The Country Music Awards happened this week, and were broadcast in the UK on BBC4.
I didn’t watch it, not for any vain “there’s nothing I can learn here” reasons, but more because I’m not really a fan of New Country and so I figured I probably wouldn’t enjoy it.
Also: I didn’t notice it was on until about ten minutes from the end.
But afterwards, they broadcast a couple of old shows: Country at the BBC and Country Queens at the BBC. Midway through the first, Glen Campbell strode onto the set of The Val Doonican Show (which, judging by the amount of clips which were from it, must have been the best place on UK TV to see Country artistes perform at the time), looking like a GI Joe doll with his trimmed beard, and launched into a pretty perfect version of this, which I must have posted here at some point, but not for a good few years.
As it’s such a belter, it will stand yet another airing:
I’ve always wanted to write a series about musical mondegreens, that is misheard lyrics. The most famous, perhaps, is Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze, where people mishear ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky as ‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy.
I mention this now because Rhinestone Cowboy contains one which I misunderstood when I was a kid: I could never quite grasp why he might be getting awfuls coming over the phone, when in fact many years later I realised he was getting offers. By way of justification, I like to pretend that I actually predicted the rise of prank calls and trolling, but we all know that’s not true.
But what of Val Doonican? There was a run of four or five Country artists on Country at the BBC who were appearing on his show, which is perhaps a little bit strange given his own recorded output comprised mostly of laid-back, easy listening classics, and these two songs, both of which make me smile to this day, I think because whilst on the face of it these are both simplistic, ridiculous tales, the lyrical dexterity puts me in mind of another folk hero of mine, Jake Thackray:
Val Doonican – Delaney’s Donkey
Val Doonican – Paddy McGinty’s Goat
More soon, whether you like it or not.