The title to yesterday’s post was, of course, an allusion to an advertising slogan used by Barr’s, the Scottish soft drink manufacturers, to promote Irn Bru, which outsells Coca-Cola in Scotland. Barr’s use of their Scottishness is astute. I have posted their High School Musical parody before.
Irn Bru has had a few slogans, starting off in a comic, The Adventures of Ba-Bru and Sandy.
The two best, however, are undoubtedly, “Made in Scotland From Girders” and “It’s Your Other National Drink.”
The last is doubly appropriate since the first national drink – whisky – has unfortunate side-effects (hangover) for which Irn Bru is widely thought to be a sovereign cure.
And it does contain iron – at least as a compound – in the form of ammonium ferric citrate.
Here is their parody of The Snowman, which showcases some iconic Scottish landscape features. It’s just a pity the boy treble doesn’t manage to roll the “r” in Irn enough. (I’m not sure he rolls it at all, in fact.)
Well: the good lady and myself used to live there when I worked as a Research Chemist. We thought we’d see how it had changed in thirty years so made it one of the last stops on our recent trip down south.
I well remembered the cinema. The Embassy as was. The building is very deco indeed but is now a Wetherspoons pub called the Picture Palace.
Surprisingly the inside has not been mucked about with much. On either side of where the screen was situated – the screen itself appears still to be present behind the bar area – are some original panels one of which I tried to photograph (see left above) but the light level was very low so the result is grainy. Two photographs of the original interior are in a frame on the wall of the foyer (right, above.) The windows are not original but have been replaced very sympathetically. You can just about make them out here.
We astonished the waiter by saying we had actually seen films in it. (By the way, a true life incident – not to do with the film itself – from watching the first Star Trek movie there made it into my novel A Son Of The Rock in somewhat disguised form. It was too good not to use.)
I think this lyric is fantastic, precisely because of the rhymes and scansion.
The rhyme scheme for the first verse is AABB*CC*DEFF* (where the * is for a part rhyme – which is more than common in popular music.) Moreover the D and E lines have an internal rhyme of lunch with bunch. Indeed, if you consider the line break is at “lunch” – which verses 2 and 3 suggest is more correct – the rhyme scheme becomes a near perfect AABB*CCDDEE.
The second and third verses both have an absolute AABBCCDDEE rhyming.
As to the scanning; it’s brilliant. In fact the line, “Undoubtedly I must have read the evening paper then,” is a wonderful iambic heptameter.
“There’s not, I think, a single episode of Dallas that I didn’t see,” is superb; the best line in any Abba song bar none. If you allow the “see-ee” at the end as an iamb it’s also a near perfect iambic nonameter.
The only thing I dislike about the lyric is it’s written in USian. Gotten is now archaic in British English – except for the phrase “ill-gotten gains” – and we don’t say “to go” but “to take away.” But then “to go” provides the rhyme.
Plus there’s an element of SF to it all, with the looking back to something that has changed, the implication of a life transformed.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the Blancmange version.
On our recent trip I seem to have passed through, or close to, a fair few towns in England that have or had teams in the Football League, which gave me some idea of their geographic proximity. Starting with Sheffield, we went on through Derby, bypassed Mansfield, then headed back up to Chesterfield where I photographed the famous crooked spire which lends the nickname Spireites to the local side.
Cheterfield had a large street market on the go the morning we were there. It made the place seem thriving though whether it truly is or not I have no idea.
After that it was up north through Huddersfield and Halifax on our way to Haworth again.
Yet in all these travels I caught sight of not one single football stadium – though I had seen a road sign for Brammall Lane in Sheffield.
The reason for going to Haworth this time was we hadn’t seen as much of it as we would have liked when we were there before.
This certainly wasn’t there in the Brontë’s time. It’s now a stop on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – one of those preservation railways which reflect the British love of nostalgia but are an important reminder of our industrial heritage.
We didn’t do the Brontë Parsonage this time but explored the old street more. There were more shops open this time including the old style sweetie shop where we bought something called Yorkshire Tablet – as sweet as Orkney Fudge but a bit softer – and had a browse round two second hand bookshops we don’t recall from two years ago. The good lady bought three books and I got a hardback of Tricia Sullivan’s Lethe; goodness knows when I’ll get round to reading it.