Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Another musical mystery.

Hot on the heels of last Sunday's questions about the very catchy tune "1-2-3-4-5" from Sesame Street comes another one, all caused by Gilbert Gottfried.

The comedian hosts a foul-mouthed but funny and sometimes fascinating podcast, and several episodes recently were devoted to songs that charted by bands that disappeared---one-hit wonders. Like Middle of the Road, performing a song that sounded awfully familiar to me. I give you 1971's "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep":

I thought it sounded familiar, as I say, but no idea why. The song did break into the top 40 in America, but barely; while Middle of the Road's version hit #1 in the UK, it didn't chart in the U.S. The composer, Lally Stott, got to #92 with his own cut that same year, but it got its best reception here by Mac and Kate Kissoon, reaching #20:

And yet that didn't ring a bell with me either. But a day or so later it occurred to me where I'd heard it, or thought I did:

This campaign ran to death in the 1980s, for L'Air du Temps perfume. There was an UK version with French lyrics---same melody, though. It's different from "Chirpy," but that simple wavering melody seems to run through both.

Someone must have noticed this resemblance before. Did Lally Stott write the jingle? Depends when it was written; he died in an accident in 1977, age 32. No info on him doing commercial work.

Both the song and the ad campaign have a bird theme at work, so the same birdsong could have inspired both. It could be a coincidence, or a ripoff, or maybe I'm just hallucinating. The melody sounds pretty similar to me; what can I say?

Online I see that some people think Prince Matchabelli's Wind Song is a copy of L'Air du Temps, or vice versa, so someone's copying someone over something, I guess. In any event, the Wing Song jingle was a lot different, so you can't blame Matchabelli for this:

Your Wind Song stays on my miiiiiiiiiinnnnddd....

Boy, if I'd been at the fart joke age when that ad came out I'd have had a field day with it.

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