Captain Beaky and His Band

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Captain Beaky & His Band (Not Forgetting Hissing Sid!!!) (commonly shortened to Captain Beaky & His Band or Captain Beaky) is the title of two albums (volumes 1 and 2) of poetry by Jeremy Lloyd, set to music by Jim Parker and recited by various British celebrities. The albums generated two books of poetry, BBC television shows, a West End musical, a pantomime ("Captain Beaky and His Musical Christmas" performed by Twiggy, Eleanor Bron, Keith Michell, and Jeremy Lloyd at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, London in December 1981), performances by the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain, and a gala in aid of UNICEF[1] performed by Roger Moore, Joanna Lumley, Jeremy Lloyd and the National Youth Ballet at the Royal Albert Hall, London in December 2011. The first album was released on vinyl in 1977 and the second in 1980. Both were re-released on compact disc in 2002.

Captain Beaky's band consist of Timid Toad, Reckless Rat, Artful Owl and Batty Bat. The title track from the first album, "Captain Beaky", was released as a 7 inch single with "Wilfred the Weasel" and "Blanche" on the B-side by Polydor in 1980; it reached Number 5 in the UK pop charts. The song informs us that:

The bravest animals in the land are Captain Beaky and his band
That's Timid Toad, Reckless Rat, Artful Owl and Batty Bat
They march through the woodlands singing songs
that tell how they have righted wrongs.

According to Jonathan Rowlands,[2] the producer of both albums, when United Kingdom disc jockey Noel Edmonds heard colleague Tony Blackburn play the record, "...he grabbed it from his turntable, played it just once, and the result was that an atomic scientist who was on secondment with the British Museum, upon hearing the show and recognising that Captain Beaky's bete-noir [sic] Hissing Sid was not all that bad, wrote in [to the BBC] proclaiming "Hissing Sid Is Innocent Okay!".

The character of Hissing Sid is a snake, mentioned in both "Captain Beaky" on the first album and "The Trial of Hissing Sid" on the second. The slogan "Hissing Sid is Innocent!" became a popular catch phrase, appearing everywhere including as a graffito on walls (sometimes as a modification for earlier "George Davis is Innocent!" graffiti, especially after Davis' second conviction), on badges, and on car stickers.[3]

Track listings[edit]

Volume I[edit]

First released on vinyl in 1977. Re-released as a compact disc (EAN 5032796014621) in 2002.

  1. "Captain Beaky", Keith Michell
  2. "Harold the Frog", Harry Secombe
  3. "Jacques, a Penniless French Mouse", Peter Sellers
  4. "Nathaniel Gnat", Twiggy
  5. "Wilfred the Weasel", Keith Michell
  6. "Dilys the Dachshund", Harry Secombe
  7. "The Snail", Twiggy
  8. "Blanche", Keith Michell
  9. "My Best Friend", Jeremy Lloyd
  10. "The Ginger Cat", Keith Michell
  11. "Desmond the Duck", Harry Secombe
  12. "Ronald the Rat", Twiggy
  13. "The Haggis Season", Peter Sellers
  14. "Dennis the Dormouse", Twiggy
  15. "Herbert the Hedgehog", Harry Secombe
  16. "Doreen the Duckling", The King's Singers (CD edition only)
  17. Overture "The Orchestra"

Volume II[edit]

First released on vinyl in 1980. Re-released as a compact disc (EAN 5032796014720) in 2002.

  1. "The Trial of Hissing Sid!!!", Keith Michell
  2. "Jock the Flea", Jeremy Lloyd
  3. "Candle Tango", Keith Michell
  4. "Fred and Marguerite", Petula Clark
  5. "Helen the Hippo", Penelope Keith
  6. "Mandy the Mouse", Noel Edmonds
  7. "Fanshaw the Fly", Keith Michell
  8. "Stanley the Stork", Peter Skellern
  9. "Kenny the Koala", Harry Secombe
  10. "Daddy Long Legs", Peter Skellern
  11. "Browser Long", Penelope Keith
  12. "Enrico the Canary", Harry Secombe
  13. "Teddy's Tea Time", Jeremy Lloyd
  14. "Wendell the Worm", The King's Singers
  15. "The Bumble Bee", Petula Clark
  16. "Dotty the Cuckoo", Noel Edmonds
  17. "Camille", Matthew Vine
  18. "Captain Beaky's Christmas Pantomime", Keith Michell
  19. "Captain Beaky's Christmas Carol", Matthew Vine

The original vinyl and cassette editions differ slightly from this track listing, omitting some tracks but including the additional "Doreen the Duckling", The King's Singers and with "Teddy's Tea Time" titled "Nearly Four".

Captain Beaky and His Band[edit]

Most of Volume I and Volume II, slightly re-ordered, issued as a cassette by Polydor.

  1. "Captain Beaky", Keith Michell
  2. "Harold the Frog", Harry Secombe
  3. "Jacques, a Penniless French Mouse", Peter Sellers
  4. "Desmond the Duck", Harry Secombe
  5. "Wilfred the Weasel", Keith Michell
  6. "Dilys the Dachshund", Harry Secombe
  7. "The Snail", Twiggy
  8. "Blanche", Keith Michell
  9. "My Best Friend", Jeremy Lloyd
  10. "The Ginger Cat", Keith Michell
  11. "Nathaniel Gnat", Twiggy
  12. "Ronald the Rat", Twiggy
  13. "The Haggis Season", Peter Sellers
  14. "Dennis the Dormouse", Twiggy
  15. "Herbert the Hedgehog", Harry Secombe
  16. Overture "The Orchestra"
  17. "Jock the Flea", Jeremy Lloyd
  18. "Candle Tango", Keith Michell
  19. "Fred and Marguerite", Petula Clark
  20. "Doreen the Duckling", The King's Singers
  21. "Helen the Hippo", Penelope Keith
  22. "The Trial of Hissing Sid!!!", Keith Michell
  23. "Mandy the Mouse", Noel Edmonds
  24. "Fanshaw the Fly", Keith Michell
  25. "Kenny the Koala", Harry Secombe
  26. "Daddy Long Legs", Peter Skellern
  27. "Browser Long", Penelope Keith
  28. "Enrico the Canary", Harry Secombe
  29. "Teddy's Tea Time", Jeremy Lloyd
  30. "Wendell the Worm", The King's Singers
  31. "The Bumble Bee", Petula Clark
  32. "Dotty the Cuckoo", Noel Edmonds
  33. "Camille", Matthew Vine
  34. "Captain Beaky's Christmas Pantomime", Keith Michell

Books[edit]

  • Jeremy Lloyd (October 1980). Captain Beaky and the Haunted Wood. Chappell. ISBN 0-903443-43-0. 
  • Jeremy Lloyd (October 1980). Captain Beaky and the Search for Hissing Sid. Chappell. ISBN 0-903443-44-9. 
  • Jeremy Lloyd (April 1982). Captain Beaky. Sparrow Books. ISBN 0-09-928110-4.  a collection of 28 poems illustrated by Keith Michell
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury (Foreword), Jeremy Lloyd, Graham Percy (Illustrator) (April 1990). The Woodland Gospels According to Captain Beaky and His Band. Faber and Faber Ltd. ISBN 0-571-14285-0.  a retelling of parts of the story of Jesus set in a woodland

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Wonderful World of Captain Beaky". CaptainBeaky.com. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Jonathan Rowlands (Producer). "Captain Beaky & His Band". CaptainBeaky.com. 
  3. ^ Bredin, Henrietta (2007-02-10). "Poetry and music". The Spectator. 

External links[edit]