Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's Miller time!


I was singing this in the shower this morning. I got to thinking about how songs about Swinging London by those who were not from Swinging London were so romanticized as to be totally ridiculous.

This one, is a prime example, though in the main you can't beat a bit of Roger Miller. (I like all singers called Roger - McGuinn, Whittaker, er....). But despite its silliness I've always liked this song. It's so naive.

There's a great one on The In-Kraut, Vol 1, an album of German pop from the late Sixties/early Seventies (which includes the sublime Holiday Time by Hildergarde Knef), which includes a song called Swinging London by the Hazy Oswald Jet Set. This song lists all the places - groovy and non-groovy, but all groovy to them - you can find in London in a German accent. Did Battersea swing? Did Trafalgar Square swing? I doubt it.

I'm Henry The VIII, I Am by Herman's Hermits falls into this 'it's British so we're going mad for it' category, a rich vein all its own. For one brief period you could get away with anything just because it had a British accent or was in some way related to these isles.

Still, enjoy this slice of Millertime.

10 comments:

Clair said...

I usually sing Tempted, or The Way You Look Tonight in the shower, where I also sometimes wonder what happened to the novelty record? There are the odd ones by pig farmers or footy teams, but they don't hit the charts.

Chris Hughes said...

I like Dick-A-Dum-Dum by Northampton's own Des O'Connor as the quintessential cash-in 'swinging London' record, with its 'pick-a-dilly' and 'sort-a-sell-o' wordplay.

Five-Centres said...

Yes, I'm a fan of that one too, Chris.

Talk about the 'Buckingham beat' and 'go to King's Road pick me up a nice real girl' always raises a smile.

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

Speaking of foreigners finding a strange romance in English place names, I was in a restaurant in Spitalfields recently with a mate, and some Italian women at the table next to us asked how you pronounce "Shoreditch". Their own approximation of it was "Sorradicci", which sounded much more exotic to my ears, but they insisted on me repeating the proper version slowly several times (I felt like I was working on a very specialist phone line for pronunciation porn). Then they told me they thought it was a bellissima name. I declined to explain why I didn't agree, mainly because I don't know the Italian word for "ditch"...

Bright Ambassador said...

I liked those goal celbrations he did for Cameroon in the 1990 World Cup. Roger Miller truly is the Godfather of the modern goal celebration.

Inchy said...

I whistle the theme tune to Bullseye all the time. I don't even know I'm doing it, it drives The Demon mental.

Planet Mondo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Planet Mondo said...

I wouldn't normally be this shameless but as the subject of Swinging London's come up - I got asked to do a mix for the Fufu Stew site a few weeks back and did something called 'Cool Brittania' with the mood of Roger Miller, but the sound of the In Kraut - It's here
if you fancy filling your Chelsea Boots.

Five-Centres said...

Marvellous, Mondo, thanks. How perfect.

office pest said...

Dick-A-Dum-Dum written by Rothwell's own Jim Dale, if you please. Along with Georgie Girl.

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