The Friends of Mr. Cairo – Jon and Vangelis

The Friends of Mr. Cairo is a great song for anyone who loves old movies. The song’s lyrics are inspired and based on three films: the 1946 Jimmy Stewart film, It’s a Wonderful Life; 1941’s The Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet; and the 1924 movie, The Thief of Bagdad, starring Douglas Fairbanks. It was written and sung by Jon Anderson, with Greek musician, Vangelis.

Some of the famous names to listen for include Mickey Spillane, Sam Spade and Miles Archer, (James) Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, Edward G. (Robinson), Al Capone, Citizen Kane, Clark Gable, (Douglas) Fairbanks and Maureen O’Sullivan.

There are also several sections in the 12-minute song where lines from the three films are read by people imitating the original actors. The person doing Stewart’s voice says, “I don’t know which words to put in there sweetheart, you know, I can’t do it. Pretty kind of useless, though, don’t you think so Mary?”