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Song Details
Rank this week: 34 (↑14)
Duration: 4:25 
Release Date: 1980  (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Lyrics By: Cleese/Chapman (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Music By: N/A (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Produced By: Eric Idle (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Released By: Arista AL 9536 (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Published By: Kay-Gee-Bee Music Ltd. (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Licensing: BMI (Stavro Arrgolus) 
  • The original version of this sketch was written for 'At Last, The 1948 Show' and first aired 3/1/1967. Marty Feldman originally played 'Mr. Pest', the "customer" who antagonizes John Cleese in this sketch. This version is from the 'Contractual Obligation Album'. The sketch differs slightly in the wording, but both the jokes and the outcome are the same. (Stavro Arrgolus)
  • Song Lyrics:
    (sound of small tinkle bell ringing as door opens)

    Customer: Good morning.

    Proprietor: Good morning, sir. Can I help you?

    C: Er, yes. Do you have a copy of "Thirty Days in the Samarkand Desert with the Duchess of Kent" by A. E. J. Elliott, O.B.E.?

    P: Ah, well, I don't know the book, sir....

    C: Er, never mind, never mind. How about "101 Ways to Start a Fight"?

    P: ...By?

    C: An Irish gentleman whose name eludes me for the moment.

    P: Ah, no, well we haven't got it in stock, sir....

    C: Oh, well, not to worry, not to worry. Can you help me with "David Coperfield?"

    P: Ah, yes, Dickens.

    C: No....

    P: (pause) I beg your pardon?

    C: No, Edmund Wells.

    P: I... think you'll find Charles Dickens wrote "David Copperfield", sir...

    C: No, no, Dickens wrote "David Copperfield" with two Ps. This is "David Coperfield" with one P by Edmund Wells.

    P: "David Coperfield" with one P?

    C: Yes, I should have said.

    P: Yes, well in that case we don't have it.

    C: Funny, you've got a lot of books here....

    P: (slightly perturbed) Yes, we do, but we don't have "David Coperfield" with one P by Edmund Wells.

    C: Are you quite sure?

    P: Quite.

    C: Not worth just looking?

    P: Definitely not.

    C: Oh... how 'bout "Grate Expectations?"

    P: Yes, well we have that....

    C: That's "G-R-A-T-E Expectations," also by Edmund Wells.

    P: Yes, well in that case we don't have it. We don't have anything by Edmund Wells, actually... he's not very popular.

    C: Not "Knickerless Knickleby"? That's K-N-I-C-K-E-R-L-E-S-S.

    P: (taciturn) No.

    C: "Khristmas Karol" with a K?

    P: (really quite perturbed) No....

    C: Er, how about "A Sale of Two *******"?

    P: Definitely NOT.

    C: Sorry to trouble you....

    P: Not at all....

    C: Good morning.

    P: Good morning.

    C: Oh!

    P: (deep breath) ... Yes?

    C: I wonder if you might have a copy of "Rarnaby Budge"?

    P: No, as I say, we're right out of Edmund Wells!

    C: No, not Edmund Wells - Charles Dikkens.

    P: (pause - eagerly) Charles Dickens ??

    C: Yes.

    P: (excitedly) You mean "Barnaby Rudge"!

    C: No, "Rarnaby Budge" by Charles Dikkens. That's 'Dikkens' with two Ks, the well-known Dutch author.

    P: (deep breath) No, well we don't have "Rarnaby Budge" by Charles Dikkens with two Ks, the well-known Dutch author, and perhaps to save time I should add that we don't have "Karnaby Fudge" by Darles Chickens, or "Farmer of Sludge" by Marles Pickens, or even "Stickwick Stapers" by Farles Wickens with four M's and a silent Q!! Why don't you try W. H. Smith's?

    C: I did; they sent me here.

    P: DID they?

    C: Oh, I wonder...

    P: Oh, do go on, please!

    C: I...I wonder if you might have "The Amazing Adventures of Captain Gladys Stoat-Pamphlet and her Intrepid Spaniel Stig Amongst the Giant Pygmies of Beckles"...Volume Eight.

    P: (after a pause for recovery) No, we don't have that... funny, we've got a lot of books here... well, I musn't keep you standing here... thank you--

    C: Oh, well d-do you have --

    P: No, we haven't. No, we haven't.

    C: B-b-b-but--

    P: Sorry, no, it's one o'clock now, we're closing for lunch--

    C: Ah, I--I saw it--

    P: I'm sorry--

    C: I saw it over there! I saw it...

    P: What? What? WHAT?!?

    C: I saw it over there: "Olsen's Standard Book of British Birds."

    P: (pause, trying to stay calm) "Olsen's Standard Book of British Birds?"

    C: Yes...

    P: O-L-S-E-N?

    C: Yes....

    P: B-I-R-D-S?

    C: Yes.....

    P: (beat) Yes, well, we do have that, as a matter of fact....

    C: The expurgated version....

    P: (pause, politely) ...I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that.

    C: The expurgated version.

    P: (exploding) The EXPURGATED version of "Olsen's Standard Book of British Birds???"

    C: The one without the gannet.

    P: The one without the gannet-! They've ALL got the gannet! It's a Standard British Bird, the gannet, it's in ALL the books !!

    C: (insistent) Well, I don't like them... th-they wet their nests.

    P: (furious) All right, I'll REMOVE it !! (sounds of paper ripping) Any other birds you don't like ?!

    C: I don't like the robin ...

    P: (screaming) The robin! Right! The robin! (sound of paper ripping) There you are, any others you don't like, any others?

    C: The nuthatch...

    P: RIGHT! (flipping through the book) The nuthatch, the nuthatch, the nuthatch, here we are! (ripping) There you are! NO gannets, NO robins, NO nuthatches, THERE's your book!

    C: (indignant) I can't buy that, it's torn!

    P: (Incoherent growling)

    C: Ah, I wonder if you have--

    P: GO ON, ask me ANYTHING! We got lots of books here, you know, it's a bookshop !!

    C: Er, how 'bout "Biggles Combs His Hair?"

    P: No, no, we don't have that one, funny!

    C: "The Gospel According to Charlie Drake"?

    P: No, no, no, try me again!

    C: Ah...oh, I know! "Ethel The Aardvark Goes Quantity Surveying".

    P: No, no, no, no, no ... What? WHAT?

    C: "Ethel the Aardvark goes Quantity Surveying".

    P: "Ethel the Aa--" HA! HA! HA!...WE'VE GOT IT!! (throwing books wildly about) Let's see, it's somewhere... (mad laughter) HAHAHAHA! RRMRAMAGAGAA (triumphant) Yes! Yes! Here we are, "Ethel the Aardvark goes Quantity Surveying!" There's your book! ...Now, buy it!

    C: (quickly) I don't have enough money.

    P: (desperate) I'll take a deposit!

    C: I don't have ANY money!

    P: I'll take a check!

    C: I don't have a checkbook!

    P: I've got a blank one!

    C: I don't have a bank account!

    P: RIGHT !! I'll buy it FOR you! (cash register sounds) There we are, there's your change, there's some money for a taxi on the way home, there's your book, now, now ...

    C: Wait, wait, wait!

    P: What? What?!? WHAT?!? WHAT???!!

    C: I can't read!!

    (long pause)

    P: (very quietly) You can't... read.


    RIGHT!! Sit down!! Sit down!! Sit!! Sit!! Are you sitting comfortably... right !!! (opens book) "Ethel the Aardvark was hopping down the river valley one lovely morning..." (fade out)
    (Stavro Arrgolus)
    Current Rating 9.8 (1 vote)
    Song Images:
    Messages about the song: "Bookshop"
    Stavro Arrgolus   Offline  -  Editor, MP3  -  12-31-07 06:57 AM  -  11 years ago
    You're welcome. And remember, most of this material isn't from the show or the movies. It's from the albums. Including one never released. Maybe there could be a track or 2 from that on the show...
    MarlinsGirl   Offline  -  Participant  -  12-30-07 10:05 PM  -  11 years ago
    Thanks for the lyrics, Starvo.

    Terri M.
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