Monday, 30 January 2012

Happy Birthday Desert Island Discs.

70 yesterday! Amazing how long it has been going isn't it? And it was all due to the late Roy Plomley who had the original idea in 1942 and as a freelance, submitted it to the BBC.

Dominic (made out of words on my sidebar) did a post yesterday on how things remain after even hundreds of years - and are used in different contexts. He posted a picture of the Mona Lisa (it is my jigsaw he photographed - he is not a jig saw fan). Poor old Leonardo could never have envisaged that all these years later La Giaconda would appear on a jig saw!

I feel like that about the signature tune of Desert Island Discs. It is forever associated with the programme, I don't know who wrote the piece of music. Maybe somebody reading this can tell me . But once I hear it, there is no need to guess what is coming on the radio.

I suppose most of us have speculated on what we would have if we were asked to appear. Well I know I would have Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Bob Dylan's Tambourine Man. The rest changes depending on my mood. The top 5 non-classical pieces that have appeared over the years are:
Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien - Edith Piaf.
My Way - Frank Sinatra
Mad Dogs and Englishmen - Noel Coward
La Vie en Rose - Edith Piaf
Underneath the Arches - Flanagan and Allen

People choose things one would never expect them to choose. Norman Wisdom chose 5 of his own pieces and Elizabeth Schwarkopf chose 7 of hers!

But the story I love best is of the time when Roy Plomley was still alive and had Brigitte Bardot as his guest. When has asked her what luxury should would take to the island she replied.
"A-peeniss." Plomley was flummoxed and stumbled out the words, "Why may I ask?" Bardot replied, "Well, it's what ze world needs most - 'appiness"

Have a nice day.

You are brilliant you lot. I knew somebody would know the name of the music! Thank you Morning AJ - (see comments) It is 'Sleepy Lagoon' by good old Eric Coates (complete with seagull calls.)

16 comments:

steven said...

weaver i love to play desert island with friends - any object or item or person or well . . .anything. what would be your top five if you had to live on a desert island?! seventy years is a long time for an idea . . . . steven

John Gray said...

cracking post pat... made me giggle... I too listened to it yesterday.....

Elisabeth said...

Oh for a 'peniss', Pat, if it makes for 'appiness. But maybe there are other things besides. I'm not familiar with Desert Island discs. I feel I should be after seventy years, but you've made it enjoyable however late I am to come onto this scene. Thanks.

MorningAJ said...

It's called By the Sleepy Lagoon and was written by British composer Eric Coates in 1930.

Heather said...

Love the Bardot story! No wonder we can all remember the programme from our young days - what staying power, it must be good.
I would find it very hard to choose what to take - I'd keep changing my mind.

George said...

Love the Bardot story. Very, very funny!

Gwil W said...

What music would we have? That's always difficult isn't it? It does, as you say, depend on mood. I think I'd include Queen's Radio GaGa, Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run, and of course Bryn Terfel singing the Welsh National Anthem ;)

Toffeeapple said...

What would we do without that programme? Wasn't it lovely to hear David Attenborough on there again?

Mary said...

Wow this takes me back to the good old days of radio....and I guess childhood too because that's when I last listened to 'Desert Island Discs', along with 'The Archers', and 'Journey Into Space'. Yikes, showing my age again!!!!

Laughing and relishing the memories, thanks Pat.

Tom Stephenson said...

A-peenis by Ken Dodd???

H said...

Gosh. I'm struggling to decide on my five. They would change so often and, truth be told, whichever five pieces I chose, I would get bored with them.

I would probably choose:
Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika" - the 'Cry Freedom' version
Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits
The Planets - Holst
I trust in thee, my shield and my defender - the Celtic version on the uilleann pipes
and
Pelagia's Song from Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Von said...

Hee!Hee!!!Love that program.My choices? Jeff Beck's version of 'Somewhere over The Rainbow', Bach's Double Violin Concerto, Joni Mitchell's 'Blue', something by Ravi Shankar, Marilyn Monroe 'Diamonds Are a Girl's best Friend' and a million more if there was time........

Dave King said...

I'm sure you're right: we've all thought about what we would choose. Trouble is, my selection keeps changing. At the moment top of the bill would be something by Benjamin Britten and something by Kraftwork. They're pretty constant anyway.
Great post.

The Solitary Walker said...

I think I would choose a Bob Dylan (any would do), some Bach, some Mozart (perhaps 'the Magic Flute') and some Beethoven (Piano Concerto No 5, or one of the late Quartets). Then Joni Mitchell's 'River' and Neil Young's 'Cinnamon Girl'. Oh, and Schubert's 'Quintet in C'. Not forgetting Sibelius, which goes so well with the wintry conditions outside at the moment. I could go on... My choices would change tomorrow!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for your answers. Yes, I agree - our choices would change from day to day. But isn't it a marvellous programme to have survived for seventy years?

Rachel Fox said...

Speaking of Mona Lisa and the jigsaw... we had some new flooring laid this week and the brand name? Van Gogh!! How horrifying...
x