called "Boy Band"
- Crapsack World: His song Hello Aliens is a plea to be taken away because Earth is so horrible
- Distant Duet: "West End Musical" (also a Counterpoint Duet)
- Elvis Impersonator: "Everybody's Elvis" and "If Elvis Were A Northerner"
- Everything Is Worse With Bears: Averted in no less than four songs about Knut the Polar Bear, most recently an Elton John style Eulogy.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most of his song titles.
- Follow the Leader: "Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now"
- Great Balls of Fire: "Never Mind The Song (Look At The Stage Set)"
- Hell-Bent for Leather: "Stinky Pants" discusses the hygiene problems of leather trousers.
- Horny Vikings: "IKEA", which borrows the first line of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song"
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: "The Hardest Song In The World To Find"
- "I Want" Song: 'I Want'. Appropriately.
- Least Rhymable Word: Benn is inspired by Tom Lehrer, and it shows.
- List Song: 'These Ghoulish Things Remind Me of You'.
- Midword Rhyme: In Mitch Benn's Crimes Against Music, to rhyme with orange.
- Mixed Metaphor: "The Devil And A Hard Place", inspired by a global warming spokesman saying the world was "standing on the precipice of a runaway train".
- Mushroom Samba: "Tea Party"
- New Media Are Evil: "Steal This Song" disagrees:
Home taping isn't killing music
Music's dying of natural causes
- One of Us: "Call Me During Doctor Who And I'll Kill You"
- Protest Song: Most of his songs on The Now Show. He's usually funny about it, though. "Not Everybody Has To Imagine" is interesting, a skewering of John Lennon's "Imagine" from the opposite end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism:
And you may say I have no dreams,
Well perhaps that's how it seems,
But in a world this tough,
Dreaming's not enough.
- Ruthless Modern Pirates: "The Pirate Song", a Now Show song that included the lyrics "On land they'd recognise us for the psychos that we are" and "The papers call us pirates tho' we're muggers in a boat / Armed robbery is jolly when it's done while you're afloat".
- Self-Demonstrating Song: Many, such as "Boy Band", "Stay The Hell Away From Hallelujah" (to the tune of "Hallelujah", of course) and "Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now":
"...and you dooooo a high bit in the middle eight
then yooooou have almost solved the riddle of just how...
to sound like Coldplay now."
- Self-Deprecation: In "Why Are The BNP So Fat?"
Why are the BNP all so overweight
I know that I'm on pretty thin ice asking this but wait
- Shout-Out: Quite a few. 'Hardest Song in the World to Find', for example, has a Shout-Out to The Ring.
- Singing To Himself: In a song about Johnny Cash's house burning down, he sings both parts of a duet between the house and Barry Gibb - the lyrics of which state that the house comitted suicide rather than be lived in by Gibb.
- Subliminal Seduction: "Please Don't Release This Song" ends with a backmasked version of the chorus of "We Haven't Got A Clue".
- Take That: Expected, as many of the Now Show songs are political. "Why Are The BNP So Fat?" springs to mind.
- This Is a Song: "West End Musical".
This is a great big opening song
- For balance there is also his Very Happy Ending Song
- This Is Wrong on So Many Levels: "Stay The Hell Away From Hallelujah"
- To the Tune Of: "Now Coldplay Sound Like Everything Else" (to
the tuneThe Jimmy Hart Version of 'Viva la Vida', which Coldplay were accused of plagiarising)
- Toilet Humour: The discovery of methane on an extra-solar planet led to this song:
Something's farting way out there in space
it's hitherto unknown to science
someone's letting off gas giants.
It's my Port-a-Loo, it's got Nothing to do with You.
Except when the Smell comes a-blowing on the Wind !
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Lampshaded in "Boy Band" with "Off the stools!"
- True Meaning of Christmas: a song called "The True Meaning of Christmas".