Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

28 Nov

Eric Idle was always my favourite Python. His quick wit and way with words delighted me since I first watched any Monty Python.

His memoirs, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography”, are a delight. Self deprecating in a typically English way, but refreshingly honest and upfront. He doesn’t hide from his mistakes, or blame others, which makes a change from a lot of other celebrity memoirs.

The book is also the history of a song. The wonderful “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” first performed in “Life of Brian”. It has become the number one funeral song in the UK, and if you know the song, it’s easy to understand why. When I was fighting for my own life in hospital earlier this year, some of the words almost became a mantra to me.

I encountered the song before I saw the movie. My first year in high school we had a headmaster who always started the assemblies with a piece of classical music. One day the seventh form decided to sabotage him and swapped out his chosen piece of pompous boredom for “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. My enduring memory of this occasion is the majority of the other teachers trying not to laugh out loud. Few succeeded.

This is a gloriously delicious book. The best memoir I have read this year.

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