The Fairly Incomplete and Rather Badly Illustrated Monty Python Songbook

The Fairly Incomplete and Rather Badly Illustrated Monty Python SongbookSummary: In addition to helpful (!) instructions on how to read music and play a piano, the “Song Book” contains melodies and lyrics for many of the best- and least-known Python tunes, interspersed with numerous photos and the wonderful art of Terry Gilliam.

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The Fairly Incomplete and Rather Badly Illustrated Monty Python Songbook, by Monty Python 4.0

“Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam…”

Quick question: Am I singing a Monty Python song? Quick answer: No. I’m warning you: ‘The Fairly Incomplete and Rather Badly Illustrated Monty Python Songbook’ is all Spam.

I don’t know who it’s geared to, but it’s ostensibly a collection of bits and pieces of many of Monty Pythons’ song lyrics, with standard notation. I’m no musician, but from what I’m reading online, the book is incomplete, lacking tabs and left hand accompaniment.

For non-musicians, it’s at best a curiosity; aside for the lyrical and musical bit and bites there’s very little else that’s new, and much of that isn’t even inspired. This leaves one to read the lyrics, which is an exercise in futility in many cases (ex: “Ya Di Buckety”).

If only it came with an accompanying soundtrack for people to listen to while reading or playing along, it would at least feel complete. But, for some inexplicable reason, the book only comes with a two-track CD of “Spam” and “Lumberjack Song”. That’s all.

The presentation is the best part of the book and even then it seems like a rehash of previous ideas (of note, it was pieced together by Python associates, not by the Pythons themselves; this is merely inspired by Monty Python – it’s not an actual Python product).

But it’s fun to look at nonetheless.

Beyond that, there’s really not much to recommend ‘The Fairly Incomplete and Rather Badly Illustrated Monty Python Songbook’. Some people will love it. Their lower intestine might even be full of it. But most people won’t like it. It’s indefensible and indigestible.

At least its title is accurate.

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