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Wurzel Songs - Part 1 (A - C)

The Wurzel Songs pages list in alphabetical order as many of Adge Cutler & The Wurzels' songs as I have been able to find, and gives brief notes about each. This part covers songs beginning with A to C. Obviously there is no substitute for hearing them, but at least this might give readers who have not had that privilege some insight into the West Country humour unique to Scrumpy 'n' Western music.

For some of the songs I haven't been able to make out all the words. I've pinpointed where this is the case in the descriptions below. Also I've never heard some of the songs and don't know the composers of some of them. So if anyone can enlighten me with any of this missing information, or knows of any other songs not in the list, then please Don't Tell 'Ee - Tell I!

Song Title & Composer(s) Notes
Albert's Funny Farm
(Tony Baylis)

On the other side of the Wurzels' single I Shot JR. Fairly light-hearted song sung by Tony Baylis.

45 rpm single (b-side)

All Fall Down
(Pete Budd, AJ Smith)

Issued as a single in 1985 - song about the effects of scrumpy drinking!

45 rpm single (a-side)

All Over Mendip
(Adge Cutler)

This song describes a celebration day out on the Mendip hills involving nearly everyone in the surrounding villages. Issued as a single on Columbia in 1967 (but failed to chart), and then later in 1969 on the Carry on Cutler! album. I've discovered that the 1969 version is clearly different from the 1967 single version, but the date 1967 is given on the album for this track. Can anyone confirm that the album version was recorded in 1967? The album version is the one used on the CD and every other compilation I've heard.

45 rpm single (a-side); LP: Carry On Cutler!, LP: The Very Best Of Adge Cutler, LP: Adge Cutler's Cider Drinking Favourites, LP: Freshly Cut; CD: The Wurzels and Adge Cutler & The Wurzels; CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2000); CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2001); CD: The Wurzels Live; video: The Wurzels Live

Aloha Severn Beach
(Adge Cutler)

Adge's Hawaiian song, complete with Hawaiian guitar and backing vocals by the Wurzels. It describes "a little corner of heaven, down there by the River Severn". Does anyone know who played the Hawaiian guitar on this? I don't think it could have been Reg Quantrill as he played the banjo on the same track...

The song was issued as the b-sider to ther 1968 single Up The Clump and then reappeared on the 1969 Carry On Cutler! album. The two versions are not identical, although they're very similar and could have been recorded at the same session. The track is dated 1968 on the album so this would seem likely.

45 rpm single (b-side); LP: Carry On Cutler!, LP: The Very Best Of Adge Cutler, LP: Adge Cutler's Cider Drinking Favourites

Avonmouth Mary
(Adge Cutler)

A fairly romantic number - by Adge's usual standards, anyway. It's a sort of tale of a lost love.

LP: Adge Cutler's Family Album

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Back Of My Old Car, The
(Tony Baylis, Tommy Banner, Pete Budd)

Sung by Gaffer Baylis; he describes the dubious goings on in the back of his old car. The chorus goes:
In the back of my old car, we won't be travellin' far,
We'll 'ave a cuddle in the moonlight, in the back of my old car.
We won't tell your ma-ma', she won't know where we are,
You'll be all right if you get inside, I'll give you an economy ride -
Everybody's been satisfied in the back of my old car!

...which should give you an idea!

This was the b-side of I Am A Cider Drinker, and so arrived in numerous record collections of children who really ought not to have been listening to such naughty lyrics! Incidentally, Pete Budd and Tommy Banner tell me they've never performed this song live.

45 rpm single (b-side); LP: I Am A Cider Drinker; CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2000); CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2001)

Barcelona Blues
(Adge Cutler)

Based on Adge's experiences when he spent some time in Spain, a country he loved. Includes the immortal line "Vino tinto, vino blanco, makes me feel like General Franco".

LP: Adge Cutler's Family Album

Base Over Apex
(Bob Barratt, Tony Baylis)

Issued as a track on the Golden Delicious album by the Wurzels. Song about a woman who keeps falling down; sung by Tommy Banner in waltz time.

LP: Golden Delicious, LP: The Wurzels; CD: The Wurzels

Blackbird, The
(adapt. Pete Budd, Tommy Banner, Tony Baylis)

The Blackbird is an old West Country folk song. A version of it was sung by Bernard Miles in the Goon Show The Rent Collectors, but The Wurzels couldn't find the original words so they wrote their own. This was issued on the flip of Combine Harvester - as well as being on the Combine Harvester 2001 Remix CD single, and remains a firm favourite with fans today.

45 rpm single (b-side); CD-EP: Combine Harvester 2001 Remix; LP: The Combine Harvester, LP: The Wurzels Greatest Hits, LP: Mendip Magic; CD: The Wurzels and Adge Cutler & The Wurzels; CD: The Wurzels Collection; CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2000); CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2001); CD: The Wurzels Live; video: The Wurzels Live; CD: Top Of The Crops; CD: The Wurzels Greatest Hits

Bridgwater Town
(George)

The Wurzels recorded this song for their A Taste of the West album; the only 'new' Wurzels song on the album.

CD: A Taste of the West

Bristol Song, The
(Bob Barratt)

Written by The Wurzels producer Bob Barratt, this appeared on the Cutler of the West album. The lyrics contain references to many places in the Bristol area - Seamills, Horfield, Redcliffe, etc - and sung as 'a sort of Clifton Calypso' (in Adge's words).

LP: Cutler Of The West, CD: Cutler Of The West, LP: Vintage Zider

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Cabot Song (Big 'Ead), The
(John Christie, Pete Lawrence)

The song is about the Bristolian explorer John Cabot going off to discover America - only to have trouble with his headwear. One line is "Thee's never get a girt big 'ead like thine in a tiny little 'at like this". At the end of the song the words are "I got a good idea, said John's ol' man - why don't you discover Portishead instead".

LP: Golden Delicious, LP: I Am A Cider Drinker; CD: The Wurzels Collection

Call Of The West
(Sammy King)

On the Combine Harvester album, sung by Pete Budd - about how wherever he goes, he still feels drawn back to the West Country. The album cover wrongly gives the title as "Call of the Wild".

LP: The Combine Harvester, LP: The Wurzels; CD: The Wurzels

Champion Dung Spreader, The
(Adge Cutler)

Champion Dung Spreader was Adge's answer to Lonnie Donegan's 1960 UK hit My Old Man's A Dustman and describes his old dad's occupation spreading dung far and wide with a "girt big blackthorn stick".

The song was originally recorded on 2nd November 1966 at the Royal Oak in Nailsea, and inclused on Adge Cutler & The Wurzels' first album. It was also the a-side of the band's follow-up single to Drink Up Thy Zider, but didn't chart.

45 rpm single (a-side); LP: Adge Cutler & The Wurzels, LP: The Very Best Of Adge Cutler, LP: Adge Cutler's Cider Drinking Favourites, LP: Mendip Magic; CD: The Wurzels and Adge Cutler & The Wurzels; CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2000); CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2001); CD: The Wurzels Live; video: The Wurzels Live; CD: Top Of The Crops

Chandler's Wife, The
(adapt. Butch Kinsey)

Sung to the tune of The Lincolnshire Poacher, and previously recorded by (among others) Phil Harris, under the title The Thing in 1950.

LP: Cutler Of The West, CD: Cutler Of The West, Don't Tell I, Tell 'Ee (1978), LP: Vintage Zider

Charlton Mackrell Jugband, The
(Kevin Sheldon, Trevor Crozier)

The tale of the trials and tribulations of forming a band - and what happened when they finally get some success (topping the charts in the Farmers' Weekly). Recorded by Adge and the lads for their 1968 Cutler Of The West album, The Wurzels subsequently re-recorded this song for their A Taste of the West album.

The song has been recorded in various local versions, Trevor Crozier's original The Piddletrenthide Jug Band was based in the Dorset (subsequently also recorded by The Yetties), while The Plonkers' relocated it to Hampshire with their Dibden Purlieu Jug Band. And as the location is only mentioned in the title anyway, the song lyrcis don't change wherever the singer bases it.

LP: Cutler Of The West, CD: Cutler Of The West, LP: Vintage Zider; CD: A Taste of the West

Cheddar Cheese
(Tommy Banner, Pete Budd, Tony Baylis)

The Wurzels' tribute to the most famous cheese in the world, originating from Zummerzet, but now, it seems, made everywhere.

This is the first mention of Bristol City Football Club in a Wurzels song, and as a result Cheddar Cheese was selected as the b-side to One For The Bristol City on its original release in 1977.

45 rpm single (b-side); LP: The Wurzels Are Scrumptious!

Chew Magna Cha-Cha, The
(Adge Cutler)

A dance number; in Adge's words a "song with a Spanish twinge". Reg Quantrill used a pick on this number.
The chorus goes:
"No jumped-up Tormarton tango,
Little Farrington Gurney fandango,
'Tis the dance they do oh-ah,
'Tis the Chew Magna cha-cha-cha!
".

LP: Adge Cutler & The Wurzels

Chewton Mendip Love-In, The
(Whitehead, Gardner)

Another favourite with Bristol City fans which appeared on the album Carry On Cutler! album. Describes the goings-on at a "love-in" - an' if thee can remember what one o' they be, thee's older'n thee's look...

LP: Carry On Cutler!

Chitterling
(Adge Cutler)

A song extolling the virtues of that wonderful delicacy, otherwise known as a pig's smaller intestine (it says in my dictionary): "You can buy it soft or 'ard, by the pound or by the yard...". This was released as the b-sider of Poor Poor Farmer in 1971. I don't know when or where the original release was recorded.

45 rpm single (b-side); LP: Don't Tell I, Tell 'Ee (1974), Don't Tell I, Tell 'Ee (1978), LP: Mendip Magic; CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2000); CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2001); CD: Top Of The Crops

Combine Harvester, The
(Melanie Safka, Brendan O'Shaughnessy)

A parody of Melanie's hit Brand New Key, this rocketed The Wurzels to the pinnacle of the UK music industry in 1976, with the band spending two weeks at #1 in the British singles charts. Unfortunately The Wurzels have never equalled that early success...keep trying lads!

The song was orginally a #1 hit for Irish singer Brendan Grace, who topped Irish Charts with the song in autumn 1975, so perhaps it is no surprise that it prove such a success for The Wurzels. The Wurzels single originally credited just Melanie Safka, but the reissued version credits her as joint writer with Brendan O'Shaughnessy - Brendan's real name - as author of the parody lyrics.

The single was re-isssued in 1980. A live version of Combine Harvester also appears on Mendip Magic.

The original song was remixed and reissued as Combine Harvester Remix 2001 as a single where it charted for a second time - with the original song also included on the CD single. The remix also appears on the 2001 re-issue CD of Finest 'Arvest (alongside the original) but not the original 2000 version, so if you are looking for this song, make sure you buy the right version! Both versions appear on the The Wurzels Greatest Hits CD. The Wurzels also manage to perform the remix version at their live shows - with help from some clever technology from the sound guys!

45 rpm single (a-side); 45 rpm single (a-side); CD-EP: Combine Harvester 2001 Remix; CD-EP: I Am A Cider Drinker 2007; LP: The Combine Harvester, LP: The Wurzels Greatest Hits, LP: Mendip Magic; CD: The Wurzels and Adge Cutler & The Wurzels; CD: The Wurzels Collection; CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2000); CD: The Finest 'Arvest of The Wurzels featuring Adge Cutler (2001); CD: The Wurzels Live; video: The Wurzels Live; CD: Top Of The Crops; CD: The Wurzels Greatest Hits

Come On Santa (Get Your Act Together)
(The Wurzels, George D. Allen, Louie Nicastro, Sil Willcox)

Issued as a single for the Christmas 2001 market, two versions of the song appear on the CD - Come On Santa! (Get Yer Act Together) - Radio Edit and Come On Santa! (Get Yer Act Together) - X-Rated Version. The song was credited to The Wurzels, George D. Allen and Louie Nicastro (who produced, arranged and directed The Wurzels Never Mind The Bullocks album) and Sil Willcox, the band's manager.

CD-single (a-side); CD: Never Mind The Bullocks - 'Ere's The Wurzels

Coughin' Song
(Peter Knight)

Song about the evils of smoking, issued on a single - Pete Budd told me it was recorded as part of an anti-smoking campaign.

45 rpm single (a-side)

County House
(Albarn, Jame, Rountree, Coxon)

A re-make of the Blur hit single, all Wurzelled up, and released on their Never Mind The Bullocks album.

CD: Never Mind The Bullocks - 'Ere's The Wurzels

Crabapple Hill
(Sammy King)

A cheerfully nostalgic sort of song sung by Tony Baylis - not typical Wurzels material, but very rural.

LP: The Combine Harvester, LP: I Am A Cider Drinker

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