Mouldy Old Dough

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"Mouldy Old Dough" is an instrumental single, which was a hit for Lieutenant Pigeon.

It was written by Nigel Fletcher and Rob Woodward and first produced by them under the name of their other band, Stavely Makepeace.[1]

Recorded in the front room of Woodward's Coventry semi-detached, it featured his mother Hilda Woodward on piano,[2] in a boogie-woogie, honky-tonk, ragtime style. The only lyrics are the growled title "Mouldy Old Dough" and "Dirty Old Man" by Fletcher. When Fletcher asked what they meant, their author, Rob Woodward, said he had no idea.[3]

Despite initial disapproval from their long-term manager and friend, David Whitehouse, they went ahead with its release. It is the only British number one single to feature a mother and son.[2]

Originally released in early 1972, it flopped on its first release. It was picked up in Belgium and used on a current affairs programme, and became a hit there, reaching number one on their singles chart. Decca, encouraged by this success, re-released it and with the backing of then BBC Radio 1 DJ Noel Edmonds, it finally became a hit in the UK, spending four weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart in October 1972.[4] It sold 790,000 copies.

"Mouldy Old Dough" (the title being an adaptation of the 1920s jazz phrase, "vo-de-o-do")[1] became the second biggest selling UK single of the year, behind The Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards' bagpipe version of "Amazing Grace".

The tune was also used by LOTO New Zealand as a successful advertising routine.

Uses of "Mouldy Old Dough"[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 147. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2001). British Hit Singles (14th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 43. ISBN 0-85156-156-X. 
  3. ^ Ian Gittins (2007), Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming, and Music, p. 78, ISBN 978-1-84607-327-4 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 321. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
Preceded by
"How Can I Be Sure" by David Cassidy
UK Singles Chart number one single
14 October 1972 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Clair" by Gilbert O'Sullivan