I have the recording of this song and have almost deciphered the lyrics. I need some help though! A few words and phrases escape me even after multiple playbacks.
"Bring Back the Birch" is the title. It ends with "O Bring Back Our Cor-po-ral P!!" and much applause. Comes from "HatTrick," a four-CD compilation on EMI from Michael Flanders and Donald Swann. Within "HatTrick," the song is on the third CD, almost at the very end: you have to go clear past the "And Then We Wrote" which occupies most of the disc. This puts you at live performances in London in the 1960's, following an extended North American tour.
"Bring Back the Birch" has got three verses, each with its own chorus. Flanders and Swann sing the first verse and chorus in unison. Swann has the second verse to himself, and is joined by Flanders for the second verse's chorus. Flanders takes the third and final verse vocal, and when the chorus comes, Swann chimes in and they conclude the song together.
I have a couple of problems.
This song is not just about corporal punishment but about medieval methods of torture and execution; some of the terms used are unfamiliar. One sounds like it is in French and I can't make it out at all. God bless Flanders for his erudition and preparation, but I was ignorant of some of the stuff he listed.
And then, there is the brisk delivery and the English diction. I have more trouble comprehending Donald Swann singing the second verse than in following the words when Michael Flanders, with his actor's diction, enunciates them.
I am a guest and a total newbie at this site. Would you like me to post the "Bring Back the Birch" lyrics as far as I have deciphered them? I also cannot locate this particular song in any of the numerous Flanders & Swann printed songbooks out there. Thanks for listening everybody.