Thursday, March 31, 2005

Taking My Oyster for Walkies

A bit too much seriousness here, so I'm going to point to an MP3 file of a funny old song.

I'm Taking My Oyster For Walkies (MP3 file, mono, 3:32 min; 2.5+ MB.) written by Bill Oddie.
Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io
From the BBC radio show "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" aka ISIRTA.

Though there's conflicting information, I believe this was originally broadcast April 1964.

The identity of the singer is also at issue. The announcer introducing the song in the program says the singer is [Bill] Oddie, though in looking around the internet, the singer of this song is usually identified as Graeme Garden. [Edited to add: I'm sure now that the singer is the composer, Bill Oddie--thanks to Jess and Paul Haden in comments for their knowledge.]

I don't know these things. But I do know that I enjoy this very silly song.

Maybe later I'll point to "It's a Long Way From Amphioxus."

---Edited August 2006 to add lyrics:
Well over a year later, this page has a few visitors. I wanted to make out the words as well as I could anyway, so I may as well post my transcript below.

Here are the lyrics as I hear them. There is one garbled line, because I'm sure that I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again didn't have a lot of rehearsal time. Still, it's a hilariously silly song.



I'M TAKING MY OYSTER FOR WALKIES
by Bill Oddie
-----

I often go out walking on a Sunday
I like to take a stroll down by the sea
There's a little shellfish stall
Down by the harbor wall
And there I stop and say hello
and think of how a year ago...

I bought myself a quite delicious oyster
I thought I'd save it for a special day
But gradually I found
It was nice to have around.
So now on Sundays if it's dry
the people stop and stare as I [... am ...]

[chorus]
Taking my oyster for walkies
She's really incredibly sweet
We walk very slow
because as you know
an oyster has very few feet [... if any...]
I'm talking my oyster for walkies
and my oyster is taking to me.

{whistle and confusion interlude}

I admit I've had affairs with other molluscs
Well, mussels have a certain sex appeal
And I well recall the twinkle
When I first saw a 'winkle
And surely nothing can conceal
The candor of a jellied eel

Alright! I caused a scandal with a scallop
But I'm really not so shellfish anymore
Cause a lovable crustacean
Has expended my frustration
You can stuff your cockles
'Cause instead I'm happy in my oyster bed

[Chorus]
I'm taking my oyster for walkies
How I wish I could marry the girl
If only she could see we'd
be as happy as could be we'd
have an excellent chance of a pearl.. (let's try)
I'm taking my oyster for walkies
And my oyster is taking to me.

{Chorus}
Taking my oyster for walkies
She's the daintiest dish ever made
With barnacles on it
in her oyster bonnet
she's the queen of the oyster parade
[she's lovely]

I'm taking my oyster for walkies
and my oyster is taking to me

[Coda]

Well I've been locked up with a limpet
And I thought it was swell
I've had relations with a lobster
And that was all very well
But ooo you should see my oyster
When she comes out of her shell

I'm taking my oyster for walkies
and my oyster is taking ..
my oyster is taking..
my oyster is taking to me

[spoken]
Give us a kiss (oyster kiss and cough) .. oooh, sorry.

Thank you Bill Oddie, for this spectacular song .. and for Springwatch.

-- Update Dec. 2009

Thanks to several commenters I've cleaned up and filled in one or two of the lines. Kudos to Martin Keegan and ChrisTheNeck.

This is the only version I've ever heard. I caught it on a BBC 7 rebroadcast of ISIRTA and I couldn't make out every last jot of it. It's a pleasure to get the help from people with a bit more familiarity with the tune.

I would say that it's great people are visiting this over four years after I posted it -- and it is-- but of course it's even better that people are still searching for this small silly song over 45 years after it was broadcast on a BBC comedy program. Quite lovely. -- riffle, December 2009

13 comments:

Paul Haden said...

This is DEFINITELY Bill Oddie. His voice and northern accent are very distinct from Graeme Garden, who is a southerner. No doubt Graeme and Tim Brooke-Taylor were involved in the chorus, but Bill Oddie was the soloist. I think the studio announcer on the day was in the best position to know!

Paul Haden said...

Good to see I stirred up such a heated debate! Just to justify my certainty, I remember crying with laughter the first time I heard this song, in a live broadcast in the 1960's. I believe it was in a BBC Radio series called 'I'm sorry I'll read that again' (ISIRTA), introduced by the Angus Prune Tune!
Sad, me, never!

Anonymous said...

Graeme Garden is not southern, he is Scottish and was born in in Aberdeen.

Jess said...

It's Bill Oddie. The original version of the song (this one) was sung by Bill on ISIRTA; they later redid it as The Goodies with Graeme Garden singing lead.

Martin Keegan said...

The garbled line is

"She's the daintiest dish ever made" (or "laid"?)

(and it's "she's lovely" not "she's wobbly")

christheneck said...

The Graham Garden version was for many years part of the Goodies Greatest Hits album(s) in their various versions. It has now been replaced, possibly for reasons of political correctness, by a track called "Please Let Us Play"

christheneck said...

The Graham Garden version was for many years part of the Goodies Greatest Hits album(s) in their various versions. It has now been replaced, possibly for reasons of political correctness, by a track called "Please Let Us Play"

christheneck said...

btw the missing lyric is:

"She's the daintiest dish ever made"

reynardo said...

This song is also on The Goodies "Beastly Album" where again it's Graeme singing.

The album also includes "Spank that Hamster" and "Ironing my Goldfish". I'm surprised people are worrying about an oyster!

reynardo said...

This song is also on The Goodies "Beastly Album" where again it's Graeme singing.

The album also includes "Spank that Hamster" and "Ironing my Goldfish". I'm surprised people are worrying about an oyster!

Glaucus said...

I don't know how he could be so Beastly!

@christheneck said...

Graeme Garden's version is on yt these days http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vy3lwBwgUws

B W Brewster said...

Just heard it on ISIRTA on internet radio - ROK Classic Radio.
Barry Brewster

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