“THE BALLAD OF THE LEAKY LAKE”


            Written and Performed by Christopher Mason

           at a dinner given by Hilary and Wilbur Ross for

                  The Duke and Duchess of Marlborough,

                               New York, May 12, 2009.


to “The Stately Homes of England” 

The Dow is in the doldrums,

The forecast’s rather bleak,

As fears of more recession

Drag on another week;

But last night you would not have guessed

That anybody felt depressed,

The bling was shining bright 

Up at Sotheby’s,

Men wore black tie with pride

And checkbooks opened wide;

The newlyweds at Blenheim

Inspired all this largesse,

They merely had to ask

And their Palm Beach friends said yes!

For who’d rebuke a charming duke 

And duchess in a pinch

Who must save their leaky lake at Blenheim?


Jeff Koons’ pink egg was glistening

Near Warhol’s cornflake box

As bids for Blenheim’s auction

Were outperforming stocks,

As Jamie Niven charmed the crowd,

Cajoled the swells, and made folks proud

To add some extra dough

For the photograph

That Harry Benson gave

Of Churchill receiving a rave; 

The only explanation for 

This splendid bill of fare

Is, Sunny’s found his Lily, 

And love is in the air!

When times are slow, sweet Cupid’s bow

Must lend that extra kick

To rescue the leaky lake at Blenheim! 


Yes, luckily for Lily, 

She has an ardent fan,

His name’s John Spencer-Churchill,

And he’s her Marlborough Man!

And in the six months they’ve been hitched,

He’s seemed enchantingly bewitched,

She’s even learning golf,

He’s a lucky man,

She makes life seem a ball

For sweet love conquers all;

They’re really very grateful,

Relieved, make no mistake,

New Yorkers didn’t tell them

To go jump in their lake!

Their noble cause has drawn applause,

Hence last night’s succès fou,

To rescue the leaky lake at Blenheim! 


to “High Hopes” 

When the 4th duke built his great dam,

Land stood dry where tadpoles once swam,

Marlborough loved his dam, an’

T’was a total grand slam,


But it needs maintenance!

Real high maintenance!

That’s why Sunny’s troubling

All of his acquaintance! 

’Cause it’s a race for funding, a race for time,

Must be finished 2009,

Just the mere thought makes us queasy,

Having a palace isn’t easy,

Not a synch to be the Marlborough Man.


to Edith Piaf’s “Padam” 

Capability Brown built that lake,

A more gorgeous lake no one could make;

But three hundred years have now passed

And the dam that he built couldn’t last;

The threat of a flood is alarming,

When the lake rises, better grab oars!

For it’s plagued by that British affliction:

When it rains there, it frequently pours! 


The dam! The dam! The dam!

Capability Brown would be proud,

His dam, his dam, his dam,

Rescued by such an elegant crowd!


to “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” 

With great high rollers 

Like de Guardiolas

And Rosses, like Wilbur and Hil,

It’s swell for a chap to know when he’s in a jam,

That he’s got friends who’ll give a dam!


The Vittadinis

Who’ve made chic bikinis,

The Boardmans, Fanjuls, Livanoses, too,

Are dutiful friends who aren’t the types to forsake

A guy who needs to fix his lake;


His grandma, Consuelo,

Deserved a halo

For saving Blenheim with grace;

The Vanderbilt coffers saved the day, it’s perfectly clear,

She was “railroaded” into it, we hear.


With a sense of duty 

To preserve great beauty,

Americans still step to the plate;

Just call on John Mashek and Veronis, they’ll do the trick,

Just say the word, there’s Tommy Quick!


Blaine Trump won’t scrimp, nor will

Deborah Norville,

Nor Karl, the Gregorys, nor Melhados or Sterns,

They’re just not the kind of friends who’d ever forsake

A pal who needs to fix his lake. 


to "The Stately Homes of England" 

Let’s hope, by this time next year,

The market’s back to health;

And everyone we know will

Be swimming in new wealth;

And confidence will be regained

And Blenheim’s lake will be contained

And crowds will throng to see

Its magnificence,

While Sunny’s in Palm Beach

With his lovely Blenheim Peach;

But though their dam is urgent,

New challenges accrue,

The upkeep on a palace

Gives Sunny much to do;

And he’ll be sure to let you know

If next year he needs a roof

To plug up another leak at Blenheim!