Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sparing you my singing

When I first started working on the Watsonian Weekly podcast, I had a whole lot of ideas. Some made it to the podcast, some were left on the cutting room floor. One of those ideas was a manly song touting Watson's virtues, that, as of tomorrow, only two people will have ever heard. Both of them shall remain nameless for their own protection, except one lives in my house, and is thus probably guessed to have suffered through it all.

But it occurs to me that I can let you in on my song without actually making you listen to my singing. It's a parody song, of course, based on the title tune to a John Wayne movie called Chisum. You can find the original of the opening on YouTube.

The deep-voiced chorus singing and poetic narration by William Conrad about John Chisum translate nicely into a Watson tribute. The chorus slides in easily:

Watson, John Watson,
Weary, battle-worn!
Watson, John Watson,
You're not just Sherlock's pawn.

But what of the William Conrad poetic parts?  Oh, this is where we get to the heart of our friend John H. Watson:

You know that he can solve it. But can you keep that man alive?
Or will he take a beatin’ in some Farnham tap-room dive?
They're betting he’ll get you killed, but you bet your life they're wrong.
So keep riding in that hansom cab to find where you belong.

My recording of it does a lot better in the spoken word part, as I went more Dirty Harry than Cannon (William Conrad's detective character), if that's possible. And Watson just gets more badass in the second stanza.

Well, you've tossed your share of smoke-bombs, shot hellhounds, dogs, and man.
You burgled Milverton’s blackmail -- did you lose that Afghan tan?
You’ve ran a con on barons, and survived the devil’s root.
You escaped a hundred villains, at least those you didn’t shoot.

Boy, John H. Watson is a real man's man, ain't he? If only the host of his fan club podcast could sing! 

So, for now, I'll spare you my vocal rendition and just leave you with the poetry above. Feel free to try singing it yourself for your local Sherlockians, though I doubt "the theme from Chisum" is on anyone's karaoke box.

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