Friday, December 19, 2008


Oh my.. This stuff is brilliant! While doing my usual bubblegum pop research, I came across a thing called The Wombles some time ago. These creatures do look a bit questionable to me now, as I never saw them when I was a kid.

The Wombles originally appeared as teddybear-like characters in children’s novels by Elisabeth Beresford, and in the early 70s they were made into a stop motion TV show – for children, of course. In the show these creatures were presented in a different form, with pointy noses. Music producer Mike Batt created a theme song for The Wombles TV show and then went on to write more music in Wombles theme, resulting in four full-length albums and chart success. A live act called The Wombles also played concerts, and the Womble characters always wore proper suits on stage.

The music of the Wombles is strongly associated with bubblegum pop, as well as novelty songs. I’m not really that familiar with the term novelty song, but it appears to have a lot to do with being funny and humorous. However, it’s not the same thing as humor music – on the other hand a humorous song isn’t automatically a novelty song. I don’t really know much about novelty songs but I guess I’ll learn as I do some more research..

Well, at least The Wombles’ music is definitely not all about sexual innuendoes, like 60s bubblegum pop sometimes/often is.. The Wombles’ 70s bubblegum music (as well as the TV show) contained a message about taking care of the environment – surely an important message for future adults! The music is catchy, rich soundwise, and like the most original bubblegum music, clearly influenced by nursery rhymes. Mike Batt, who was a clever producer, also added influences from many other cool genres: country, surf rock, calypso, and classical music among other things. The baroque-style string arrangements on several Wombles songs are really memorable – check out Remember You’re a Womble! What also needs to be said is that Wombles songs contain excellent vocals and harmonies.

Go ahead and listen to a couple of soundbites if you already haven’t! You won’t be disappointed. This stuff is easy-going sunny pop suitable for everyone – no matter if you’re a child or adult.

The Wombles at YouTube

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