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Punch and Judy

'Punch and Judy'
Brewer's: "The name of Mr Punch, the hero of the puppet play, probably comes from the Italian pulcinello, a diminutive of pulcina, a young chicken. The story in its present form is roughly attributable to Silvio Fiorillo (circa 1600) and it appeared in England about the time of the Restoration.

Punch in a fit of jealousy strangles his infant son, whereupon his wife Judy belabours him with a bludgeon until he retaliates and beats her to death. He flings both bodies into the street, but is arrested and shut in prison whence he escapes by means of a golden key. The rest is an allegory showing how the light-hearted ('wife-beater and murderer', surely? - Ed) Punch triumphs over i) ennui (boredom - Ed), in the shape of a dog, ii) disease in the shape of a doctor; iii) Death, who is beaten to death; and iv) the devil himself, who is outwitted."

Kaydie added: "True, Punch's name started as Pulcinella, Pollicinella, Pulliciniello... however one spells it, it all leads back to why he was named - the actor who first portrayed Punch was a master at animal noises, moved slowly, and had a high squeaky 'hen-like' voice. Thus, Pulliciniello. Punch is one of the few remaining characters from the Commedia dell'Arte that remains popular today, if not more so, story wise. Just as Pulliciniello wore, the Punch of today wears the hooked nose and hunch back, and wooden sword.

"Pulliciniello also had a wife, which was not seen in the other commedia players' characters. A wife who started with the name Lucretia and today is known as Judy. Punch abused her the same as he does now. Funny how this play for adults became a play for children.

"Punch came about in the early 1520s, along with many others, Harlequin, Columbine/Arelequine, Scaramouche, Pantalone, and Pierrot to name a few. Pierrot is the one who rivals Punch in popularity the most, I think. He's on cards, music boxes, stickers, there are numerous dolls and costumes."

'Daily Express'
A national tabloid format newspaper. It is right-wing and aimed at the middle classes but in reality shares much in common with the gutter sensationalism of papers like the Sun and Mirror.

'Church of E'
Church of England. The Church of England is the established (i.e. state) church in England and the mother church of the Anglican Communion. It originated in the councils between church and state throughout the Middle Ages, culminating in the Act of Supremacy issued by Henry Vlll in 1534. This repudiated papal supremacy and declared the King to be the supreme head of the Church in England. Around 50% of Britain's 50 million people consider themselves Church of E, although only 1.2 million attend Church of England service on a Sunday. Much about the church has remained Catholic in all but name.

1970s song by Tammy Wynette. Also a spoof by Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, which reached no.1 in the UK.

A an anti-depressant, similar to Valium. It is particularly associated with middle-aged women, and is popularly seen as a crutch for housewives bogged down in drudgery and housework.

A pun on the words 'suburban' and 'banshee'.
Brewer's: "In Irish folklore, and that of the western highlands of Scotland, a female fairy who announces her presence by shrieking and wailing under the window of a house where one of the occupants is awaiting death. The word is a phonetic spelling on the Irish 'beansidhe', meaning 'a woman of the fairies.'"

Songs with a link have explanations.

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