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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

About a mile down the road there's a hidden cave...

Readers who are not of sufficient antiquity to recognise the title of this entry immediately are warned that they are decidely unlikely to find themselves engaged by what follows.

Many years ago, when Lady Bracknell and her contemporaries were of an age when the schoolroom was not yet an issue, and when their days were spent "helping" their mothers to make pastry, or to pass freshly-laundered sheets through the mangle, there were no television programmes during the day; no videos; no audio cassettes; no DVDs; and no computer games.

There were, however, a number of radio broadcasts dedicated both to amusing the little ones, and to providing their harried mothers with a chance to sit down for a well-deserved cup of tea.

The fact that today's under-fives are often to be heard innocently repeating wholly unsuitable lyrics from songs recorded by popular beat combos grieves Lady Bracknell deeply. Where are the child-oriented lyrics of yesteryear? Where is Puff, the Magic Dragon? Why do the Three Little Fishies no longer swim and swim? Do teddybears have no time for picnics in the twenty-first century? Has Nellie the Elephant retired? Does the King have no further need of new clothes?

Readers over the age of forty are encouraged to wallow in nostalgia here: although they should be warned that doing so is highly likely to result in any offpsring they may have, or any young persons they may know, sidling away from them with embarrassment.

Who will join Lady Bracknell in a rousing rendition of the Happy Wanderer?

All together, now:

"Val de ree, val de rah
Val de ree, val de ra ha ha ha ha ha
Val de ree, val de rah
My knapsack on my back"


Blogger marmiteboy said...

I'll think you'll find modern times have caught up with the songs of our childhood for Puff the Magic dragon is sitting in his cave stoned out of his mind on some partiularly strong skunk grass, the Three Little Fishes have been over fished by Spanish trawlers off the coast of Cornwall, the Teddies dare not go into the woods because of all the strange men in overcoats who lurk there and Nellie can no longer perform at the circus because a EU directive has banned performing animals at the circus, she now rolls logs for a living in a Sri Lankan jungle.

Ah the innocence of childhood.

7:20 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Does Master Marmite have no soul....?

7:22 pm  
Blogger pete said...

Sorry Lady B' but due to forced singing of that song by a delightfully dotty cub mistress I am conditioned to grip my woggle and slowly asphyxiate myself.

However some songs due make me feel wistfull and sad. Especially Play with Mothers opening music. The french version of Robinson Crusue makes me feel very weepy indeed. But you are probably to young to remember them.

Thank you for bringing that page of nostalgia to my attention. Except for the M. Bygraves stuff!

7:23 pm  
Blogger R said...

~sidles away with embarrassment~

You do know that Puff the Magic Dragon's all about pot, though, don't you?

10:06 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

Yeah, I thought Puff was about illicit substances too. I had a little record of nursery songs but it had a scratch on. So the first track went;

Three little kittens
They lost their mittens
And they began to cry
"Oh mother dear, we sadly fear that we have lost our mittens."
"What! Lost your mittens, you naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie."
"Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, and so on and so forth.

This is probably why I don't share in the affection for cats which seems so commonplace among my friends.

My sister, a school music teacher, has just come across her first class who don't recognise vinyl records when they see them. Scary!

11:14 pm  
Blogger melbamae said...

While I share Lady Bracknells enthusiasm for classic childrens tales and songs, I do wish she hadn't mentioned "Puff".

I have never been able to listen to that song without bursting into tears, therefore I avoid it like the plague.

6:34 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

In response to the comments from her friends, Lady Bracknell is, of course, aware of the subtext in Puff The Magic Dragon. She was not,however, aware of it when she was four years old and, like Melbamae, simply believed it to be a very sad song.

Lady Bracknell is far from being too young to remember the endless repeats during the school summer holidays of Robinson Crusoe, although she would choose The Flashing Blade for preference.

As The Singing Nun was not included in the link supplied in her original blog entry, Lady Bracknell's editor has found the lyrics here.

10:11 am  

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