The Ballad of Barry and Freda

also popularly known as Let’s Do It

by Victoria Wood

Note: There are numerous versions of the lyrics of this song on the web already, but those I have looked at are either cluttered up with adverts and other stuff, or full of departures from the lyrics as performed by Victoria Wood on famous performances to be found (see links). So, I have copied the words from one of the historically authentic versions (An Audience with V.W.)and fixed it, and also added the variation on the overall lyrics used for the 2009 Christmas Special.

The following table gives the usual lyrics on the left, and a variant version on the right. At the top, it contains links to some videos where Victoria sings the song.
Below the table are some other clips of the song, or about it.

This column, below, gives the usual words as performed in these YouTube clips:
Original 1986 version at grand piano with a band (5:08)
Another performance solo at grand piano (4:52)
Alone again in An Audience with Victoria Wood (5:11)
Note: The sound level on this third clip is slightly too quiet.
This column, below, gives the words, where different, as performed in
Victoria Wood’s Christmas Special (2009)
as can be seen performed by Victoria, supposedly watched balefully on their TV by a chubby couple on their sofa at home who then get up, run on-stage and join a large middle aged dance troupe in

this YouTube clip (the best version!)

Freda and Barry sat one night;
The sky was clear; the stars were bright.
The wind was soft; the moon was up;
Freda drained her cocoa cup.

She licked her lips; she felt sublime!
She switched off Gardener’s Question Time.
Barry cringed in fear and dread
As Freda grabbed his tie and said:

“Let’s do it! Let’s do it: do it while the mood is right!
I’m feeling
Appealing;
I’ve really got an appetite.
I’m on fire
With desire —
I could handle half the tenors in a male voice choir.
Let’s do it! Let’s do it tonight!”

But he said:

“I can’t do it! I can’t do it;
I don’t believe in too much sex.
This fashion
For passion
Turns us into nervous wrecks.
No derision:
My decision.
I’d rather watch the Spinners on the television.
I can’t do it, I can’t do it tonight.”

“I can’t do it; I can’t do it:
I’m not exactly Russell Brand.
You’re thwarted:
I’m sorted —
Got the evening’s telly planned;
It’s a pity;
The nitty-gritty:
I’ve taped eleven episodes of Holby City.
I can’t do it, can’t do it tonight.”

So she said:

“Let’s do it! Let’s do it, do it till our hearts go boom!
Go native,
Creative,
Living in the living room.
This folly
Is jolly;
Bend me over backwards on me hostess trolley!
Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight.

But he said:

“I can’t do it. I can’t do it:
My heavy-breathing days are gone.
I’m older,
Feel colder;
It’s other things that turn me on.
I’m imploring!
I’m boring;
Let me read this catalogue on vinyl flooring!
I can’t do it, I can’t do it tonight.”

“I can’t do it, I can’t do it,
My heavy-breathing days are gone.
Niagara,
Viagra,
Nothing really turns me on.
Stop stewing —
Pooh-poohing —
I’ve had a good look down there and there’s nothing doing.
I can’t do it, I can’t do it tonight.”

Then she said

“Let’s do it, let’s do it, have a crazy night of love!
I’ll strip bare;
I’ll just wear
Stilettos and an oven glove!
Don’t starve a
Girl of a palaver;
Dangle from the wardrobe in your balaclava.
Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight!”

“Let’s do it, let’s do it, while I’m really in the mood ...
Three cheers!
It’s years
Since I caught you even semi-nude.
Get drastic,
Gymnastic —
Wear your baggy Y-fronts with the loose elastic but
Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight!”

“I can’t do it, I can’t do it,
I know I’ll only get it wrong.
Don’t angle
For me to dangle,
My arms have never been that strong;
Stop pouting!
Stop shouting —
You know I pulled a muscle when I did that grouting.
I can’t do it, can’t do it tonight.”

“I can’t do it, I can’t do it,
It’s really not my cup of tea;
I’m harassed,
Embarrassed;
I wish you hadn’t picked on me.
Don’t choose me,
Don’t use me
My mother sent a note to say you must excuse me.
I can’t do it, can’t do it tonight.”

“Let’s do it, let’s do it, share a night of wild romance!
Frenetic,
Poetic,
This could be your last big chance!
To quote Milton,
To eat Stilton,
To roll with gay abandon on the tufted Wilton!
Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight!”

“Let’s do it, let’s do it, you really have to have some trust.
I won’t exempt you:
Want to tempt you,
I want to drive you mad with lust!
No cautions,
Just contortions:
Smear an avocado on my lower portions!
Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight!”

“I can’t do it, I can’t do it,
I’ve got other little jobs on hand.
Don’t grouse!
Around the house
I’ve got a busy evening planned.
Stop nagging!
I’m flagging;
You know as well as I do that the pipes want lagging.
I can’t do it, can’t do it tonight.”

“I can’t do it, I can’t do it,
I just refuse to get unzipped.
I'm cheerful;
I'm fearful,
Worried that I'm ill-equipped.
Don't bully!
I can't fully
Guarantee — you'll have to use a rope and pulley.
I can’t do it, can’t do it tonight.”

“Let’s do it, let’s do it, while I’m really in the mood ...
Three cheers!
It’s years
Since I caught you even semi-nude.
Get drastic,
Gymnastic —
Wear your baggy Y-fronts with the loose elastic but
Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight!”

“Let’s do it, let’s do it, I really want to run amok!
Let’s wiggle!
Let’s jiggle!
Let’s really make the rafters rock!
Be mighty,
Be flighty
Come and melt the buttons on my flame-proof nightie!

“I can’t do it, I can’t do it,
I must refuse to get undressed
I feel silly.
It’s too chilly
To go without my thermal vest.
Don’t choose me,
Don’t use me
My mother sent a note to say you must excuse me.
I can’t do it, can’t do it tonight.”





Let's handle
Some scandal:
Come and sip Ribena from my peep-toe sandal.

“Let’s do it, let’s do it, I really absolutely must.
I won’t exempt you,
Want to tempt you,
Want to drive you mad with lust.
No cautions,
Just contortions:
Smear an avocado on my lower portions!
Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight!”





Surprise me!
Chastise me!
Let's be firm and, fella, you can patronize me!
Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight!”

“I can’t do it, I can’t do it,
It’s really not my cup of tea;
I’m harassed,
Embarrassed;
I wish you hadn’t picked on me.

No dramas,
Give me my pyjamas;
The only girl I’m mad about is Judith Chalmers,

No barter —
A non-starter;
I feel about as sensuous as Jimmy Carter.*

I can’t do it, can’t do it tonight.”

[Dance interlude]




Get festive!
Get restive!
Dunk me in the duvet like a big digestive!

“Let’s do it, let’s do it, I really want to run amok!
Let’s wiggle!
Let’s jiggle!
Let’s really make the rafters rock!
Be mighty,
Be flighty
Come and melt the buttons on my flame-proof nightie!
Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight!





Just humour
A late bloomer:
Stuff my Christmas stocking with your big satsuma!

Let’s do it, let’s do it, I really want to rant and rave!
Let’s go,
Cos I know
Just how I want you to behave:
Not bleakly,
Not meekly —
Beat me on the bottom with the Woman’s Weekly
Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight!”





Not bleakly,
Not meekly —
Beat me on the bottom with the Woman’s Weekly
Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight!”



* Alternative version for an American audience as can be heard in this YouTube clip (audio only: no picture) or
this clip (just a still photo, but she has a jazz band accompaniment on this).
Other versions available:


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