Birthday Boy Bowie

Regular readers will have spotted that some months ago I attached a clever little link to the right hand column which list todays significant birthdays.   As Big Mike pointed out, they can be somewhat US centric, but no matter, they can provide what passes for educational content amidst the sea of trivia that is this site.

Anyway, the reason for pointing this out today is because of who is celebrating.   Elvis isn’t – partly because he is dead and partly because were he alive he would have celebrated last night and be in smack heaven as I type – but David Jones is.

David Robert Jones was born today in 1947 in Brixton, London.   As David Bowie, his first big hit was 1969’s “Space Oddity.” In 1972 he recorded The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, which featured the hit songs “Suffragette City” and “Starman.”    Bowie is one of pop’s true chameleons, reinventing himself repeatedly and finding new audiences and, although he has not had a top ten hit since 1993, he remains one of music’s biggest stars.   It’s not all been good though… remember his duet with Bing Crosby – ‘Little drummer boy’….?

My own Bowie collection is quite extensive, starting with a song of which many of you will never have heard.   The Lauging Gnome is a comedy song released in 1966 and (sad I know..) I have it on a Deram records 7” vinyl pressing….   Janice Long played it last night and reminded me what a hoot it is… lyrics are below and the bits in brackets are the Gnome in a sort of chuckly squeeky gnomish sort of voice… (really, it’s a great song!)

I was walking down the High Street
When I heard footsteps behind me
And there was a little old man (Hello)
In scarlet and grey, shuffling away (laughter)
Well he trotted back to my house
And he sat beside the telly (Oaah..)
With his tiny hands on his tummy
Chuckling away, laughing all day (laughter)

Oh, I ought to report you to the Gnome office
(Gnome Office)
Yes
(Hahahahaha)

CHORUS
Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me”
Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me”
Said the laughing Gnome

Well I gave him roasted toadstools and a glass of dandelion wine (Burp, pardon)
Then I put him on a train to Eastbourne
Carried his bag and gave him a fag
(Haven’t you got a light boy?)
“Here, where do you come from?”
(Gnome-man’s land, hahihihi)
“Oh, really?”

In the morning when I woke up
He was sitting on the edge of my bed
With his brother whose name was Fred
He’d bought him along to sing me a song

Right, let’s hear it
Here, what’s that clicking noise?
(That’s Fred, he’s a “metrognome”, haha)

Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you don’t catch me”
Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me”

(Own up, I’m a gnome, ain’t I right, haha)
“Haven’t you got an ‘ome to go to?”
(No, we’re gnomads)
“Didn’t they teach you to get your hair cut at school?
you look like a rolling gnome.”
(No, not at the London School of Ecognomics)

Now they’re staying up the chimney
And we’re living on caviar and honey (hooray!)
Cause they’re earning me lots of money
Writing comedy prose for radio shows
It’s the-er (what?)
It’s the Gnome service of course

Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you don’t catch me”
Ha ha ha, oh, dear me

(Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me”
Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me”)

(One more time, yeah)

I’ve only seen Bowie live once, in Hong Kong about 2 years ago where he was fantastic.   He started with ”So, Hong Kong… how the f**k are you?” and proceeded to entertain for 2 hours.   He did not disappoint.

Happy Birthday David.

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