The other night I was half way through "Two Little Boys", head back, eyes closed, crooning away, when I opened my eyes to find my 5 year old lying in bed - with his hands over his ears!! Bloody cheek -the older two had it word perfect at his age, but obviously he has actually bothered to listen to the lyrics and eschews that pap.
For any non-Brits (or Brits under 35) "Two Little Boys" was a surprise and very sappy hit when I was a wee one. It was about, yes, two little boys one of whom fell off his wooden horse. The other one (Joe or Jack) picks him up, and puts him on the back of his own wooden horse, singing "Did you think I would leave you crying when there's room on my horse for two". Fast forward to World War One, when they're on the battlefield, and yes, the child hero is wounded and dying. Up goes the shout, a horse dashes out, and there's Joe (or is it Jack) singing, "Did you think I could leave you dying...". Still brings a lump that does.
Anyway, once I'd dried my eyes, I started thinking about the number of crap, I mean surprising, songs that have reached the top of the charts in the UK over the years.
- "Chirpy chirpy cheep cheep". (By Middle of the Road.) What was this song about?
"Last night I heard my momma singing a song. Oo oo wee, chirpy chirpy cheep cheep. Woke up this morning and my momma had gone. Oo oo wee, etc."
Could she really have been so callous about her mother's disappearance? I know everyone's mum gets on their nerves once in a while but really.
- "Boom bang-a-bang". Lulu's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest if I remember rightly. I can't imagine she won with it but the whole competition was so amateurish that who knows. Can't quite remember but I think it was about being in love - which in this day and age, makes it sound positively pornographic. (In case anyone has forgotten, the Eurovision Song Contest did turn ABBA into a global force with "Waterloo".)
- "The Grandad Song" by Clive Dunn, followed a few years later by "Grandma, we love you", (St. Winifred's School Choir) It's no wonder they whizzed to Number 1, as every grandchild in the country felt instantly obliged to go out and buy them even if their grandparents didn't have a record player.
- "The Birdie Song", by the Tweets, of course. Amazingly this ditty had no lyrics and its main instrument sounded like something out of an oom-pah-pah band. According to the BBC website, it has been voted the most annoying song of all time, which will come as no surprise to anyone who has had the misfortune to hear it. And I am proud to say that even in my drunkest moments, I have never been seen poised, birdlike, joining in with this travesty of the airwaves.
Here's a sign of the times - while checking a few facts for this post, I Googled "UK Oldies Singles" and came upon not a list of past hit songs, but a plethora of Internet dating sites for senior citizens!!!