Ear, ear, what’s all this then?
I’ve had an ear-worm for the last three days and, “no”, you won’t find it on any online list of the 100 or more most difficult songs to get out of your head.
It’s a song that I first heard as a pupil at Kendal Grammar School a long time ago. My first year class was 1T. The ‘T’ stood for Talbot as Bob Talbot was its registration teacher. He was better know to the pupils as ‘Greb’ (no, I don’t know why either) and, in that first year, our music lessons comprised us caterwauling to the words of a school songbook.
Now, Bob was a young teacher and a nice bloke, but, in a sign of the times, he had us sing along to songs such as Jamaica Farewell and Mango Walk in a pseudo-Caribbean accent. That wouldn’t be acceptable now, quite rightly, but I’d take issue with folk that said it wasn’t acceptable even then. Greb and his pupils were complete innocents in those days and the pernicious and unintended consequences of that kind of thing were wholly unknown to us.
Anyway, my current ear-worm is neither of those tunes, but it was in the same book as them and is a song adapted from Jacques Offenbach’s operetta Geneviève de Brabant by Henry Farnie (thank you, Wikipedia, for that info). I’m not sure that younger folk would know it these days, but the song is The Gendarmes Duet.
It came back into mind earlier this week as I was watching the 1991 film Hear My Song, a comedy about the Irish tenor Josef Locke. I googled Locke while watching the film (as one does these days) and came across a recording of his version of The Gendarmes Duet.
In remembrance of my less-than-musical youth I then rather foolishly listened through every other recording of the song that I could find; hence the ear-worm. IMHO Locke’s version is by far and away the best. It is sung with Rose Tynan which is unusual as it is scripted as a duet for two men.
So, I guess I’ve only myself to blame for my 3-days-and-continuing ear-worm! Still, it has inspired this…
There once was a fellow who said
“I’ve a song on repeat in my head!”
That ear-worm seems,
To have messed with his dreams
Becoming a nightmare instead!
Postscript: I have tried to reinterpret the lyrics of The Gendarmes’ Duet from the perspective of my dog, Callie Bordeaux. Here is Callie Bordeaux’s “Chanson de Deux Chiots Chien de Berger”