Mar 19
Dilly Dilly
icon4 Mar 19th, 2009 | icon2 Weekly Retro Classics |

Rach and I have just finished watching the hilarious British TV series Nighty Night. Check it out if you like your comedy dark. One of the great things about the show is the musical soundtrack, which includes a stack of classic eighties pop and heavy metal songs.

One song in particular that features throughout the series is called “Lavender” by UK progressive rock band Marillion. (If you watched The Young Ones you’ll remember Neil’s request to “play some Hawkwind, or Marillion.”) One of my mates in high school – let’s call him Eddy – was a massive fan of Marillion back in the mid ’80s. I recall Eddy having their record Misplaced Childhood, and playing this track to me. “Lavender” was one of only two UK top ten hits for the band – check out the video, it’s superb:

How cool was that?! The vocalist is a mysterious character who goes by the name “Fish”. He was born Derek Dick, so you can see why a change of name was required. He’s also Scottish, hence the kilt and sporran.

There are a few other comments which need to be made about this song and video. Firstly, I believe – and please correct me if I’m wrong – that this is the only pop song ever to include the lyric “dilly dilly”. In fact, the main lyrics of the chorus are taken from a 17th century poem, “Lavender Blue“. (Now to find a pop song that has the lyric “hey, nonny nonny”.)

I could write several posts just on the hairstyles of the band members. Incredibly, the bass player appears to have at least two hairstyles going simultaneously, including the rarely seen “supermullet”. Lead singer Fish is clearly deep in denial of his early onset male pattern baldness. Those few wisps at the front aren’t fooling anyone, buddy. Not to mention the twin rat’s tails, something to which all young men aspired in 1985.

Sadly, Fish parted ways with Marillion in 1989, citing differences personal, musical and follicle.

4 Responses

  1. MsJaye Says:

    Double guitar!! I can recommend Marillion’s “Clutching At Straws”, their seminal album on alcoholism, and also Fish’s “Clutching At Straws”, although it does get a little preachy.

  2. Random Marillion Fan... Says:

    I love Marillion as much as the next guy (that’s heard of them.) But they’re not the first ones to put the rhyme into a pop/rock song:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavender_Blue#Recordings

  3. Random Marillion Fan... Says:

    PS: Ghoti Hook and Violent Femmes both did a song called “Hey Nonny Nonny” … sorry, 0 for 2 there…

  4. Random Marillion Fan... Says:

    the Ghoti Hook version is a cover of the Femmes … which is taken straight from Old Bill himself.