Herding Cats sleeve notes

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CD 1

01: Skuffle – Tortoise From Hell

A song plucked from those distant devil-may-care days of the biker tortoises of the North Circular.

02: Julia Hills – Herding Cats

A story of the wild west, somewhere beyond Aberystwyth, where men are men and haven’t realised that cats are in charge.

03: Les Barker – The Inflatable Boy

This was a joke and I’ve made it rhyme.

04: John Conolly – Fiddler’s Greenberg

A long time ago, John wrote a magnificent song about the place fishermen go when they die. I wrote a less magnificent one about accountants, which is what I was at the time. And here’s John’s version of my version of his song.

05: Bernard Cribbins – Eeyore’s Speech From Piglet

When I was Very Young, Miss Gladding used to read Winnie the Pooh to us at Crowcroft Park Primary School. Had I ever grown up, that would have been my first memory of doing so.

06: Nonny James – Have You Got Any News Of The Iceberg?

Based on a Bill Tidy cartoon, and performed rather well by Nonny.

07: Bob Williamson – Kippers For Tea

One of my very early parodies. I originally wrote a much more complicated lyric. I remember there being a reference to jugged hare. That had to go.

08: Jon Briggs – Weakest Link

A simple idea about a simple programme.

09: Linda Bellingham – Why Don’t They Write It On The Side?

We had this poem on the last CD as well, but this one was written about the other side.

10: June Tabor – The January June

Based on a magnificent song by Dave Goulder and carrying June’s perceived public persona to extremes. But she’s not like that at all.

11: James Bolam – The Atheist And The Bear

I’ve spent time in the Canadian Rockies wearing a small bell and shouting from time to time, which apparently helps to ensure one’s safety. I’ve tried doing the same thing in Rhyl, but with less success.

12: Gaynor Faye – I’ve Been Hiding My Light Under A Bushel

I’ve always made a point of having a bushel. People think there might be a light under it.

13: Mrs Ackroyd Band – O Sole Mio

To be precise, Hilary Spencer. Chris Harvey is the entire orchestra.

14: Eric Allen – I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

I’m sure somebody else wrote this.

15: Toyah Willcox – Pearl

A story of unrequited love. I’ve always found unrequited love to be much less expensive in the long term.

16: John Scott Cree – Rolls Royce Blues

One of my early attempts at the genre.


01: The Mrs Ackroyd Band – Llanfairpwllgwyngyll- gogerychwyrndrobwllllantisiliogogogoch

To be precise again, Alison Younger, again with Chris Harvey. When I wrote this, I never dreamed I would one day be able to say it.

02: Elaine C Smith – Runner Up, The Wonder Horse

A story of underachievement. Like unrequited love, it’s a lot less bother.

03: Jeremy Irons – Scott Of East Acton

An early attempt at misplaced geography.

04: Tom Bliss – Van Gogh

Mr Van Gogh proves my point. Had he been willing to settle for unrequited love, he would have had more ears.

05: Sue Jameson – Procrastination

I’ll write a description of this one later.

06: Alex Lester – Henry V

Not nearly as good as Shakespeare’s account, but it takes a lot less time.

07: Ken Galipeau – No One Wants To Meet A Skunk

Ken lives in New Jersey and is more likely to meet a skunk than I am. It’s not an ever-present danger around Wrexham.

08: Jon Briggs – The Surveyor

I wrote this when I was buying a house. I couldn’t understand why it was compulsory for a man to come and look at a house and give you a list of all the people who should look at it instead of him. I could have done that.

09: Cindy Kent – Seven Deadly Sins

Sloth; a large, hairy sin. Much bigger than the peccadillo.

10: John Scott Cree – Slow Feet Blues

A song of the pseudo-science of running shoe design.

11: Norma Dixit – Why Do Cafes Close At Teatime?

I wrote this when I was hungry.

12: Michael Palin – The Man Who Is Everywhere Else

It was hard to know where to put the microphone for this one.

13: Eileen McGann – I Live Not Near The Louvre

Eileen is one of the Mrs Ackroyd Band’s occasional Canadian members, and this is one of the many traditional songs I have written.

14: Ann Widdecombe – Upwards

The downside of being up here, and the upside of being down there.

15: Jon Briggs – Dave

A tribute to a great man and his revolutionary idea.

16: John Tams with Coope, Boyes and Simpson – On and On

My less fine version of John’s fine song.

17: Edward de Souza – Mange Tout

Exotic food.

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