• It was Elton John's 6th album title. The etymology of the phrase is thus (according to wikipedia): "A syntactically similar expression "Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best"...originated around 1860 in the Wild West of the United States when Oscar Wilde, during his 1883 tour, saw this saying on a notice in a Leadville, Colorado, saloon. This phrase is sometimes attributed to Mark Twain, but neither Wilde nor Twain ever claimed authorship."
  • I first heard the phrase as an Elton John album when I was 11. It has "Crocodile Rock" on it, a single which I bought then. I don't know who else would have coined the phrase before then.

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