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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Mars, cucumbers and holidaying in Norfolk - my top 10 Rod Jane and Freddy songs

Regular readers will know that I love Rainbow. I would marry it if I could. But then, I'm a terrible one for wanting to marry things you can't actually marry – last night I bought a jar of gingerbread flavoured coffee syrup, and I just stood in the kitchen hugging it until the mister got jealous. I should explain that I've been looking for that stuff for a long time, not that I just found it attractive.

That whole thing sounded better in my head.

Anyway. I love Rainbow, but I don't write much about Rod Jane and Freddy, the show's veteran musical group, because I am usually too busy writing about Bungle's nipples or something.

Rod, Jane and Freddy were mostly famous for knowing songs about bloody everything ever, from going to India to being a milk bottle. In a moment of boredom, I started thinking about my favourite RJF songs. At first I didn't know if I'd be able to come up with ten, but then I began to realise how much their songs stuck in my mind. Sometimes I do catch myself trying to hum their tunes, which is difficult because they generally change octave about six times per song, due to all three of them having solo parts. With all the harmonies going on, you never quite know which bit you're supposed to be singing at any given moment. I suppose I could get really good at science and invent cloning so i can sing all of it, but I'm not that bothered.

Here are my ten favourite RJF songs - my choices are based on which ones have the catchiest tunes, which ones I loved as a kid, and ones where Rod has fetching hair in the video. Look out for videos where Freddy looks particularly like Lovejoy.

1. “If you're going camping too” - from Camping preparation

This song seriously has about four notes in it the whole way through, but I challenge you to hear it and not find yourself singing it later on today. Bonus points for Freddy's shorts.

2. “On the narrow boat” - from Journey on a narrow boat

The most chilled out song you will ever hear, and matching jumpers for good measure.

3. “We're all together” - from Journey by coach

Catchy as hell, but what really makes this song special is its appearance in another episode, enabling Bungle to fanny about pretending to be Jane -

4. “Da di da di dum dum” - from The hare and the tortoise

An inspiring song about trying to do stuff, because you never know, you might not actually fail miserably. A few years ago, this song was my morning alarm call on my phone, and now I can't hear it without feeling a bit weird and sleepy, but I still love it.

5. “The bits n pieces song” - from Music

The most obviously dubbed over song in the world, but oh so jaunty. Wins a prize for the kazoo solos alone.

6. “Red Balloon” - from Daydreaming

A lovely song with a failure to grasp even the most basic principles of space travel.

7. “Sports day” - from (unsurprisingly) Sports day

Bonus points for shorts again, and also for having Geoffrey dicking about in the background. Plus, they point out that the best you'll probably ever do is to come last at everything. It's like they've met me.

8. “You're not helping” - from Helping out

Not sure of the proper title, but it's an intricate rock opera about Alice trying to get a tea party ready while the mad hatter and the hare dick about and keep getting in the way. Watch out for the part where Freddy, dressed as the hare (in an overgrown Pipkins nightmare) shouts “cucumbers!” for no apparent reason.

9. “Lions and tigers” - from Lions and tigers

Peril! The gang get their Steve Irwins on and sing about the dangers of being in the jungle. Why Rod is trying to be Vincent Price or something at the start is a mystery.

10. “Having a picnic” - from Day in the country

Another song I loved as a kid. Bonus points for having Geoffrey sing along. They point out in the song that the birds can sing along if they want to, but they fail to realise that they've probably scared all the birds away with their banjoing.

Maybe I'll do a part 2 to this, because I keep finding songs I'd forgotten about. And obviously I need to write about Rod Jane and Freddy's various Christmas offerings. I won't do it right now though, I have a Toblerone to eat first.

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