Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Super Furry Animals

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. From 1974, it's The Wombles and the frighteningly self-referential "The Wombling Song."

[Note: apologies to any reader currently under the influence of a psychedelic drug]

Most Americans are unaware of these critters, but believe it or not they more or less ruled England in the mid-Seventies. Think of them as a much more earnest version of the Banana Splits, or a non-gay Teletubbies.


Kid Charlemagne said...

Wow, this is flat out '67 era pop-sike!

Anonymous said...

Speaking as someone who was an elementary school kid in the UK in 1974, I have 2 memories of the Wombles:

1. At our end-of-year school concert, 6 of us had to entertain the parents by dressing up as Wombles and dancing to one of their lesser (but even more surreal) hits, "Minuetto Allegretto". And if you think The Womble Song is bizarre, you will be speechless at Minuetto Alegretto: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5-aTYDRfN4 . Anyway, on the night of the concert, the teacher in charge forgot to bring one costume, and we had to scramble to cobble one together from items of clothing we could borrow. So I ended up going on stage and performing Minuetto Allegretto wearing a sheepskin jacket and a black, full-face balaclava mask. My Gran took pictures of the six of us, and people who looked at her photos were always a bit bewildered about what kind of event she had been to where entertainment was apparently provided by 5 wombles accompanied by a member of the Provisional IRA.

2. Children's TV at that time was pretty much limited to "Children's Hour" which, perversely, ran from 3:55pm to 6:00pm. The last slot in Children's Hour was always filled by a 15 minute animated feature, and that was where The Wombles were shown. I remember me and my sister and our parents and grandparents would be crammed together into my Gran's living room every evening at Wombles time - the kids because it was the last glimmer of childrens entertainment before the boring grownup stuff took over, and the adults because they knew that once they sat through the last bit of crappy kids' stuff, the BBC News would come on. Everyone in that room except me and my sister is dead now, but that video just brings that moment right back - sitting in front of my Gran's open fire that without warning used to spit out small flecks of burning coal that sizzled into any exposed skin it came into contact with, on a green vinyl sofa that used to make your legs sweat and leave you with red marks on your thighs and arse when you stickily and noisily tried to stand up. And all that from watching a stupid kids' video.

Anonymous said...

Having said all that about the memories The Wombles bring back, I can't help thinking that on balance my life would probably not be adversely affected if I never heard another song written by Mike Batt.

Anonymous said...

oops, that last comment would be me as well.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, father T.

Can't say I've had that many memories from the Banana Splits!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, they were really big when I was young.

I can still sing that song spontaneously to this day!

Lyle Hopwood said...

Chris Spedding was a Womble, so they certainly have an impeccable rock background.