Sunday, June 15, 2008

Stupid Songs

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!!!


  1. Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep - it sounds so stupid now but it does bring back memories of Saturday morning (!) discos at the Castle in Richmond!! :) Softinthehead

  2. Wow - posh discos. Or do you mean a pub??

  3. Hi,

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  4. Did you put the previous comment in just to show off? I love that image of your son with his hands over his ears - mine would def have done the same...that song always makes me cry - has the same effect as Season's In The Sun. What about that "I've got a brand new pair of rollerskates" one? How ridiculous was that? Lx

  5. Sounds a bit too complicated for me to attempt. I'm not very technical.
    I'd forgotten about the roller skates. And yes, Seasons in the Sun. Boo hoo!

  6. Hey...I'm way too young to remember those songs...(and if you believe that you'll believe anything) Crap songs = good old = well oiled knees up...

  7. Sadly, I remember all those songs too. Sure does date us all!!

  8. It's Jo.

    Two Little Boys is a favourite of the rugby club. Always sang with eyes closed and arms outstretched!

  9. Surely it's Joe (with an "E")? Unless those suffragettes were further ahead than I remember? Just teasing.
    And why would rugby players sing this song? How funny.

  10. I remember all those songs & I can't say I was very enthusiastic about any of them! A bit cheesy I think!
    As for the Senior Citizen Dating Agency! Wow hope for me yet! Oops! I'm already hitched, aren't I?

  11. My worst Birdie song memory is that the dj at the Millenium Party I was at decided it would be a laugh to usher in 2000 to it. Can you believe that?

  12. Ahh yes who can forget Rolf Harris singing it live on "Top Of The Pops" with an audience full of teenage scallywags with bad 70's haircuts wearing flared trousers and rounded collar shirts whilst swaying along to good old Rolf's harmonising!!

  13. Hi, Jules is getting around, I see. I got the same comment from him some days ago and, although I wasn't interested - he wasn't the first - a friend has since warned me about folks under that sort of guise who are only interested in their own agenda, maybe recruiting you as a 'customer' for crap they circulate? Anyway, if you do contact him and prove me wrong I would like to hear about it.

    So, what is the name of your book, our kid?

  14. S Billy - I clicked on the link and it took me to a 20 year old Brasilian's blog! Not that I was interested in pursuing it, but just curious.
    The book is "Rules, Britannia; An Insider's Guide to Life in the UK" (see link under web sites). I would love to do something about Geordies Abroad, but apparently that's too limited a market. I know I could always self-publish but I'm too lazy for that!

  15. "Two little boys" always brings a lump to my throat - I watched it on You Tube recently so I could sing it to my son.
    Another one I've been singing to him lately, which is a really crap song from the 80's, is "Shaddap you face" by Joe Dolce - remember that?!!!!!

  16. Wassa matta you - hey
    Why you looka so sad
    Something, something, something- hey

    Isa not so bad
    Isa nica place
    Hey shaddap you face!

    (OK, I really, really need to get out more.)

  17. Yes you do! But I bet you didn't prance round a stage with a pillow up your jumper waving a wooden spoon at your best friend as a humorous accompaniment to it? - those were the days, the ones before MTV and obligatory pop videos. I was another one at the disco on a Saturday afternoon, only ours was a 'Hop' and my Mum always insisted I wore a frock...

    I have another tune in mind, I can picture the Muppets doing it but how exactly do you spell 'M-na M-na, do doo da do do'?

  18. Oh gosh I remember it well. And Seasons in the Sun! I can't listen to that even to this day without crying!!!

  19. OK, we are officially "The Saddo's".

    And don't we all still hear "And here it is Merry Xmas" from Nobby and the Slade gang every Xmas? Actually, that really makes me feel homesick even though I'm now usually skiing in Copper Mountain, Colorado at Xmas. Oh to be squashed up in a pub on the Tyne quayside once in a while.

  20. ARGH...those AWFUL Christmas songs here...!

    Give me Alvin and the Chipmunks ANY DAY! (not...)


  21. Well I think I've sung every song that's been mentioned as it's come up the only one I'm not sure of is 'Two little boys' the only bit I know is Two little boys, had two little toys. I must go and check it out and see how sad it is! Ah the memories. xx

  22. Two little boys had two little toys
    Each had a wooden horse
    Gaily they played each summer's day
    Warriors both of course

    (We have Rolf Harris' Greatest Hits. Our favoutire is "Sunrise" with the didgeree-doo in the intro.)

  23. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes! Now I will be cursing you roundly as I go around humming Two Little Boys and wiggling my arms to the berludy Birdie song. My son begs me not to sing too, if it's any consolation. I'm known to go on tunelessly and endlessly (particularly on car journeys) - working my way through, variously, awful long rock songs with endless lyrics (Hotel California, Bohemian Rhapsody, American Pie etc) and stirring Victorian hymns (When a Knight won his spurs, Onward Christian Soldiers etc). OK< time to go back into the padded cell now.

  24. on the topic of classic hits my neighbour said recently that he thought Joe Dolce's 'shuddupayourfave' WAS better than 'Vienna'. Fortunately I have mellowed since then so I only let all his tyres down

  25. The Birdie song brings back terrible embarrassing memories of performing it on stage dressed as a bird in front of an audience that included a boy I really liked (Only worked that bit out later when I was denying my involvement in same birdie song...)

  26. Ah, oldies. Wish I could say I can't remember any of them, but I do. I loved Rolf Harris singing Two Little Boys and it always made me cry when he got to the dying bit.
    The Birdie song reminds me of holidays in Corfu - enough said.

    How about "I've got a brand new combine 'arvester and I'll give you the key" by the Wurzels? Anyone remember that?
    Then ofcourse a little later on there's Terry Wogan and "The Floral Dance". Memories.

  27. I'll have to do another post about this- there's so many bad songs!

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