Saturday, 2 February 2013

The Holy Modal Rounders - If You Want To Be A Bird

Holy Sacre Bleu

The Holy Modal Rounders song If You Want To Be A Bird was made famous when it appeared in the film and on the soundtrack of Easy Rider. It’s a playful, anarchic tune and you can analyse the lyrics as, most likely, a paean to being free, or an encouragement to taking drugs, to get ‘high’ – but it is basically one helluva lotta fun.

Founding members Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber joined The Fugs for a short time and that helps in characterising their musical inclinations, Weber writing The Fugs ‘hit’ Boobs A Lot.

So whilst it’s predictable enough as it has been done before, it is still a shame to see their irreverent and/or happy-go-lucky song being used in a current William Hill Bingo advertisement, with, even worse, some dick dressed up as a bird – such silly literalism stripping the song of its original purpose even further.

And what’s next – an advert for school kids swapping their Dairylea cheese sticks/strips/whatever at lunchtime to the cannabis joint-sharing anthem Don’t Bogart Me by Fraternity of Man, also from Easy Rider

I know, I know. But sometimes you still have to say something.

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