The Lumberjack Song

Album: The Final Rip Off (1974)

Songfacts®:

  • This first appeared on the TV show Monty Pythons Flying Circus, where it was performed by the psychotic barber. It later appeared in the film And Now For Something Completely Different and was sung by the pet shop owner from the dead parrot sketch.
  • The song was written by Monty Python members Terry Jones and Michael Palin along with Python associate Fred Tomlinson, who would sometimes appear on their show with "The Fred Tomlinson Singers," providing a chorus for various bits.

    This starts off with the famous line, "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and I work all day." We soon learn that there is another side to this woodman, as he reveals that he really likes to dress up in women's clothing.
  • George Harrison produced this song. He helped out Monty Python a lot, funding and appearing in their movie Life Of Brian, and producing several of their singles.
  • The band also recorded a German version of this song titled "Der HolzfÄller". This version was used in an episode of their television show broadcast in Germany. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jeff - Haltom City, TX
  • At a 1976 Monty Python performance, George Harrison joined in the chorus dressed as a Mountie. Typical of Harrison, he blended in and never announced his appearance. The next night, after Harry Nilsson found out, he showed up for the role. This was a disaster, as Python member John Cleese recalls Nilsson wearing dark glasses and generally making an ass of himself. "Harry Nilsson came up and tried to take the show over, just one huge inflated ego," said Cleese. After the performance, Nilsson tried to shake hands with the crowd and fell into the audience, breaking his arm in the process.
  • There are several versions of this song. Two are by Michael Palin: the barber shop one from Flying Circus and the pet store one from And Now For Something Completely Different. There's also one by Eric Idle as a weather forecaster. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    William - Colorado Springs, CO
  • Eric Idle performed this at the Just For Laughs festival in 2000. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Douglas - Waterloo
  • Monty Python, joined by Tom Hanks in the chorus, performed this song on November 29, 2002 at the Concert for George tribute, which honored George Harrison at Royal Albert Hall in London. At the end of the performance, the troupe saluted a picture of Harrison.

Comments: 12

  • Rob from Portland, OrMichael Palin is the weatherman that wants to be a lumberjack.
  • Claude from Kingston, MaFred: The Rutles were never a Python bit. They were a Beatles parody done by Eric Idle and Neil Innes originally for Idle's post Python show Rutland Weekend Television and then a TV movie called "All You Need Is Cash."
  • Zep from Cape May, NjWell, dirk, Nashville, TN, there was a show after Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl where they would redo sketches and they also had new sketches, I think it was called "The Secret Police Mans Balls"
  • Fred from Laurel, MdOn their Flying Circus TV show, the Pyhon gang also did a rather biting send-up of the Beatles, in which they portrayed a (fictional) band called "The Ruttles"
  • Dirk from Nashville, Tn"At some live shows..." What are you talking about? Are you suggesting that the Pythons toured and that George Harrison and Tom Hanks toured with them?
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhAnd now for something completly different.....
  • Claire from Oak Ridge, TnMy math teacher really likes things like The Beatles, Queen, The GooGoo dolls, etc. Sometimes he plays their music or concerts before class as well as Monty Python videos. I love this one, and have asked him to bring it in before. However, that would mean straying away from school-appropriate skits such as "Spam" and "Ministry of Silly Walks!"
  • Shell from Riverdale, Ga"George Harrison produced this." Huh? Getting a bit ahead of things, aren't we? Harrison had no official involvement with Python until they needed backing to make "Life Of Brian", when he fronted money and helped form Handmade Films in order to see that the film was made.
  • Jonnie from St. Louis, MoMichael Palin and a great crew of "extras" which included Tom Hanks...did this song in the "Concert For George" Special which was a tribute to George Harrison and done in England.
    Also, in interviews done for the show, it is explained that George and the Beatles thought that the humour and psychedelic cartoons and atmosphere of Monty Python was like a re-incarnation of the Beatles. Watch this Special and you will understand the connection.
  • Nick from Detroit, MiWasn't this sung by the BBC weatherman?
  • Kent from Latrobe, Pa"He puts on women's clothing
    And hangs around in bars?!!!!"
    "I thought you were so manly!!!!!!!!!"
    The first song to mention crossdressing on TV!
  • Aj from Lawrenceville, GaA quick thought. When performed on Monty Pythons Flying Circus, the Mounties would look confused and disturbed when the barber starts talking about dressing in womens clothing. Trust me. The response is classic and if you ever find that episode on video, GET IT! You won't regret it!
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