Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo

alanabit 01 Feb 14 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,kenny 01 Feb 14 - 12:16 PM
alanabit 01 Feb 14 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,EKanne 01 Feb 14 - 01:09 PM
alanabit 01 Feb 14 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,Lanfranc sans cookie 02 Feb 14 - 05:18 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Feb 14 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Lanfranc sans cookie 02 Feb 14 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,Lanfranc sans cookie 02 Feb 14 - 05:54 AM
Long Firm Freddie 03 Feb 14 - 04:12 AM
Phil Edwards 03 Feb 14 - 04:41 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Feb 14 - 04:48 AM
Brian Peters 03 Feb 14 - 05:48 AM
Howard Jones 03 Feb 14 - 07:53 AM
Phil Edwards 03 Feb 14 - 10:41 AM
Brian Peters 03 Feb 14 - 11:00 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Feb 14 - 11:14 AM
Brian Peters 03 Feb 14 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,John Foxen 03 Feb 14 - 12:46 PM
Jim McLean 03 Feb 14 - 05:04 PM
Phil Edwards 03 Feb 14 - 06:06 PM
Brian Peters 03 Feb 14 - 06:35 PM
Brian Peters 03 Feb 14 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 04 Feb 14 - 07:05 AM
Brian Peters 04 Feb 14 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 04 Feb 14 - 09:33 AM
Stu 04 Feb 14 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,John Foxen 04 Feb 14 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 04 Feb 14 - 12:38 PM
Phil Edwards 04 Feb 14 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 05 Feb 14 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,Gordon T 05 Feb 14 - 04:04 AM
Phil Edwards 05 Feb 14 - 07:03 PM
The Sandman 06 Feb 14 - 12:53 PM
The Sandman 06 Feb 14 - 12:57 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: alanabit
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 08:38 AM

I found this smashing clip of Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo on YouTube, which I would like to share with other Mudcatters. There are other Mudcatters here, who knew him better, so I want to ask if the accompanist is actually the legendary folk singer Paul MacNeil?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 12:16 PM

I'll have a look at that - many thanks. Believe it or not, Dougie MacLean and myself used to give a good rendition of "When I Was A Clencher's Bogle Man" when at secondary school in Blairgowrie, when I had the LP record. Now THAT I'd like to see on "Youtube" - not sure if Dougie would though !
Can't help with your query, I'm afraid.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: alanabit
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 01:04 PM

Mudcat - the graveyard of reputations!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,EKanne
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 01:09 PM

Looks to me a lot like Dick Gaughan -- but maybe all folkie guitarists had Zapata moustaches in the day?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: alanabit
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 07:21 PM

Kenneth Williams introduces him as "Paul" and Paul did indeed have a moustache when I met him in the early eighties. There are Mudcatters who knew him a lot better than me and also a lot earlier, so I am hoping one of them will turn up here to either confirm or disprove that this is him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,Lanfranc sans cookie
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 05:18 AM

It might be Paul McNeill, but I doubt it. The 'Paul' in the clip looks taller than I remember and he's playing a Martin? Dreadnought, whereas I never saw Paul McNeill play anything other than his Martin New Yorker O size guitar.

A fun clip, though!

Alan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 05:37 AM

Yes, I suppose; as much 'fun' as most 'folk' take-offs by non-folkies. Tee-hee, aren't we a lot of cards with our hey-nonny-nonnys and our hey-nonny-nos (they invariably appear ignorant of the fact that not a single genuine folksong contains that chorus or burden, which occurs IIRC solely in Will's As You Like It). One is forced back on Lincoln's indispensable formulation,'People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like'.

But then many who know me will tell you that there are occasions when I appear to have had a SOH-ectomy. Clearly this is one of such.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,Lanfranc sans cookie
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 05:40 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,Lanfranc sans cookie
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 05:54 AM

Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo was a British institution. Most folkies of that era (including myself) regarded the songs as a bit of fun, alongside similar spoofs by the Two Ronnies and Bennie Hill. Pastiche, like imitation, can be a sincere form of flattery.

There is at least one clip of Paul McNeil on YouTube, posted, I believe, by his son. It's not his best work and is only illustrated by black and white photos, but one frame shows the top of a small guitar with a zero fret. I don't remember whether his 0-18NY had that feature.

Alan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 04:12 AM

This is from Andy Walmsley's Random Radio Jottings blog:

Jottings

"His last radio recording was made at the BBC's Paris Theatre Studios on 7 March 1988 when he was a guest of The Spinners – they were celebrating their 40th and final year in showbusiness. Kenneth's diary entry reads: "Met the Spinners in the narration booth & then rehearsed with Terry Walsh [guitarist]…oh! it was a delight to see him again. Alas! we have both grown old since the days of 'R.T.H.'. Eventually I went on and did the spot in an enclosed space-they screened off the studio saying it made a good atmosphere but the truth was that it was a sparse audience."

Whether or not it was Terry Walsh in the YouTube video (which I think must be from *An Audience with Kenneth Williams" recorded in 1983) isn't clear - the accompaniment sounds pretty similar to the recorded version but that's not necessarily conclusive, of course.

Stop Press: IMDB gives amongst the credits for An Audience with Kenneth Williams:

Paul Keogh musician: guitar.

Paul's list of credits on All Music includes an appearance on a 1972 album called Writer of Songs by a certain Mr Harvey Andrews...

LFF


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 04:41 AM

as much 'fun' as most 'folk' take-offs by non-folkies

These are quite knowledgeable and affectionate take-offs, I always thought - they sound like parodies of an actual folkie who the writers had heard doing identifiable songs. So I'd say they're more fun than most 'folk' take-offs by non-folkies.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 04:48 AM

Are his parodies of folk songs any more disrespectful than Kipper parodies?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 05:48 AM

The Kippers really knew their stuff - both the style of traditional singers and the popular repertoire of the folk club scene - which is why their parodies were bang on the button. Although I rather like the Williams spoofs, it's clear that neither he or his writers had ever heard any traditional singing, or even folk revivalists. All of the tunes (Clementine, Lincolnshire Poacher, Landlord Fill the Folowing Bowl, etc) had wide currency outside the folk world and, as Michael says, the words don't sound like any folk song that I've ever heard.

I seem to remember that the Copper Family loved the Kippers' work.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Howard Jones
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 07:53 AM

The whole premise of 'Round the Horne', in which Rambling Sid Rumpo featured, was to see how many outrageous double-entendres they could include. For a programme broadcast at Sunday lunchtimes on the Light Programme it was extraordinary what they managed to get away with. Rambling Sid should be viewed in this context, rather than as simply a spoof of folk songs. By using made-up dialect words (the meaning of which seemed to vary from song to song) the songs managed to be entirely unobjectionable on the one hand while appearing to be somehow indefinably rude on the other. I loved them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 10:41 AM

All of the tunes (Clementine, Lincolnshire Poacher, Landlord Fill the Folowing Bowl, etc) had wide currency outside the folk world

I think it must depend how you define the folk world. I can't see Des O'Connor doing the LP, or the Bachelors (even).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 11:00 AM

"I think it must depend how you define the folk world. I can't see Des O'Connor doing the LP, or the Bachelors (even)."

What I meant was that all three of those titles were available - for example - in the Daily Express Community Song Book, which would have been an obvious place to go looking for folk songs as templates for parody, even if the writer didn't know them already. You'd have been unlikely, I suspect, to have heard those songs in the folk club movement, where they would have been considered old hat. Another of Rambling Sid's songs is based on 'The Foggy Dew' which would have been familiar from the Britten arrangement.

I'd love to have heard The Bachelors' album of made-up yokelisms and outrageously naughty double-entendres, though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 11:14 AM

Actually, I have never found the Kippers that funny/loveable either; & always suspected that Bob Copper didn't admire them as much as he liked to make it appear — to avoid appearing a bad sport, perhaps? & Peter Bellamy always spoke highly of them, I recall.

Still, Lincoln's dictum {"People who like this sort of thing..."} applies once again, of course. As always in exchanges of this sort...

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 12:09 PM

Quite right, Michael, Peter Bellamy once wrote in an article somewhere that the Kippers had listened to and understood proper traditional singing better than any of the 'serious' performers, and should be held up as role models!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 12:46 PM

Peter Bellamy not only admired the the Kippers but was happy to appear on Crab Wars, their parody of his ballad opera The Transports. Other "people who like that sort of thing" and were ready to contribute to that epic were John Kirkpatrick, Martin Carthy, Cathy Lesurf, Tim Laycock and Ashley Hutchings.
As for finding Sid Kipper "loveable" - you're not supposed to. The brilliant stage persona is that of a jumped-up, wide boy. How sad that we may never see him perform again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Jim McLean
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 05:04 PM

I knew Paul MacNeil in the early sixties and the chap in the clip looks nothing like him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 06:06 PM

What I meant was that all three of those titles were available - for example - in the Daily Express Community Song Book

Fascinating - I'd never heard of it. Come to think of it, while I've heard of "community singing" I don't know a thing about it. I can't help imagining an alternative Revival in which the Daily Express Community Song Book became the British RUS. (Or perhaps a more left-wing alternative; the News Chronicle Community Song Book?)

You'd have been unlikely, I suspect, to have heard those songs in the folk club movement, where they would have been considered old hat

Good heavens. Old Folk Songs "Too Old", Say Folk Singers? I don't think anything traditional would get frowned on in this way these days, with the possible exception of some of the Irish songs. Reminds me a bit of this thread on FRoots. Personally I thoroughly enjoy hearing TLP, not to mention Glorious Ale, the Barley Mow and the Old Dun Cow, to cite some of the usual suspects - and I've never even heard The Keeper. But then I haven't been doing this stuff for that long (six years, give or take).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 06:35 PM

"Or perhaps a more left-wing alternative; the News Chronicle Community Song Book?)"

Actually The News Chronicle Songbook sits on my bookshelf right next to the Daily Express volume - both came from my grandmother's house. The selections are eclectic: the Express book, under 'J' has 'Jesu, lover of my soul', followed by 'John Brown's Body', then 'Johnny Come Down to Hilo' and 'John Peel'.

According to the preface to the Express song book, up to fifty thousand people were gathering on a regular basis at football grounds throughout the country, to have a good community sing. And that doesn't mean football chants.

In my early years in the folk scene, there was a certain snobbery about songs like 'Lincolnshire Poacher' rather like that which has surrounded 'The Wild Rover' for many years. The former has been rehabilitated now to some extent, I think.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 06:44 PM

That fROOTS thread you linked, Phil, was entertaining. I'd have had my twopennyworth there, except that I think they still ban gmail accounts.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 07:05 AM

All the songs that Rambling Sid parodied were songs I knew from primary school, a few years earlier. That was the point — they were songs that the entire population would have recognised, trad ditties though they were. (Actually, there was one exception to this rule: "Fare thee well my apple-cheeked Betty-o", whose tune is a clever mash-up of several trad tunes.)

And Brian will no doubt be delighted to be reminded that 'glossop" was one of the words in Rambling Sid's vocabulary.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Brian Peters
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 07:20 AM

Delighted indeed. I tremble to think what it might have signified...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 09:33 AM

Obvious, really...

And doubling back a bit further, Terry Walsh, who was Rambling Sid's accompanist on the RtH broadcasts, is not the man on the Youtube vid, who plays it in a standard folkie stylee. Walsh had more of a jazz style, more clipped and staccato, with much use of barres and jazzy passing phrases. More Alf Edwards than Brian Peters, y'know.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Stu
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 10:15 AM

Many of the words William's used weren't made up but were Polari, a dialect used by (amongst many others) boatmen in the Thames Estuary and circus folk. It was popular in gay subculture in the 1960's and Williams also used it in Julian and Sandy, two camp characters from Round the Horne as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 10:45 AM

There's a useful guide to Polari here


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 12:38 PM

In the Jules & Sand sketches, yes indeed, and occasionally elsewhere in RtH, but Rambling Sid's discourse was pure Rumpoese.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 07:24 PM

I had a quick look at some Rumpo lyrics today; there's one reference to somebody blowing "till he's blue in the eek", which is a bit of Polari (eek = ecaf = face), but that was the only example I spotted. A lot of it is just English words which sound funny (truss, groats, artifacts), and the core Rumpo vocab - splod, nadgers, moolies, whirdling, woggler, cordwangle, gander-bag and so on - isn't based on Polari as far as I know. (Lord only knows what it is based on. There's an interesting page about 'nadgers'(!) here, but it doesn't draw any definite conclusion.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 05 Feb 14 - 03:51 AM

I'll never make sweeping statements on Mudcat again. Nanti!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: GUEST,Gordon T
Date: 05 Feb 14 - 04:04 AM

I think the Rumpo songs were mainly written by Barry Took - although it was Kenneth Williams' genius to make the character what it was.It wasnt polari in the songs - Took says they just made up a lot of the folkie lingo.I also get pissed off with people caricaturing folk as "hey nonny-no" - just pure laziness - but often Sid Rumpo (slang for "a leg-over situation" according to Took) does get a bullseye with a certain kind of fake folkie.We had a Sid Rumpo here in yorkshire many years ago called Walter Greaves - an admirable man in many ways, but a complete phony as a singer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Feb 14 - 07:03 PM

Digressing a bit, I was interested to find out earlier today that the writing team of "Dicks/Rudge" responsible for many of Bernard Cribbins's numbers - including "Folk Song" and the cod-Elizabethan "Verily" - wasn't, as I had assumed, pseudonymous. There was actually a Mr Dicks (music) and a Mr Rudge (lyrics).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Feb 14 - 12:53 PM

We had a Sid Rumpo here in yorkshire many years ago called Walter Greaves - an admirable man in many ways, but a complete phony as a singer."
Walter Greaves a phony? why was he a phoney as a singer, this is bloody disgraceful, I would not describe walter greaves as a rambling syd rumpo.walter greaves achieved more in his life than many of the Pooters on this forum
as for the kippers, well their timing was good, particularly, dick nudds[aka ruth ellis nudds], but in my opinion too much of their parodies were just reversals of the story line. walter greaves once did a gig in mildenhall suffolk, and rode home to yorkshire on his bicycle[not bad for a man with one arm], when you can do that gordon t, you may call yourself a true tyke.phoney,disgraceful, wheres jim carroll.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Kenneth Williams as Rambling Sid Rumpo
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Feb 14 - 12:57 PM

i have just read the froots thread, thank god they banned me, bring back, bob davenport


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 April 11:42 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.