Wanderly Wagon + William D. Drake

So anyway, I mentioned something in the William D. Drake review a couple of months back that I wanted to come back to. At the time, I said that the instrumental track Ziegler from his album, The Rising of the Lights, reminded me of the Wanderly Wagon theme tune. For the uninitiated, this was an Irish children's tv show from the 1970's, focused around the wide-eyed genius of puppeteer, the late Eugene Lambert. (For those of another generation, it also regularly featured the actor Frank Kelly - Father Jack from Father Ted - as the bungling evil wizard Dr Astro.) So here's the theme tune.

Listening back to it now, it starts with more of a Beach Boys feel, with that signature alternating left-hand-right-hand keyboard style, before launching into full prog-rock glory with a creamy guitar solo. Nothing like Ziegler, in fact. Which sounds more like this.

Is that clarinet, harmonium and hurdy-gurdy together in the one piece of music? Brilliantly surreal and breathless as it is, it actually wouldn't be out of place as the soundtrack to a scene from "The Wagon". Probably something involving O'Brien trying to get home in time for tea. It's just a pity Mr Drake wasn't knocking around RTÉ in the 1970's, basically.

*Our Brussels correspondent tells me it was Jim Doherty who wrote the Wanderly Wagon theme tune. Another semi-legendary figure who probably deserves a post to himself at a later date.

**And Songs to Learn and Sing reminds me that Jim Doherty is the father of comedian and accomplished keyboard player David O'Doherty. The plot thickens.


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