At the time of writing (early May), hopes are rising for a return to normality (or at least the “new normal”!). So, perhaps there are reasons to be cheerful, which suggested a theme for this issue. In 1979, Ian Dury and the Blockheads made no 3 in the charts with “Reasons to be Cheerful, part 3”. Ian listed over 50 “reasons” in the stream of consciousness song and some of these are featured in this edition of the quiz. Knowledge of the song is not required but anyone who is old enough may remember some of the lyrics. This is probably the first (and last) quiz based on an Ian Dury song! Bear with me – back to less “off the wall” topics next time!
- Q. Two American singers are featured in the first verse. One died in a plane crash in 1959 and an eponymous musical about his life premiered in London in 1989. The second (Little Richard) had a hit with an alliterative song about a lady whose name rhymes with that of the first singer. I need the name of the first singer and the Little Richard song.
A. Buddy Holly and Good Golly Miss Molly
- Q. Which “big” Russian dance institution is mentioned in the second verse?
A. Bolshoi Ballet
- Q. Verse 3 includes “Scammels”. What is/was a Scammel?
A. Scammell Lorries Limited was a British manufacturer of trucks, particularly specialist and military off-highway vehicles, between 1921 and 1988. The actual reference in the song is to “Eighteen Wheeler Scammels”.
- Q. Verse 4 ends with a breakfast cereal, probably most associated with Scotland. What is it?
A. Porridge oats.
- Q. Verse 7 rhymes a vegetable and a bird: “The Juice of a [vegetable]” and “The smile of a [bird]”. Name the vegetable and bird.
A. Carrot and parrot.
- Q. Verse 8 opens with 2 cultural icons. “The King of Rock and Roll” and the nickname of the original engineer of the USS Enterprise, played by James Doohan in the original series and Simon Pegg more recently. Name them.
A. Elvis and Scotty. Actually, the Scotty of the song refers to Dury’s guitarist Scotty Moore but the Star Trek reference is a lot more well known.
- Q. Verse 10 starts with “Take your mum to [where?]” Clue – home city of PSG.
- Q. Three Marx Brothers appear in verse 11. Name them.
A. Harpo, Groucho, Chico.
- Q. Verse 12 has two favourite ingredients of a Ploughman’s Lunch. – which? Clue – it rhymes with “slap and tickle”.
A. Cheddar cheese and pickle.
- Q. And finally………what colour are the socks in verse 5? OK this hard to guess, so a clue – Donovan had a hit featuring the same colour in the song title.
A. Yellow (song is Mellow Yellow)