Some of my favorite songs are witty, British and short. Much of that probably owes to a childhood love for the infectious tunes of Herman’s Hermits and the chance discovery of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on PBS in the early ’70s. I became a die-hard Anglo-fan with a short attention span and, despite the occasional tryst with prog-rock, my love affair with brief and humorous things from the UK has carried on to this day.
In any case, Mr. Hobbes may be surprised to discover that one of the developments of the modern world that led not only to a life less nasty but also to my further appreciation of the very short song, was the recordable cassette tape – particularly when compiling an assortment of songs for friends or self into the magical mixed tape. Ah, yes. You want just the right songs in just the right order, and very often there was just about 2 minutes of blank tape at the end of each side left to fill. What a perfect opportunity for the very short song to slide in and round out the festivities so nicely! I found myself collecting these tiny tunes to use as needed, but perhaps it was also an excuse to find more of them for my own personal gratification….
It comes as no surprise then that I fell immediately in love with a song called Alphabet by Romsey’s own Syd Meats, Prince of Pies and Piper of Prawns. A singer-songwriter of (mainly) humorous songs, he’s also a great mate and one helluva bloke. Check out his MySpace page to hear some of his songs and say Hello. His Alphabet is a whimsical and surreal seduction song in the fine English tradition that brings to mind Robyn Hitchcock’s I Got a Message for You and Syd Barrett’s Love You with its seemingly nonsensical wordplay and seventh note inflections.
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