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English Country Garden - Parody

Related threads:
Lyr Req: English Country Garden parody (13)
(origins) Lyr Req: English Country Garden (61)
(origins) Origins: English Country Garden (26)
Lyr Req: English Country Garden (10)
Lyr Req: English Country Garden (10)
Lyr Req: English Country Garden (Nana Mouskouri) (1)


FolkFella 22 Mar 11 - 02:49 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Mar 11 - 03:23 AM
Bo 22 Mar 11 - 04:28 AM
Jim McLean 22 Mar 11 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,Ted 22 Mar 11 - 05:05 AM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 22 Mar 11 - 05:10 AM
Dave Sutherland 22 Mar 11 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Mar 11 - 05:17 AM
Acorn4 22 Mar 11 - 05:18 AM
Acorn4 22 Mar 11 - 05:26 AM
Wolfhound person 22 Mar 11 - 05:27 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Mar 11 - 07:26 AM
Jim McLean 22 Mar 11 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,Ian Gill 22 Mar 11 - 08:35 AM
clueless don 22 Mar 11 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 22 Mar 11 - 11:01 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Mar 11 - 12:29 PM
FolkFella 23 Mar 11 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,Ted 23 Mar 11 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 23 Mar 11 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,Dave Bishop 02 Jun 11 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Brian Evans 02 Oct 11 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 31 May 18 - 09:52 AM
David Carter (UK) 31 May 18 - 10:44 AM
C-flat 31 May 18 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,keberoxu 31 May 18 - 11:38 AM
David Carter (UK) 31 May 18 - 11:58 AM
vectis 01 Jun 18 - 05:55 AM
GUEST,Gerry 01 Jun 18 - 08:33 AM
Steve Parkes 01 Jun 18 - 08:40 AM
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Subject: English Country Garden - Parody
From: FolkFella
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 02:49 AM

I've been reading the threads on Alex Atterson. I was a resident singer at most of the Cornish Folk clubs in the 70s and beyond and was a pal of Alex's. He was a lovely man, knd and helpful to me and I have some tales of interactions withhim, notably one after a gig with The McCalmans in Stirling in early 1973 when he took a drunken me and the company I was was with back to his parent's house for a cuppa. I'm convinced he sang a parody of English Country Garden and have been looking for this for years. John the Fish - another old pal - has no knowledge of it. One of the lines I do remember was 'sparrow droppings on the shed, stick to the walls and harden'. Can anyone help?


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 03:23 AM

Dominic Behan wrote one called ' The English Royal Family ' many years since I heard it though.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: Bo
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 04:28 AM

What about "The Gardeners Hymn" ?
I can't remember the writer's name but the chorus is .....

"All things spray and swattable
Disasters great and small
All things Paraquatable
The Lord God made them all"

I'll try and find it all if anyone's interested.
Bo


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: Jim McLean
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 04:52 AM

I also wrote a parody way back in the 60s:

THE ENGLISH ROYAL FAMILY

How many more did we have in Sixty-four
Of the English Royal family?
The Queen she had four, with expenses for a score
Of the English Royal family
Margaret is doing her best trying to keep up with the rest
Did she have a little girl or boy?
Did Viscount Linley have a brother? Does it matter? It's another
Of the English Royal family

Marina - time to change Marina ...

The Duke of Kent believed that his wife should conceive
For the English Royal family
So out in Hongkong they increased the merry throng
Of the English Royal family
But up in Scotland there's the rub, guess who joined the puddin' club .. Princess Alexandra
So princes, dukes and peers as well help to increase and to swell
The English Royal family

Oysters - don't forget the oysters ...


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,Ted
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 05:05 AM

I heard Fred Wedlock singing this years ago. Think I've got it right:

Somehow the flowers never seem to grow
In my English urban garden
Here are a few of the reasons that I know
And the rest I hope you'll pardon
Nettles in the flowerbed, sparrow droppings on the shed
Stick to the walls and harden
And ten million weeds a' propagating seeds
In my English urban garden

(Chorus) La la…

I had a look at an illustrated book
Showing every garden creature
But I've got a few so horrible to view
That the author dared not feature
Kamikaze bumble bees, anaconda centipedes,
Even a vampire robin
I need a gun not a spray to keep the pests at bay
In my English urban garden.

Chorus

Clearly I see, I shall never be
A vegetable grower
So I've decided what I must do
And to hell with Percy Thrower
Cover it with broken bricks, get a load of ready mix,
Spread it and let it harden
And then I'll cultivate a concrete estate
Not an English urban garden.

Chorus


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 05:10 AM

The version Fred sang came via Diz Disley I think, and will hopefully be on the new Disley retrospective CD due out later this year.
If anybody knows who wrote it, I'd be interested to hear.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 05:13 AM

The version above is the one that I have heard Diz Disley sing and the one that sprung to mind when I saw this thread.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 05:17 AM

There's the classic Rolf Harris parody:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1sXEI91QVY


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: Acorn4
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 05:18 AM

I'm sure Rolf Harris did a parody of this song.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: Acorn4
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 05:26 AM

found it:-

As recorded by ROLF HARRIS
(Traditional - Re-arranged by Robert Jordan & Cecil Sharp):


How many gentle flowers grow
In an English country garden?
I'll tell you now of some of them I know
And those I miss you'll surely pardon
Daffodils, heart's ease and flox
Meadowsweet and lilies, stocks
Gentle lupins and tall hollyhocks
Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops and forget-me-nots
In an English country garden

How many insects build their homes
In an English country garden?
I'll tell you now of some of them I know
And those I miss I trust you will pardon
Dragonflies and moths and bees
Spiders falling from the trees
Butterflies sway in the cool gentle breeze
There are wasps' empty homes
And tiny little gnomes
In an English country garden

How many songbirds.....

SPOKEN: Actually, I've seen some of these gardens they talk about.
And the sort of impression you get is that it's....

Wet underfoot and the leaves are thick with soot
In an English country garden
Newspapers torn and strewn across the lawn
In an english country garden
Litter, garbage in the yards
Little doggies' calling cards
One scraggy rosebud peering through the weeds
For they've all downed tools
While they do their football pools
In an English country garden


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 05:27 AM

I could have heard it from any of Diz Disley, Alex Atterson or others in Norwich c. 1969.

I remember "Half a ton of broken bricks, several tons of ready-mix"

but the words did vary slightly from date to date.

Paws


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 07:26 AM

Jim, it surely must have been your song I was thinking of, I heard someone [ perhaps Dominic ] sing it at the Grass Roots Folk Club in Halifax in the late sixties.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: Jim McLean
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 08:29 AM

Dave, Dominic also wrote a parody: One part I remeber is:

How many of your best friends are Jews,
In an English Country Garden,
If jackboots were marching which would you choose,
In an English Country Garden,
Israel or Palastine,
Jesus Christ or Einstein,
Which one, what one, slowly take your time
And maybe we will go to tea, benath the gallows tree,
In an English Country Garden.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,Ian Gill
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 08:35 AM

Tony Rose wrote a parody of this to use as his leaving 'speech' when he quit teaching. It was both personal to the school he was leaving and universal to the state of English schools at the time. He called it 'English Country Classroom'. The hook line was 'let the teachers teach ' , which was the NAS/UWT slogan at the time. I wish I'd had the foresight to record it and/or ask him for a copy. I know he took a lot of care with it since he updated me on its progress every few days 'got the last verse now, this is going to upset a few people, he he..' Tony had a great sense of humour, as I'm sure many of you know.
I suppose Laura might have a copy of it, she posts here occasionally.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: clueless don
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 08:44 AM

Allan Sherman also wrote a parody of English Country Garden. It starts out

Here's to the crabgrass
here's to the mortgage
in fact, here's to
suburbia.

Lay down your briefcase
far from the rat race
where nothing can
distur...b'ya.


Don


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 11:01 AM

My mate Mitch from Worksop wrote;

How many kinds of singers do you find
In an English country folk club?
I'll take a bet I know what you get
In an English country folk club.

Some'll sing a dirty song,
Some'll get the words all wrong
Some stand supping beer with a finger in their ear,
And then softly croon out of key and out of tune,
In an English country folk club

How many kinds of musicians do you find,
In an English country folk club
I'll take a bet that I know what you get
In an English country folk club

Guitars swung across the hip,
Mandolins in a dainty grip,
Violins caressed, concertinas gently pressed,
In and out to the beat of a pipe that plays retreat,
In an English country folk club

And poets... don't forget your poets.

I've took a census of all the audiences
In an English country folk club
I'll take a bet that I know what you get
In an English country folk club

Bearded teachers they are found
Social workers they are bound
Dental technicians and local politicians
They just sit around the floor just joining in the chorus
Of an English country folk club.



I think I got that right. As well as Mitch, I know Ian Mather sings it too. There may be some more verses? I know Ian checks in on Mudcat, he may have a bit more of it.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 12:29 PM

As for the parody that FolkFella wanted, didn't anyone think of searching Mudcat for the phrase "sparrow droppings on the shed"? If you had, you'd have found it in the DT here: ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN (Parody). It's also been posted twice in the forum, here and here. There have been 5 threads with "English Country Garden" in the title, not counting this one.

Guest Ted, above, got the right song but missed one of the verses.

Now, it's fine to post new versions, but please don't everyone ignore the original request.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: FolkFella
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 04:03 AM

Amazing! I've been looking for this on and off for absolutey ages. Then I join Mudcat and hey presto in a matter of days I have such a huge response. Thanks to you, one and all, for this material. What a lovely community I've lucked into. Mic


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,Ted
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 04:43 AM

Ah - another verse, thanks jim


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 05:08 AM

Alex Atterson was one of the founders of Peterborough Folk Club sometime around the mid-60s. One of his fellow Folk Club founders, Alan Twelvetree wrote the 'English Country Gardens' parody and used to sing it regularly at the club.

In the 60s a pair of puppet pigs, called 'Pinky and Perky', used to appear on the BBC and jig about and sing songs in silly, high pitched voices (I think that they were part of another programme - but can't remember which one now). One night Alan came to the club full of glee because his 'English Country Gardens' had been sung on TV by the 'Pinky and Perky' pigs.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,Dave Bishop
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 10:11 AM

Re Alan Twelvetree at Peterborough Folk Club.

I also remember Alan singing this in the mid 1960's.

Does Shimrod also remember the one he wrote about the Traffic Warden being most upset about not being able top book a frie engine wrongly parked.

Happy times! Who are you Shimrod?


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,Brian Evans
Date: 02 Oct 11 - 07:06 PM

I saw Diz Disley perform this song several times, in pubs around Amersham and High Wycombe. This would be 1970/71. The only lines I remember specifically are:

   Half a ton of broken bricks
   Buy a load of Readymix (* a well-known brand in those days)
   Pour it and watch it har - ar - den ...

What a man. Liked a pint, too.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 31 May 18 - 09:52 AM

just came across this wish to correct one thing.
Pinky & Perky may have been on the BBC at some stage but they were certainly on Thames TV in the 1968-70 period.

I know that because do you remember the intro, where they poked through the Thames TV sheet with the programme name on ?

well I was the one who made the bloody thing every week-
there was no CGI in those days!!


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 31 May 18 - 10:44 AM

They were on BBC before that (1957 - 1968). Morecambe and Wise went the other way in 1968 of course.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: C-flat
Date: 31 May 18 - 11:11 AM

Further to "Guest Ted"'s post of (much) earlier;

The version I do is similar but with an extra verse;

Somehow the flowers never seem to grow
In my English country garden
Here are a few of the reasons that I know
And the rest I trust you'll pardon
Nettles in the flowerbed, bird droppings on the shed
Stick to the walls and harden
Oh, why must the weeds all propagate their seeds
In my English country garden



I had a look at an illustrated book
Showing every garden creature
But I've got a few too horrible to view
That the author dared not feature
Anaconda centipedes, Kamikaze bumble bees,
Even a vampire robin
It takes a gun not a spray to keep the pests at bay
In my English country garden.

I can't conceive that Adam and Eve
Wanted Eden for their garden,
I'll venture that they'd have swapped it for a flat,
If the church will beg my pardon.
When Adam and the serpent met Adam took him for a pet,
Serpents can be domesticated yet,
There's a few I can name even Adam couldn't tame
In my English country garden.


I will concede that I shall never be
A vegetable grower
So I've thought it through and this is what I'll do,
And to hell with Percy Thrower
Get a load of broken bricks, cover them with ready mix,
Spread it and let it harden
I'll cultivate a concrete estate
In my English country garden.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 31 May 18 - 11:38 AM

There must be someone, or a few someones, reading this
who are ignorant enough
that the composer's name,
Percy Grainger,
draws a blank.

There.
Someone had to print it.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 31 May 18 - 11:58 AM

Grainger arranged it for piano, but it was an older folk tune collected by Cecil Sharp.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: vectis
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 05:55 AM

John Cave of Sussex does a parody using this tune. It is about the kids pet rabbits.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 08:33 AM

Here's the Allan Sherman parody:

Here's To The Crabgrass

(Parody of Percy Grainger's "Country Gardens")
Here's to the crabgrass,
Here's to the mortgage,
In fact, here's to Suburbia.

Lay down your briefcase,
Far from the rat race,
Where nothing can disturb ya.

Uncomplicated,
It's what we waited
For so long in this city.

Come let us go there,
Live like Thoreau there,
A life of sweet simplicity.

Did you set the thermostat?
No, I don't know where it's at.
Tuesday the Cub Scouts meet again.

Walk the dog and cut the grass,
Take the kids to dancing class,
Jim's Little League got beat again.

Can't keep a maid here,
No matter what they're paid here,
The place has bad publicity.

Why did we move here?
Don't you remember?
To live in sweet simplicity.

Here's to mosquitos,
Clam dip and Fritos,
To golf and bridge and scuba there.

Men wearing knee pants,
Women in Capri pants,
Discussing what's with Cuba there.

Each big appliance
Treats you with defiance,
Until it finally falls apart.

Call the repairman,
In a week he's there, man,
To knock your kitchen walls apart.

Tommy's got a bloody nose,
Gotta fix the garden hose.
Book Of The Month Club came today.

Didn't read the last one yet.
Yes you did, but you forget.
Oh well, they're all the same today.

Here's Mrs. Ritter,
She's the baby sitter.
Tonight we're going joyously

Back to the city,
Where life is gay and witty,
Back to the noise there,
That everyone enjoys there.
Back to the crush there,
Hurry let us rush there,
Back to the rat race,
Don't forget your briefcase,
Back in the groove there,
Say why don't we move there.
Away from all of this
Sweet simplicity.


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Subject: RE: English Country Garden - Parody
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 08:40 AM

One of mine from a while back...

English country garden bats

How many kinds of bats can you find
In an English country garden?
I’ve got a list, though they don’t always rhyme,
But I’m sure you’ll soon forgive me:
Whiskered bat and barbastelle,
Daubenton’s and pipistrelle—
Common, midge or Nathusius’—
Flitting all around when the sun goes down
In your English country garden.

Natterer’s bat enjoys a chat with Brandt’s bat and Leisler’s bat
As they fly above your garden.
Serotine and lesser horseshoe, noctule and greater horseshoe
Flutter by the garden.
Brown long-eared and grey long-eared,
Good old greater mouse-eared,
All live it up with the parti-coloured bat;
They all take flight when day turns into night
In an English country garden.

Bechstein’s … don’t forget the Bechstein’s!

© Steve Parkes 2006


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