Write Here, Write Now: 2.24 – Jollity Farm

The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band – Jollity Farm. A quick burst of jollity.

I love the Bonzos. I always have. And I can say that because they were one of the first bands i ever got to know. As soon as I manged to operate the cassette player in my parents’ hifi, ‘Gorilla’, their first album, was discovered and played over and over again,  which along with the Monty Python records, inspired my own attempts at recording comedy sketches.

Looking back now, there is so much wit, so many cultural references, so much variety of genre in the songs on that album, that would have gone completely over my head back when I was 7 or 8.

That didn’t matter, because “everything’s a perfect treat” on the album – plenty of light silliness, unexpected twists and turns. I’m not surprised they were the house band on a children’s television programme.

While not the first song on the album, this was the first that really made an impression, with all the supremely lifelike animal impressions – just the right level of insanity to raise a grin on any listener’s face.

The music isn’t half bad, either. The sedately-pounding piano, the muted trumpet, the honking saxophones, the manically-strummed banjo, the little fills from the drums. All of which is topped off by the sublimely mannered and subversively-authoritative voice of Viv Stanshall.

And then they round the whole thing off with the theme from the Archers. This is a song I am going to want to introduce to my daughters – help their musical comedy education, but mainly give them a laugh and get them moving around to the jolly rhythms.

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