"Eric the Half-A-Bee" is a song by the British comedy troupe Monty Python. It first appeared on the LP Monty Python's Previous Record but is also on Monty Python Sings and The Final Rip Off 2-CD set. The song followed the routine called "Fish Licence" in which Mr Eric Praline, played by John Cleese, tried to obtain a pet licence for a halibut and numerous other pets, all called Eric. One such pet is half a bee. The song relates a tragic yet heartwarming tale, stemming from an accident on one summer's afternoon.

The lyrics raise important philosophical questions as to the existence or not of half a bee: "Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto half not be. But half the bee has got to be vis-à-vis its entity - d'you see? But can a bee be said to be or not to be an entire bee when half the bee is not a bee due to some ancient injury?"

The original version ends with references to the writer Cyril Connolly; this section was not included in every subsequent reissue of the song.[1]

It is one of John Cleese's personal favourites of the sketches that he has done.


  1. It is lacking in The Monty Python Instant Record Collection (first release).

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