One of Barry Manilow’s biggest hits was a searing tale of love, lust and nefarious goings on set in a hot Cuban nightclub. This was the Copacabana, a place of mystery and intrigue and the home of one Lola, a showgirl. This basically meant that she would have to come out at night and dance around in a ludicrous outfit. Manilow emphasises this point when he sings that she wore “yellow feathers in her hair” and a dress, which he suggests, was very short. Her main aim was to prove to everyone that she was an excellent dancer and she would do this by showing skill in the cha-cha (which as we know from Strictly Come Dancing is difficult to do) and the merengue.
Life would have been fine, she had a very nice boyfriend called Tony who had a steady job making and serving drinks to the Clubs clientele. They went home every night tired but happy, hoping to save a little to get a bigger place and maybe a bar of their own (Manilow doesn’t sing this, I just like to assume they would).
Trouble ensues when Rico appears at the Club. We are told he wears a diamond so this immediately makes him a gangster of some kind. He takes a shine to Lola and asks her to dance for him. He then gets a bit “handsy” and Tony takes offence. A fight ensues that involves chairs being broken and then a gunshot. Who is shot is not clear.
The song then jumps 30 years to find Lola a broken wreck. None of this kind of thing happens in a Nightclub Cheltenham way but you can still have an immense time if you go.