Thursday, 10 January 2008

Womble Appreciation

Like many others, I used to think the Womble anthem proclaimed "Wombles are Wimbles and common are we", whereas it actually runs, "Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we". In fact, though, as recent research in the BBC archives has revealed, the very lyrics we all thought we were hearing, "Wombles are Wimbles and common are we", were initially mooted when the Wombles first appeared, in print, in 1968 (the year, as we all know, of the Paris Commune). Within months, the Home Office, which suspected the Wombles of communist sympathies, threatened thumbscrews in the Tower of London and demanded an anodyne alternative with no mention of Wimbles.

Attentive listeners, however, can still hear the faint strains of the Wombles' revolutionary message running behind the jingle of Wimbledon Common. We are Wombles! We are Wimbles! We are common! We are the many! Whad da we want? Justice for all! When do we want it? Before The Magic Roundabout comes on!

The Wombles pioneered an Autonomous Recycling Collective back in the days before domestic compost heaps were chic. They reclaimed Wimbledon Common for the wombular commune. It stands to reason that they were also staunch champions of the proletariat and the repressed wimble. Viva el Womble!

Womble image shamelessly pilfered from the BBC Womble Image Reservoir.


eyrie said...

The Internationale pales in comparison, indeed. I'm sure the Wombles had much to do with that 1871 business as well, since we have no reason to doubt that they are time lords as well as avid recyclers.
I always liked that Reject Shop show- "dolls like you and me". Very democratic.

eyrie said...

Good old Youtube!

TimT said...

Maybe the singer had a lisp, and actually meant to be singing -

The Rhomboids of Wimbledon Common are we...

Speaking of which, I'm reminded of a program which I have wanted to mention twice in the past few days, but completely forgot about, both times. 'Twas an archeological BBC episode ('Time Team') focusing on a place in London inhabited by pre-Raphaelites. (It had been built over by a department store). The expert on the pre-Raphaelites interviewed in this program featured Trotsky-ite glasses and beard and possibly even a beret - and had the most pwonounced upper-class lisp you could imagine. His field of study was the 'Pre-Waphaelites', and their wevolutionary ways!

Not sure if it was the same episode that featured the tongue-twistingly tewiffic line:

The river Wandle, wending its way...

eyrie said...

I've always been very fond of David Starkey's horn-rimmed numbers. And then there's the bloke on Antiques Roadshow: Bargain Hunt and his rainbow specs. AR is a goldmine for glasses generally. The most glorious British history toff I've seen in recent times was an Anglican priest who liked to be filmed roaming about various desolate ruins in a great flowing cloak, with Byronesque breeches and shirt unbuttoned. His name escapes me right now and I wasn't overly fond of the show, but my mother thought it was marvellous.

Wish I'd caught the Prewaphaelites!

TimT said...

On either thide the wiver lie
Long fields of barley and of wye,
That clothe the wold and meet the thky;
And thwough the field, the woad wunth by
To many-towewed Camelot:
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilieth blow,
Wound an ithland there below -
The ithland of Thalott!

TimT said...

Not to mention:

The miwwow cwacked from thide to thide -
'The cuwthe ith come upon me' cwied
The Lady of Thalott!

alexis said...

Raggy Dolls! Championing nonconformity since 1986.

Rhomboids? Nah. Don't think so.

Ann O'Dyne said...

re "demanded an anodyne alternative with no mention of Wimbles" ... I am the anodyne alternative, and you had better believe it.
*goes off singing*
Making good use of the things that we find,
Things that the everyday folk leave behind

alexis said...

Right you are, Rev. O'Dyne. Who am I to argue?

R.H. said...

Pissed again.