Sunday, 27 December 2009

Sunday Morning Coffee with Uncle Mac

Welcome to the second in my weekly series in which I present music I like for you to enjoy over a cup of coffee (or tea).  Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the music but, if not, at least you’ve had a coffee.  Again, my thanks to Kevin and Jenny from whom I‘ve stolen the idea.  I’ve just discovered that, although their normal blog is on an indefinite break, they have a blog of their family adventures here.

Uncle Mac wasn’t a musician or a singer: he was only a radio presenter but not just a presenter.  He presented “Children’s Favourites” on the BBC’s Light  programme (channel) – 1954 to 1965 - which made him very important to many children.  Here we could listen to our (innocent) music.

As I come close to my 60th birthday I was thinking back to my very young days and those songs.  Unfortunately I’ve only space here for a few.  I hope you like my choice.

Puff the Magic Dragon

Although this song has been tainted by connotations of drug use, I loved this song and still do.  Mrs Carr and I used to sing it to our first child.  When we split for the first time I can still remember singing this song to our child as I drove  to Mrs C’s for the first handover.  This was the only way I could keep the tears back.










This song sparked me to make up bedtime stories about meeting dragons in our dreams.  Sadly these have all been lost in the mists of my brain.

I have just discovered that Mary (Travers), of Peter, Paul and Mary, died earlier this year.  She had a gorgeous voice.  Somewhere in our basement, I have an LP of hers but, unfortunately, no turntable.  Mary, many thanks.

I Tawt I Saw a Puddy Tat

Silly times are here.  Tweety and Sylvester with voices by Mel Blanc.  No more to say.










Hello Muddah Hello Faddah

This song by Allan Sherman describe the tales of horror his son had when away at camp.  According to Wikipedia  ‘the song is the Grammy-winning novelty song based on letters of complaint Allan Sherman received from his son Robert while attending Camp Champlain in Westport, New York.  The song is a parody that complains about Camp Granada and is set to the tune of Ponchielli’s "Dance of the Hours”.’

The background is irrelevant: the song is (was) a laugh.

PS.  There is no video to this song, only the black background.

This sums up children, doesn’t it?  Sheer hell instantly transformed.

Laughing Policeman

Charles Penrose, a music hall entertainer, has this most outrageous laugh.

Did we really enjoy this??

Nellie the Elephant

This is more like it now with Mandy Miller singing about …. Just listen, the song tells the story.

That’s more like it: a song with a realistic storyline!

I Know an Old Lady

Yes I do and with every year I’ll know more but this is not about age but about stupidity.  Apologies for the poor sound quality.

Whenever I start to sing this at home I don’t get past the second line before there is a chorus of “NO!!!!”


It’s time to finish with two of my real favourites.

The Runaway Train

I just loved this song by Michael Holliday.

Hopefully you did too.


Three Wheels on My Wagon

This song by The New Christy Minstrels with Barry McGuire (of “Eve of Destruction” fame) on lead vocal is a song of reality triumphing over hope.  Brilliant all the same.

I used to sing along to this at full pelt but the ending never changed.


If you have any favourites from the programme let me know because I’ve probably forgotten about them but will enjoy.

Well, that’s it for another week.  Tune in again next week and thanks for listening.


  1. Ah Uncle Mac is rather before my time Calum but which persone of my age (46) doesn't know these songs!

    Ah fondled mammaries, err I mean fond memories!

  2. Rather before my time too, but I do remember most of these songs. Which got me to thinking......maybe you could solve the mystery of the song no one else but me seems to remember. It started "Don't jump off the roof, Dad, you'll make a hole in the yard...."? (and then something about mother planting petunias?)
    Any ideas?

  3. Definitely some golden oldies there.

  4. Ruth

    Yes, I remember this. You're right with your words.

    You'll find a youtube video with Tommy Cooper here.

    The lyrics to 'Don't jump off the roof, Dad' are

    'Daddy came home from work tired
    The boss had been driving him mad.
    The kids started fighting, the dog bit him too
    His dinner was nothing but warmed over stew.

    I guess it was then he decided
    Up to the rooftop he'll go
    He was about to jump off when
    The kids started howling below

    'Oh Don't jump off the roof, Dad
    You'll make a hole in the yard
    Mother's just planted petunias
    The weeding and seeding was hard

    If you must end it all, Dad
    Won't you please give us a break
    Just take a walk to the park, Dad
    And there you can jump in the lake.

    Words & Music by: Cy Coben

    I don't carry this info in my head: I did a quick search.

    Thanks for asking. I'd forgotten all about this song.

  5. Thank you for finding that. My own kids didn't believe it existed! Scary to see it was recorded before I was born though :)

  6. Ah yes, Uncle Mac! Saturday morning regular.

    I liked Sparky and the Magic Piano and the Ugly Duckling too.

  7. Liz

    There were so many songs I could have written a whole series of posts on "Uncle Mac"'s music

  8. Great choices here. I was so impressed with those Uncle Mac years I was inspired to write a song called 'Good Old Uncle Mac' which not only recalls some of those great songs in the lyrics but also reflects on how times have changed.The song can be listened to at or on You tube as a slide show or at Whirligig.If my song ever takes off big time I will put it down to Burl Ives song 'The Engine that could' That was a classic for me along with Frankie Howard's version of Three Little Fishes but of course I could go on all day.

  9. The youtube link to the 'Good Old Uncle Mac Song is :

  10. Please note the 'Good Old Uncle Mac 'song has now been withdrawn from youtube.