Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzmen's Church) lyrics

Song information

Artist: Frank Zappa
Album: Roxy & Elsewhere


Frank zappa (lead guitar, vocals)
George duke (keyboards, synthesizer, vocals)
Tom fowler (bass)
Ruth underwood (percussion)
Jeff simmons (rhythm guitar, vocals)
Don preston (synthesizer)
Bruce fowler (trombone)
Walt fowler (trumpet)
Napoleon murphy brock (tenor saxophone, flute, lead vocals)
Ralph humphrey (drums)
Chester thompson (drums)
Debbie (background vocals)
Lynn (background vocals)
Robert camarena (background vocals)

Some of you may know that the tango, which is not a very popular dance anymore, was at one time reputed to be a dance of unbridled passion. back in the old days when it wasn't so easy to get your rocks off, when it was hard to make contact with a member of the opposite camp and you had to resort to things like dancing close together and going hey..

Those were the days. well those days are probably gone forever, I don't know, unless nixon is going to bring them back a little bit later. but we have this very special highly evolved permutated tango. it's actually a perverted tango. by the time... yes, it's so perverted! this is the be-bop tango, a special entertainment event that includes choreography a little bit later, so watch out folks..

You can turn on the big lights, we may need 'em. you know, the ones in the audience. heh heh. okay, 're you ready? not too fast now 'cause I wanna get the right notes on the tape 'n' this, this has to be the one. this has to be the one with all the right notes on it. okay, 're you ready? this is a hard one to play. one two three four..

The cowbell as a symbol of unbridled passion, ladies and gentlemen

Now, as you might have noticed, bruce fowler has just completed some sort of trombone solo, based on the-ah, idea of an evolved tango-event. bruce has also prepared for you a demonstration of a dance that he hopes will sweep the ocean right after the mud shark did. bruce is now warming up the important muscles of the body, in preparation for the real live be-bop tango which we're gonna demonstrate. napoleon will assist him. napoleon just put your horn down, just relax, put your head back, here comes the drill. okay, heh heh heh, you know what I'm talkin' about? okay

This is sort of like jazz in it's own peculiar way. jazz is not dead, it just smells funny! okay, let's go! yeah man, jazz man, you know what I mean? this is be-bop, even though you think it doesn't sound like that. be-bop! now, as you might have noticed, some of you with a musical education can tell that the notes that george just sang when he went: "this is be-bop, even though you think it doesn't sound like that", is actually a sort of a twisted form of the theme of the tango itself which will get even more depraved as the number goes on. george will now attempt to dismember that melody, play it and sing it at the same time while... tu-dup. hey, that's the way! while we sort of dance to it. okay, try it george. tu-dup, tu-dee... oh yeah! as I was saying. now, what we'd like to do at this point is get some volunteers from the audience to... I know you will, oh god you will... we need some...heh heh heh... now, as a matter of fact you did, didn't you... no, we wanna have some people who've never tried it bef
Ore, who've never even thought of trying it before. a boy, a girl, preferably who like each other, who would like to come up here and attempt to dance to what george sings. do we have anybody who're one

Okay, what's your name?


Your name is carl? please carl step on to the stage. pleased to meet you carl. alright. okay? let's see-ah, is there anybody in the, in the back? where...oh-oh, hey! what's your name?


Rick, and?


Rick and jane and carl! alright, here's how it works: there's a beat going on like this; that's a pedestrian beat. you don't dance to that beat, you dance to what george sings, okay? the little ones, okay? the little quick ones, okay? ready? george, make them dance!

Dup. no no rick, you're too reserved. ready? give it to 'em george! tu-dup, tu-dup pu-dee-da... no no, come on now, loosen up. listen, encourage them! when it... ah! okay! alright, one more time: dance!

Tu-dup, du-dee-da... let's study this phenomenon. tu-duppy-dup-pu-dee-da... now look, rick and jane and carl, you're, you're wonderful but you're just too reserved. I still can... I know you will, maybe in a minute. okay, I'll t-tell you what: go back to your seats and we'll bring up the next batch. okay? carl, rick and jane! alright, you wanna try...?

Anything you say frank!

Oh my god! alright, you're name is lana, right? lana dance!

Du-dup-dee-dup... now that's more like it. du-dup-dee-dup... lana, you're so good we have to bring up some other people to assist you. brenda, imported from edward's air force base, where she... ladies and gentlemen, brenda... brenda is a professional harlot and she just got finished stripping for a bunch of guys at edward's air force base, and she made it down here in time for the show. two hours of taking it off for the boys in the car, really good. okay. heh. brenda, brenda has a lovely assistant named carl, or robert james davis if you prefer. herb cohen, ladies and gentlemen! okay, dance!

Du-du-dip... you're still too adagio, I keep telling you! du-dup-du-dee-da... turn on the bubble machine! dup-dee-da, dup-dee-da... god, is that a cheap bubble-machine! bow, du-du-du-du-du-da... ladies and gentlemen: don's ex-wife! ladies and gentlemen, you're probably sitting in your chairs, saying to yourselves: I could do that. and of course you can! and now is your big chance! all you have to do, the first step is easy, all you gotta do is stand up. go ahead, just stand up. there you go, you are standing up. yes, some of you are not standing up but you won't have as much fun as the ones who are standing up. okay, turn on the big lights so everybody can see what's going on. yes, very many of you are standing up. okay, link your mind with the mind of george duke! and when..

Du-dup... that's it! when he plays those funny fast little notes, twitch around and have a good time with the be-bop tango, let's try it! anything you wanna do is alright. you gotta do anything you wanna do, it's alright. yes you got to know you came to the right place, tonight. (give me some of that wine now). as you might have guessed, ladies and gentlemen, this is the end of our concert. we like to thank you ver... wanna thank you very much for coming. hope you had a good time. bruce fowler on trombone, napoleon murphy brock on tenor sax and lead vocals, ruth underwood on percussion, ralph humphrey on drums, chester thompson on drums, tom fowler on bass and george duke on the keyboards. thank you very much. alright, alright..