Sunday, 30 January 2011
Friday, 28 January 2011
Their album titles left one scratching ones head with bemusment:
The Incredible String Band (Elektra, June 1966)
The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (Elektra, July 1967)
The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (Elektra, March 1968)
Wee Tam and the Big Huge (Elektra, October 1968)
Changing Horses (Elektra, November 1969)
I Looked Up (Elektra, April 1970)
U (Double album, Elektra, October 1970)
Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending (Island, April 1971)
Relics (Elektra compilation, March 1971)
Liquid Acrobat as Regards the Air (Island, October 1971)
Earthspan (Island, October 1972)
No Ruinous Feud (Island, February 1973)
Hard Rope & Silken Twine (Island, March 1974)
Seasons They Change (Island compilation, November 1976)
I find it both odd and sad that bands like this are no longer relevant in this the 21st century. The times we live in, certainly as far as music is concerned, has regressed as it has become the plaything of impresarios and X-factor fat controllers Mores the pity.
They were thankfully anything but normal as this little ditty illustrates.
A fIDdLing IN tHE biG weE WaM
Saturday, 22 January 2011
Saturday, 15 January 2011
In 1959 Cliff Richard was number one in the charts with Living Doll. Was it a coincidence that the year also saw the birth of the Barbie Doll? I think not. Sadly for music, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash that year, too. But happily for poetry, this book was published. With its distinctive Penguin cover, designed by Stephen Russ, presaging the “Swinging Sixties” it is for me a veritable treasure chest of comicality, an Aladdin’s Cave of reading pleasure, a cornucopia of chuckles and as such is, in many ways, the same as, although also quite different to, its precursor The Penguin Book of Comic and Curious Verse. Unlike its older brother however, many of the poems were written specifically for the book and therefore it has a much more contemporary (as in 1959-ish) feel.
It contains moral instruction, as in this cautionary story by J.A. Lindon:
My tale begins with Junior Tom
Who made his own Atomic Bomb…
To order me a buttered scone
The silly girl has been and gone
And ordered me a buttered scone
Table manners, as in John Betjeman’s How to get on in Society:
Phone for the fish-knives, Norman,
As cook is a little unnerved…
And, in full, in all its glorious and turgid awfulness, William McGonagall’s excruciating Saving a Train:
’Twas in the year of 1869, and on the 19th of November
Which the people in Southern Germany will long remember…
I bought my copy from a market stall for £3. A bargain. Although not quite as big a bargain as its older brother was. (See my previous entry.) Buy yourself a copy. And if by chance you already have one – take it down from the shelf, blow off the fine layer of dust and treat yourself again to some of the fine, comic and curious treasures that lie within.
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
1. Of or pertaining to walking about or traveling from place to place; itinerant.
2. Of or pertaining to the philosophy taught by Aristotle (who gave his instructions while walking in the Lyceum at Athens), or to his followers.
1. One who walks about; a pedestrian; an itinerant.
2. A follower of Aristotle; an Aristotelian.
aNOtHEr dOlLop oF PUtriD PeE.
Monday, 10 January 2011
Monday, 3 January 2011
There are limericks:
There was a young lady from Wantage
Of whom the town clerk took advantage
Said the borough surveyor:
Indeed you must pay ’er.
You’ve totally altered her frontage!”
Treats from Ogden Nash:
I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I’ll never see a tree at all.
“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head –
Do you think at your age, it is right?”
So famous is this spoof, of course, that these days it is much better known than the original.
And poems by the Grandfather of the Pun, Thomas Hood (1789 – 1845):Ben Battle was a soldier bold,
And used to war’s alarms;
But a cannon-ball took off his legs,
So he laid down his arms.