Tuesday, December 22, 2015

His Usual Melancholy Tavern | Albert Finney (1970)



Index of other entries in The Christmas Carol Project

Because of how the musical Scrooge reorganizes the scenes, Scrooge's journey home includes the charitable solicitors for a short bit. This is an annoying interpretation of those characters and their clueless dogging of Scrooge through the streets launches him into a song about how much he hates people.

Scavengers and sycophants and flatterers and fools.
Pharisees and parasites and hypocrites and ghouls.
Calculating swindlers, prevaricating frauds,
Perpetrating evil as they roam the earth in hordes
Feeding on their fellow men; reaping rich rewards,
Contaminating everything they see.
Corrupting honest men... like me.

I hate people! I hate people!
People are despicable creatures.
Loathsome, inexplicable creatures.
Good-for-nothing, kickable creatures.

I hate people! I abhor them!
When I see the indolent classes
Sitting on their indolent asses;
Gulping ale from indolent glasses,
I hate people! 

I detest them! I deplore them!
Fools who have no money spend it;
Get in debt then try to end it;
Beg me on their knees befriend them
Knowing I have cash to lend them.

Soft-hearted me! Hard-working me!
Clean-living, thrifty, and kind as can be!
Situations like this are of interest to me.

I hate people! I loathe people! 
I despise and abominate people!
Life is full of cretinous wretches
Earning what their sweatiness fetches,
Empty minds whose pettiness stretches
Further than I can see.

Little wonder... I hate people
And I don't care if they hate me!



There are cuts in the video above where Scrooge interrupts the song to collect money from various vendors. If they can't pay - and none of them can - he offers to sell them a week's extension or else they forfeit their businesses and assets to him. Instead of hitting a tavern for his meal, he also extorts a meager supper from the vendors.

This activity draws the attention of the caroling kids whom Scrooge drove away from his office earlier in the movie, so his song segues into their sarcastically titled  "Father Christmas."

Father Christmas!
Father Christmas!
He's the meanest man 
In the whole wide world,
In the whole wide world
You can feel it.

He's a miser.
He's a skinflint.
He's a stingy lout. 
Leave your stocking out
For your Christmas gift
And he'll steal it

It's a shame.
He's a villain.
What a game
For a villain to play
On Christmas Day.

After Christmas,
Father Christmas
Will be just as mean as he's ever been
And I'm here to say,
We should all send Father Christmas
On his merry Christmas way.

Father Christmas!
Father Christmas!
He’s the rottenest man
In the universe
And there’s no one worse.
You can tell it.

He’s a rascal.
He’s a bandit.
He’s a crafty one.
Leave your door undone;
He’ll move in your house 
And sell it

It’s a crime.
It’s a scandal.
What a game
For a vandal to play 
On Christmas day.

If you distrust
Father Christmas,
It’s as well to know
That I told you so,
‘Cause I’m here to say,
We should all send Father Christmas
Father Christmas, Father Christmas
Father Christmas, Father Christmas
On his merry Christmas way.



Their song done, the boys let Scrooge go and he ends up on a lonely street that the set designers have done a lovely job of making look hidden away from the rest of the city.
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