Your favourite radio programme, Hooting Yard On The Air, will be six years old next month. As happens from time to time, I have been pondering whether or not to change the theme tune, which, since very early in the show’s run, has been the “Caucasian Lullaby” by Slapp Happy & Henry Cow, from the Desperate Straights album of 1975. When I mention to people that I am considering a change, I am almost invariably met with gasps of horror, as if by dumping the eerie lullaby in favour of something else I would be doing violence to a well-loved national institution, much as if I were to throw pebbles at Stephen Fry. So there is every likelihood the sixth anniversary will come and go without any change whatsoever. I am enamoured, though, of the University of Ghana Postal Workers’ Stamp-Cancelling Song, also from 1975, which was brought to my attention by Glyn Webster, to whom many thanks. Should this become the new Hooting Yard theme? Please make use of the Comments to air your views.
Very enjoyable and WFMUs Beware of the Blog looks like an audio treasure trove.
I must say that as much as I love Henry Cow, Caucasian Lullaby was never a favourite with me.
Now if you really want to frighten small children with music might I cast my vote for John Cage’s Variations II performed on (at? against?) the Piano by David Tudor. Cage said that it participates in “disorganization and a state of mind which in Zen is called no-mindedness”. Ive had a copy for about 15 years, and it still frighten the living daylights out of me.
Did you know I take a tenor role in the ‘Choir of Horrified Gaspers’…?
The absence of gasps of horror indicates you should go for it, Frank!
(Though obviously you shouldn’t use it in those episodes of Hooting Yard that address weighty social issues.)
I am a fairly new listener, so I may have missed an explanation for the selection of Caucasian Lullaby as the Hooting Yard theme. In the absence of actual evidence, I simply assumed the choice was motivated by (a) irony, or (b) deep-seated hostility toward the audience. But if your long-time listeners enjoy the theme tune, then I trust you will respect their wishes.
In any event, is there hope that the volume of your voice could be raised to the same level as the music (or the music lowered), so that the incautious listener will not be blasted whenever the music plays?
Many thanks for sharing your world with us.