I’m a blue toothbrush

I seem to be going through a phase of thinking back to songs I heard when I was a child; I mentioned ‘Hoots Mon‘ by Lord Rockingham’s XI, and that led to an exchange of comments about comedy songs  from long ago, including ‘Three wheels on my wagon‘, and then I mentioned ‘I’m a pink toothbrush…‘  It was a children’s song (I think!) imagining a romance between a pink and a blue toothbrush… it does sound very surreal now I actually write it down.

We don’t seem to have comedy songs any more and it’s probably just as well because they actually weren’t very funny (although we children thought they were!) ‘Does your chewing gum lose it’s flavour on the bedpost overnight?” ‘Hole in the ground’, ‘My ole man’s a dustman’... and so many more…. Charlie Drake, Bernard Cribbins, Lonnie Donegan, Max Bygraves… and it was Max Bygraves who was responsible for the toothbrush romance!

Bygraves was born in 1922 to a very poor family; his parents, six children and grandparents all lived in a two-bedroomed house. He went out to work at fourteen and then, as most men his age, had to join the forces and in his case it was the RAF.  He became a singer and entertainer and soon became one of the most popular stars in British variety. He maintained his popularity for decades before moving to Australia where he died aged eighty-nine.

I don’t think I can bear to play the ghastly toothbrush song, but you can find it on YouTube.. . but here is the lyric, just so you can judge what you are missing:

You’re a pink toothbrush, I’m a blue toothbrush
Have we met somewhere before?
You’re a pink toothbrush and I think toothbrush
That we met by the bathroom door.

Glad to meet toothbrush, such a sweet toothbrush
How you thrill me through and through
Don’t be hard toothbrush on a soft toothbrush
‘Cause I can’t help loving you.

Every time I hear you whistle…… it makes my nylon bristle…….

You’re a pink toothbrush, I’m a blue toothbrush
Won’t you marry me in haste?
I’ll be true toothbrush, just to you toothbrush
When we both use the same toothpaste.

You must admit, it is pretty terrible…. but here is what Max sounded like:

 

 

There’s a moose loose

I had a flashback to my childhood earlier today! The only source of music was the radio – we didn’t have a record player until I was given a Dancette player on my eleventh birthday… or was it when I was twelve… or maybe thirteen? Before then there were certain programmes which would play what was beginning to be called ‘pop’ music such as Children’s Favourites, Saturday Club and Housewives’ Choice. This was before the 60’s music revolution but there were ‘records’ by Elvis, the Everleys, Lonnie Donegan…  There were also comedy records, and most of them were pretty dire, however there were a few which had a comedic element but still managed to be good!

I was reminded of this when I wrote mentioned moose this morning, which led me to remember such a song called ‘Hoots Mon‘ which had the refrain ‘there’s a moose loose about this hoose!’ This was a mock Scots’ way of saying ‘there’s a mouse loose about this house’… which of course sounds silly and not funny at all. I hadn’t heard this since I was a child but I found it and found a video of Lord Rockingham’s XI  who recorded it – a fact I didn’t know until today.

Lord Rockingham’s XI  was made up of British session musicians, which was created as a resident backing band on a programme called Oh Boy!.  They actually were an extraordinary collection of really talented people :

  • Harry Robinson – leader
  • Benny Green –  jazz baritone saxophonist (and later writer)
  • Cherry Wainer – organ
  • Don Storer – drums
  • Reg Weller – percussion
  • Red Price – tenor sax
  • Rex Morris – tenor sax
  • Cyril Reubens – baritone sax
  • Ronnie Black – double bass
  • Bernie Taylor – guitar
  • Eric Ford – guitar
  • later – Kenny Packwood – guitar,  Ian Fraser – piano
  • Marty Wilde – backing singer
  • Cuddly Dudley – backing singer

As well as Hoots Mon! which was based on an actual Scottish song called 100 Pipers, they recorded what has been described as  novelty rock instrumentals such as Fried Onions and Long John.  There was a court case over their name, because there actually was a real Lord Rockingham whose title became extinct in 1782. Lord Rockingham’s descendants took exception to a rock band called Lord Rockingham’s anything… the band folded and all is left are some videos.