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An English Girl in America  
Tell Me on a Sunday - A note from lyricist Don Black.

So there I was living in Beverly Hills, with the pool and Perrier set, in 1976. It is often said that the British overseas stick together. Well that could not be truer than in Los Angeles. There, the English colony are, at least emotionally, joined at the hip. Words like Shepherds Bush, Selfridges and Guinness take on new significance when spoken on Rodeo Drive. The mere mention of remembered names like Max Wall or Eamonn Andrews will cause eyes to glaze, hearts to pound, and fond memories to stir and for a while consume.

While the natives are watching ball games or getting acclimated to the world of aerobic dancing, the British are preparing English sausage barbeques or rushing down to The Olde English Tudor Shoppe in Santa Monica for a Sunday Times and a Mars bar. Living in this environment are a number of English single girls in search of something. Americans might say “they are in search of an ongoing, one to one, meaningful, not over dramatised or under emotionalised, constructive, I know who I am, I know who you are, I know who we are type of relationship”. The British would just say “they’re trying to sort themselves out”.

Not all the English girls go to California. Some go to New York. They arrive at Kennedy Airport with a headful of dreams and snapshots of the ones who waved them off at Heathrow.

When Andrew Lloyd Webber and I met in New York, he told me he wanted to write a one-woman show. I said ‘could it be about an English girl in America?’ He thought. He smiled. He put down his copy of the Times. Shook my hand and said ‘let’s go’.

Don Black, from the original production programme of Song and Dance

Posted on: 1st January 1982

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