Thursday, 10 August 2006

The Mysterious 'Mystery' Mystery.

Last November, I posted to an eager world my enthralling adventures googling for the lyrics of Hugh Laurie's song 'Mystery'. ( , should you want to relive those heady days.) This month, people from all over the world, but especially America, have reached my site by doing exactly the same thing. What on earth is going on? Is it a question in an international pub quiz? Did he start humming it in a new episode of 'House'? Whatever the reason, I feel a bit bad, because the post was about my failure to find the lyrics, which must be particularly irritating to read if you're only here as a result of your attempt to find them yourself. So here, as a public service are the lyrics to Mystery, by Hugh Laurie. And perhaps in return, one of you could tell me why you're all looking for them...


All my life has been a mystery
You and I were never ever meant to be
It's why I call my love for you a mystery

Different country
You and I have always lived in a different country
And I know that airline tickets don't grow on-a-tree
So what kept us apart is plain for me to see
That much at least is not really a mystery

I live in a houseboat on an estuary
Which is handy for my work with the Thames Water Authority
But I know you would have found it insanitary

Taken a violent dislike to me
I'd be foolish to ignore the possibility
That if we ever actually met, you might have hated me
Still, that's not the only problem that I can see...

Dead since 1973
You've been dead now . . . wait a minute, let me see
Fifteen years come next Jan-yoo-a-ree
As a human being you are history

So why do why I still long for you?
Why is my love so strong for you?
Why did I write this song for you?
Well, I guess it's just... a mystery


James Lark said...

Mmmm. After your last post on this subject I foolishly commented that I had the chords to the same song. Since then I've been inundated by emails asking for them. It appears there's actually quite a little fanbase for this little musico-comedic gem.

Anonymous said...

Entirely off-topic, and highly irregular I'm sure, but it's your old chum Bobby Webster here; I inexplicably thought to myself 'ooh, I wonder what John Finnemore's up to these days?' about five minutes ago, and lo! Here you are. As there's no email address listed on your site (very wise - doubtless, hordes of obsessive fans would be contacting you daily), this seems to be the only way to get in touch: huge apologies to anyone else who reads this for the churlish disregard of blogging etiquette. Anyway, if you fancy catching up some time, pop me an email.

Anonymous said...

Ooh! The sneaky bastard of a website doesn't like me putting a link to my email address in a comment. Well. Let's see how it deals with a link to my rather humourless website... Which has my email address on it.

John F said...

Bobby! Excellent! It's getting like Surprise Surprise with Cilla Black round here. I shall email you forthwith. By which I mean 'tomorrow'.

Anonymous said...

Laurie recently did an updated and Americanized version of the song for 'Inside the Actor's Studio.'
The Thames Water Authority becomes the port authority, and the year changes from 1973 to 1993. The style is also a little more in the spirit of his recent work... If you're interested in hearing it -

James Casey said...

Good call, O Anonymous one. Here's the original.

Jon H said...

The DVD only recently came out as well.

I'm one of the people who emailed James Lark about it after reading his comments. Strangely I read this blog anyway but hadn't read the original 'Mystery' post until Googling for it.


Evangeline said...

I am still looking for the chords.. can anyone help me?

I got the dvd of a Bit of Fry and Laurie and I love that bit of his.

Anonymous said...

oh my email is

Anonymous said...

oh my email is

John F said...

Can't help you, I'm afraid, Evangeline. And thank you very much to Anonymous for the explanation and clip!

Incidentally, I hope you're all aware of 'Kickin' Ass'?

Anonymous said...

and.....last night I watched a repeat of The Actors Studio with Hugh Laurie....and so the saga continues.
Thanks a bunch for the lyrics!
How did you find them? Did he ever record that song?

John F said...

You're welcome! I transcribed them from my lovely new A Bit of Fry and Laurie DVD, which I cannot recommend too highly. Or can I? 'If it's a choice between buying this DVD, and saving your mother from being skinned alive with a hedgehog, go for the DVD.' Ok, I can recommend it too highly. But it is good.

Anonymous said...

i'm here because hugh laurie is amazing. end of story.

Anonymous said...

i'm here bacuse hugh laurie is amazing. end of story.

turntap2 said...

Ditto from the last comment. I've recently become obsessed with House and consequently Hugh Laurie.

Anonymous said...
No mystery

Anonymous said...

um... hello.... can i get the chords on hugh laurie's mystery?please.

Anonymous said...

For those of you looking for the chords to Mystery, I've worked out the basic chord structure. It's not perfect, but if you have a good ear you can certainly figure out the missing pieces, suspended chords, etc.

There's a lot of runs, step-up/step-down transitions, etc, and it seems like he plays it a bit differently each time, so it's hard to pinpoint exactly, but if you want the basic structure drop me an email.

Anonymous said...

Hugh was interviewed on a show, and he played the song on piano.

Anonymous said...

Anyone with a basic knowledge of piano chords can figure the song out. To give the meantally slow piano players a head start, the first chord - plyed on the word "Mystery" - is A Minor.

Anonymous said...

My apologies for the above comment. I missed out the a in "played" and ended a sentence on a preposition.

TTaylor said...

There was a Scottish vixen I met when I was 16 and living in Denmark - about 20 years ago. She used to sing this song, which of course I hadn't heard before, growing up in America as I had. In any case - something sparked "Mystery" today - and I decided to finally google for the real lyrics. Had no idea this was Hugh Laurie - or that the song, after 20 years, had this crazy sticky meme-like power. That's my story.

Lucy said...

In reference to your ponderings on why one would be searching for these lyrics, I have for you my answer. I'm an Australian female high school student who is a massive fan of A Bit of Fry and Laurie. For a school drama competition last year a girl did an excellent comedic song so this year I thought I'd give it a try. When thinking of songs to do of course all the fantastic ditties that Fry and Laurie have done throughout the ages sprung to my mind but of all I think that 'Mystery' would be the best choice: it's short, easy to play/sing and it's gender ambiguous. So there you go, that's my little story about why I needed these lyrics!

martyyyn said...

could i please get the chords too?
the link to the email from anonymous did not work, could you just send them to mine at

Anonymous said...

I love Hugh Laurie, that's why.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful lyrics. I recently bought the series of A Bit of Fry and Laurie (it is wonderful, by the way, worth every penny). It's strange, I haven't really seen Hugh in many things since his days in various british comedies (and I loved him in all his little sketches) and now he's big in the states for a role in House (I believe that's what it is called, I've only seen a few episodes and they were fantastic I thought), I guess my point is it's nice to see his work again because he's unbelievably witty. Back on the topic of his music though, most all of his songs are brilliant, if you might be interested in some of his other works of music.

Xavier said...

i wold also like to have the chords... so if anyone could email me them, I would appreciate it.
My email is

Regina said...

Great - and still you seem to be the only ressource that on Google pops up, when someone is looking for the lyrics.
Thanks anyway! ;)

Anonymous said...

For some reason this song pops into my head and a smile just lights up my face. I wish I could download the song and have it play on my phone, or my answering machine, or my.... nahh. I just wanted to know if the lyrics were out there, and they were so THANKS!

anyone said...

Oh I'm looking for the chords too!
Could someone send me the chords
my adress is


Anonymous said...

Who is this song written about, does anybody know?

Anonymous said...

I'm ended up here while trying to find out who he wrote the song about. Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

The recent version of the son can still be found here:

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Jeremy said...

I wonder who the original song was about - who died in 1973?

Jeremy again said...

Notable deaths in 1973:

Salvador Allende (Chilean president)
W. H. Auden (US poet)
Sir Noel Coward (dramatist and composer)
John Ford (film director)
David Ben-Gurion (former Israeli prime minister)
Sir Roger Hollis (former head MI5)
Lyndon B. Johnson (US president)
Nancy Mitford (writer)
Pablo Picasso (artist)
Edward G. Robinson - (US actor)
J.R.R Tolkien (writer)

Anonymous said...

The comment section of this post is quite a sad kind of way.

Anonymous said...

could someone forward the chords or even the sheet musics to me please?

The conscientious Frog said...

I were and still am absolutely not looking for those lyrics, actually I don't care at all about Hugh Laurie. I am just here because I read your whole blog, John, comments included.

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