“THE LADIES OF SRI LANKA” by Des Kelly
A very well-known Spanish-style song of bygone days, made famous by people such as actor Peter Sellers in dedication to the beautiful, sexy Sophia Loren, played to perfection by the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, on guitar, by Al Ciaola, sung, much later by a bloke by the name of Kal Khan, otherwise, also well-known by the name of Bill Forbes, a guy, now living in England who, I was privileged to know as a personal friend, in Ceylon, from where, both of us reluctantly left, Bill, to migrate to Britain, & “your’s truly” to Australia.
Bill did his Motherland proud, in England, recording many “hits” for “Columbia-Records”, making us all very proud, in Ceylon, at the time, to hear him singing in that powerful voice of his, featured regularly on The Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon”. I am sure that he would never forget those good old days in the Country that we both loved so much.
He will never forget either, all the beautiful young ladies who were part & parcel of the “showbiz-scene” of that tiny Island.
They followed us everywhere, didn’t they Bill ?. It was such a good life, not much money (& I’m talking about myself, now)
but, wonderful families, good music, nourishing thosai feeds, kiri-kopi, plenty of “fans”,great beaches, beautiful girls, arrack, toddy (when we couldn’t afford the arakku), who needed money ?. I didn’t, and I think, neither did Bill.
The main reason for writing this particular “story” is the fact that there is only one little criticism I have about the song (in the Kal Khan style), that Bill recorded, although, with all the copyright stuff that went on, I cannot blame Bill for this, but had it been me, Bill, I would have got the permission (with the help of Columbia) to change just ONE word in the song-title. I am fully aware that there are “beauties” in India, as there are, in all Countries of the World, but, we are from Ceylon, Bill, so I would have sung this song as “THE LADIES FROM SRI LANKA”. Just for your fans, Bill,
wherever the word Calcutta came in, you could then have sung “Sri Lanka”.
This writer has therefore picked the Al Ciaola instrumental version on purpose and, to help our “singers” or “wannabees” I am submitting these lyrics for what I think is a most relevant song. Goes something like this ;-
“I kissed some chicks from Mumbai & burn’t my lips,you see
I also smooched some French ones, oo-la-la- cheri
Senorinas too are lovely, oh, yes indeed, they are
But the ladies from Sri Lanka, are sweeter, by far.
The ladies from Sri Lanka, will steal your heart away
And when it has been stolen, they’ll say “Apo-aiyoh-anay” The Pommy gals are gorgeous, they do something to me
But the ladies of Sri Lanka, are Asian, you see.
This takes NOTHING away from the Kal Khan version.
Take care, Bill, good luck, We’re thinking about you, mate.
Star of eLanka