Friday, November 2, 2012

Allan Sherman Lost Lyrics Friday, vol. 5

"It was laugh, laugh at the Stunt show last night with Al Copelon '45."

That was the lead in the University of Illinois' Daily Illini paper on October 11, 1942. Sherman, then known for a brief time as Copelon (don't ask), had the night before performed what appears to be his first full-length song parody.

To the tune of "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey" he sang "Don't Burn Down Bidwell's," a parody about the student watering hole and make-out spot.

Burn down that Union Building,
Burn Lincoln Hall,
But, please, boys, don’t burn down Bidwell’s!
Burn down the football stadium
Huff Gym as well,
But, please, boys, don’t burn down Bidwell’s!
We know you love this campus, we think it’s swell,
You can burn it till it flames like hell!
But if that backroom’s found in flames,
We’re gonna call you dirty names,
So don’t burn Bidwell’s down!


  1. I have fond memories of hearing Alan Sherman live at the University of Illinois Assembly hall in the mid '60s. When he sang "Don't Burn Down Bidwell's" (a favorite campus watering hole), it brought a standing ovation.

    1. I was there, too. One of my fondest memories. I worked on the Daily Illinois student newspaper when Robert Ebert was its editor. I graduated in 1965.

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