Thursday, 2 May 2013

How do you do/moo?

Further to Song recollections (April 10th), I just tracked down a musical memory.

In 1972 or so, when I was still at school, I went on a week-long geological excursion of Devon and Cornwall, sponsored by Shell (or maybe BP - that part's hazy). It was an opportunity: dangled in front of me was the experience of the previous star pupil who had gone on the course a year or two previously, and been offered a scholarship and job at the end of it. It turned out a disappointment in that respect, because they didn't offer me either. But it was an excellent tour, a mix of fieldwork and case study classwork; we stayed at Seale-Hayne Agricultural College (not far from here - I never thought I'd end up living in the area), and went to a lot of scenic and geologically interesting places including Meldon Quarry near Okehampton, Cligga Head near Perranporth, Hemerdon Tungsten Mine near Plymstock, and the museum at Camborne School of Mines. I also got horribly sick on the last night from drinking cider and rum, which is probably why I like neither of them.

However, it also left me with a four-decade earworm, a rather catchy song that was playing on the van radio on one of the days when it was chucking it down and we were all, including the organisers, disinclined to look at a quarry in the rain. I've tried Googling, but despite the catchiness, all I could remember of the lyrics was a "N'Na N'Na" section that invariably led to the wrong song, Mah Nà Mah Nà.

But imagine my surprise when the song appeared this evening on a TV advert (embedded above) for yoomoo, a brand of frozen yoghurt. They've slightly changed the words to "How do yoomoo" (here's the full track on SoundCloud), but it rapidly tracked down to the 1972 How Do You Do by the Dutch pop duo Mouth & MacNeal. It was a hit in the USA and Europe, but for some reason flopped completely in the UK. I must have caught one of its few British radio airings.

I'll inflict the original on the rest of you.

- Ray

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