The Ballad of Brooklyn Benny (or "It's a Hard Hard Life") was the opening number of the January 13, 1988 episode. Incorporating music and humor, the song was performed by Benny Hill as Brooklyn Benny (back from a long run at Sing Sing) with the cast and Hill's Angels doing back-up. Henry McGee, Jerrold Wells, Derek Deadman and Johnny Hutch played fellow gangsters, Anna Dawson played a female moll and Gary O'Bee showed up as Benny's son.
(Note: The accuracy of these lyrics are a bit in doubt.)
I was born in a flat on the wrong side of the track
No shirt, no shoes, no kidding
Why the day that I was born,
I had callouses on my hands from trying to hang on till after the wedding!
When I was four, I went looking for my ma
And paw went up to the roof and broke a rib
She said, "That's not a crime. You should have laughed instead."
Well, ma, that's exactly what I did
When I was five, I was made to go to school
And I was forced to the wall by a teacher who was cruel and unkind
I would raise my hand and say, "I can't find my eraser."
He said, "That's okay. You can use that boy's behind."
When I hit twelve, I had to take care of myself,
And my own little brother because
One dark night, we lost our pa and our ma.
Boy, what a crap game that was.
I went to sea with Uncle Jim, who used to chase the women
He said, "I don't do that no more. I'm retired.
"You see, by time you learn to read women like a book,
"You learn your library card has expired."
You gotta make your money first and you gotta make it fast
That something that can't be denied.
So, I took him at his word,
And I made a lot of money.
And like a fool I made it half an inch too wide!
Oh, it's a hard life
You gotta keep on working and keep on strong
It's a goal to keep on thinking
I'll tell it to the world
It's a hard hard life!
Guys like old Smudger Tom who takes your photo at the prom
He gets your photo, but you never get your prints
And good hold Harry Klinger who'se only got one finger
All he steals is Polo mints
And Officer Dill, I love her still
And I mean the still where the gin comes the end
And TipToe Pete comes over the safe with his bare feet
And leaves his prints to the apartment around the bend
All of the fun. Father and son
If crime was a crop, we can reap it
It will be good like Robin Hood
We'll rob from the rich but we'll keep it
You'll hold the ladder as I climb in through the window
And take paintings by Rembrandt and Van Gogh
And if the cops find them in your room
Just claim they're a family heirloom
That was handed down to me by my pop
Oh, it's a hard life
Without a lot of joy
But a hard life
But we really enjoy it
But I wouldn't miss it for the world
Oh, it's a hard - hard life