Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Apparently it was a Robin.....

I was forced to splutter a little earlier whilst eating supper and listening to the BBC radio news....

Apparently a group of eminent academics have reached the conclusion that it was more likely a Robin that sang in Berkeley (pronounced Barklee) Square, and NOT the Nightingale of blessed memory.

Well ring ting and fiddledee dee.....where DO these people get off the bus?

I'm a little annoyed, can you tell?

Does it escape them that the song was written in 1940, in the middle of a war with London getting hit pretty badly, and that the song may contain just an element of irony?

OK, nowadays you would be lucky to hear any sort of birdsong in the square, above the roar of London traffic.

But that is not the point.

This is my particular favourite version by Anne Shelton...great balance between orchestra and voice....

Have a blameless Tuesday nice people....I feel better already.......smiling.


  1. Ahh! So soothing. So lovely.

    I agree, Mick, the eminent academics miss the point entirely.

    Love the picture. Makes me want to be there.

  2. I enjoyed this very much. I always think of my father and all his photos marked on the back "Somewhere in England" whenever I hear a classic like this. I think of the robin as harbinger of spring with a sweet whistle....but not a song...not at all like a nightingale?

  3. Those darned academics are always trying to squeeze every bit of romanticism out of life. A robin? Oh, puh-leez!!

    I did feel better listening to this wonderfulness. Thank you, Michael. :^)

  4. Of course it was a nightingale!

    I love this post – it sent me to do some research and I found names including Don Lusher, Harry Roche, Stan Reynolds – all of whom I had interacted with.
    I knew that Dorothy Carless had also sung this and in 1975 when I was working for Geraldo Entertainments (he was dead!) she came to England to perform “A Nightingale Sang…..” in A Tribute to Geraldo Memorial Concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Geraldo’s wife was then running the company but that’s another story altogether. DC also sang ‘ Ragtime Cowboy Joe’ with Harve Presnell. Don’t know why – probably because Geraldo had played it at some point. Iain Sutherland conducted the BBC Orchestra and I recall that David Jacobs was the compere. Oh and Robert Farnon was a guest conductor.

    I’ve gone off track!! Anne Shelton – I remember as a child listening to her recording of “Lay Down Your Arms” on a 78!!!!! Wonderful stuff! Wonder if you can find that on YouTube???

  5. Hello Michael,

    Sadly, since I wouldn't recognise a nightingale, it could have been a robin! At least he's a friendly and colourful fellow. But it's a pity these academics don't have anything better to do!