My daughter was dancing along the beach at dusk, singing the Hannah Montana song "Ice Cream Freeze," and I remarked that it reminded me of Spitting Image's chicken song. She insisted I teach her all the words of this, so later we looked it up on YouTube. Any middle-aged British readers of this post will hate me for reminding them of this song, a parody of an annoying catchy British number one hit that went on to be an annoying catchy British number one hit. "Though you hate this song, you'll be singing it for weeks," is one of the lyrics -- and in fact I still remembered the song twenty-three years later, although I can no longer remember half the celebrities caricatured in the video.
Cultural heritage transmission is of course part of the purpose of these father-daughter trips. Since my daughter really got into the chicken song, we sat up late looking at other Spitting Image videos and, receding into the earlier half of the 1980s, a Not the Nine o' Clock News song or two -- that show was the emotional highlight of my week during much of my early teen years. Incidentally the song I linked to there is misidentified by YouTube as having to do with Mr Bean, a character Rowan Atkinson did not play until much later in his career.
My daughter liked most of the Spitting Image and Not the Nine o' Clock News songs we saw, but I was unable to sell her on a Goodies cover version of the Troggs. The 1970s are of course especially hard to justify culturally...
It was hard enough training my daughter to like Monty Python. She said to me once, "I like to watch Monty Python because it's impossible to be sad watching that show," but she was unable to persuade any other Californian fourth graders the show was funny, and since peer pressure is important at that age, she's gone back to being ambivalent about the Pythons.
1 thought on “Transmitting my British Cultural Heritage”
I remember trying to teach my cousin, who is five years younger than me, the lyrics of "Paul Revere" by the Beastie Boys. She learned it well. Still, 20 years later, has it memorized to a T. The Beastie Boys made a comeback many years ago, and that is when she realized that I'm cool. Well, la dee dah James – sounds like Marian might consider you cool someday.
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