Thinking Strange Thoughts - The Greatest Song Ever Written

Now I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinions but I should imagine that I would get very few arguments when I say that the greatest record ever made is “Two Little Boys Had Two Little Toys” by Rolf Harris. It not only contains those emotional, heartfelt lyrics, but the kind of toe-tapping rhythms that you can nod your head along to as you dust the cat or polish the lawnmower, and of course when you combine all this with the voice and charisma of a superstar like Rolf, you have an unforgettable performance.

You may think I’m a bit old fashioned, though obviously in a boyishly good looking kind of way, but I have to say that they do not write songs like they used to, I remember my dad used to say exactly the same thing. He’d say “Steve, they do not write songs like they used to”. Of course in his case he was wrong, I listened to some of the music that he thought was good and to be honest, unless you first drank a bucket of strong coffee, you were in grave danger of nodding off halfway through the song. I suppose one day my son will say the same thing, he’ll say “They don’t write songs like they used to” of course he’d be even more wrong cause the music he listens to is even worse than my dad’s.

Still, as luck would have it and by an amazing coincidence, the music I listened to was really great. Superb songs with meaningful lyrics like “Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheap Cheap” by Middle of the Road, remember the legendary “Copacabana” by Barry Manilow, “Billy Don’t be a Hero” by Paper Lace and who could forget the classic “Long Haired Lover from Liverpool” by the boss Little Jimmy Osmond.

I don’t know about you but it sends a shiver down my spine just thinking of these great songs. It just makes you want to superglue the revolving disco ball to the lounge ceiling, put up the strobe lights and boogie around in your platform thongs.

Mind you, fashions of the 60’s and 70’s have not aged quite as well as the songs have. My normal outfit in those days consisted of black and white check hipster flairs, these were worn so low on the hips that if I coughed they would often fall down. I would wear a wide leather belt to hold these up and if I did it up too tightly I could actually sing the high notes on a Bee Gees song. These pants were complimented, and I use the term loosely, by an equally tight purple shirt. With this I would wear an extremely wide tie, with a design which was such a lurid explosion of colour that now I can only visualise it if someone hits me on the head with a large mallet.

Of course in those days I had shoulder length hair with a parting down the middle, funnily enough , though styles have come and gone, I still wear my hair with a parting down the middle, only now the parting covers my entire head.

For thirty years I lived in fear of someone finding a photo of me in that outfit, but fortunately it looks like I managed to destroy them all. Obviously I was much younger then and a bit of a wild man, but even nowadays, I will occasionally pour a glass of medicinal port and put on Cliff Richards Greatest Hits. I suppose once a rebel always a rebel.

Stephen Ainley… with a song in his heart and arthritis in his hip.

 

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