We All Had Doctors' Papers

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We All Had Doctors' Papers
We all had doctors papers front cover.jpeg
Live album by Max Boyce
Released 1975
Recorded Pontarddulais RFC
Genre Comedy
Language English, Welsh
Label EMI
MB 101
Max Boyce chronology
Live at Treorchy
We All Had Doctors' Papers
The Incredible Plan

We All Had Doctors' Papers is a live album by Welsh comedian and singer Max Boyce, first issued in 1975 and recorded at Pontarddulais Rugby Club. It was his fourth album release and followed his break through recording Live at Treorchy. The album contains a mixture of comedic and traditional songs, along with Boyce's interactions with the crowd. Two songs on the album, Sospan Fach and Ar Lan y Môr, are in the Welsh language. It is the only comedy album to have topped the UK Albums Chart.


We All Had Doctors' Papers is a live recording similar to Boyce's recording of the previous year Live at Treorchy. Just as Live at Treorchy was recorded at the town's local rugby club, Boyce continued his connection with the sport of rugby union by recording We All Had Doctors' Papers at Pontarddulais Rugby Club. The album was recorded in one take over one night.[1] The album title comes from the song 9-3 which appeared on Live at Treorchy. Celebrating Llanelli RFC's 1972 win over New Zealand, the lyrics of the fourth verse follow; But we all had doctors' papers, and they all said just the same, that we all had Scarlet Fever, and we caught it at the game.

Boyce, whose comedic songs are now linked to the sport of rugby union, included four rugby songs, I Gave My Love A Debenture, Deck of Cards, The Devil's Marking Me and Pontypool Front Row, the later of which celebrates the Wales and British Lions trio of Graham Price, Bobby Windsor and Charlie Faulkner.[2] Of the songs on the album Sospan Fach and Ar Lan y Môr are both traditional Welsh folk songs, while Swansea Town is written by Swansea songwriter and composer, John M. Davies; the rest are original works by Boyce.

The album cover and reverse is drawn by Welsh cartoonist Gren, who became the first cartoonist to receive a gold disc from the record company EMI.[3] The cover shows a crowded and detailed rugby international match at the Cardiff Arms Park, hidden in the crowd are several notable Welsh sportspeople and celebrities, such as comedian Tommy Cooper.

Chart history[edit]

We All Had Doctors' Papers was released in October 1975, and first entered the British album charts on 1 November at number nine.[4] It rose the following week to number three before topping the charts on the 15 November 1975 replacing Jim Reeves' 40 Golden Greats.[4] It only remained at number one for a single week, spending 17 weeks in total in the Top 40, dropping out of the chart on 17 January 1976. It was the first and only comedy album to reach the number one spot in the British charts.[5]

Track listing[edit]

  • 1. Sospan Fach
  • 2. I Am An Entertainer
  • 3. I Wandered Lonely
  • 4. I Gave My Love A Debenture
  • 5. Rhondda Grey
  • 6. Slow, Men At Work
  • 7. Deck Of Cards
  • 8. Swansea Town
  • 9. The Devil's Marking Me
  • 10. Ar Lan y Môr
  • 11. Pontypool Front Row
  • 12. Sospan Fach

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Year Peak
UK Albums Chart[6] 1975 1
Preceded by
40 Golden Greats by Jim Reeves
UK Albums Chart number-one album
15 November 1975 - 22 November 1975
Succeeded by
40 Greatest Hits by Perry Como


  1. ^ Robert, Trefor (1 February 2007). "Max Boyce's 35 years as a Welsh icon". Neath Guardian. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Smith, David; Williams, Gareth (1980). Fields of Praise: The Official History of The Welsh Rugby Union. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. p. 433. ISBN 0-7083-0766-3. 
  3. ^ "Welsh cartoonist retires to 'Aberflyarff'". BBC News. 11 June 1999. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "We All Had Doctors' Papers". chartstats.com. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  5. ^ McLaren, James (24 February 2011). "Max Boyce: Live At Treorchy". BBC Wales. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Number 1 Albums – 1970s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2011.