Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy birthday, Robin Gibb

Home Paddock reminds us that twins Maurice and Robin Gibb were born on 22 December 1949, three years after their brother Barry. Together they were the Bee Gees, and they were fabulous. (Maurice died on 12 January 2003.)

The Heebeegeebees released “Meaningless Songs (in very high voices)”, in 1980. They called themselves Dobbin, Garry and Norris Cribb, but were really the comedians Angus Deayton, Michael Fenton-Stevens and Philip Pope who performed on the BBC Radio 4 comedy show Radio Active.

Once you have heard this mercilessly accurate parody, it is quite hard to take any real Bee Gees song seriously. Which, I gather, is one reason why this has never been released on CD: the Bee Gees were not amused. Everyone else was, though, and it became a surprise #2 hit in Australia. All together now:
The world is very very large
And butter is better than marge
And love is better than hate.
The world is very very big
And bacon comes from a pig
But it’s you I really want on my plate
So I sing you
Meaningless songs in very high voices
And then a little scream – ah!
Meaningless songs in very high voices
Until the record ends and when it does
We’ll simply start again yelling
Meaningless words, meaningless words, ah ah ah


Rob Hosking said...

Oh God. iremember this so clearly, and even without being prompted could have quoted the opeining line about marge.

Some things stay in the mind. It's a tragedy.

homepaddock said...

Listening to the Bee Gees will never be the same again.

Paul said...

They did an album of parodies, including one of the Police called "Too Depressed to Commit Suicide."

Pirateking said...

'Once you have heard this mercilessly accurate parody, it is quite hard to take any real Bee Gees song seriously.'

That assumes you were ever able to take a real Bee Gees song seriously.

Rob Hosking said...

Oh, some of their late 60s singles weren't too bad. There was 'Spicks and Specks' and...umm...that other one.

Oh yes, 'To Love Somebody' which I suspect Neil Finn listened to rather a lot as a kid. Listen to it and then to 'Don't Dream it's Over'.

Chris Bell said...

Shame on you, Mr Stratford: for commemorating the Brothers Gibb's birthday but failing to mention Frank Zappa's on Monday 21 December. He would have been 69 this year and he (or at least members of his band) often sang close to meaningless songs in very high voices.

Stephen Stratford said...

Yes, FZ would indeed be 69 if he was still with us. Hard to imagine, really. He died 16 years ago, on 4 December 1993, which I still find hard to imagine too.