Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1967: Ha! Ha! Said The Clown

Manfred Mann: Ha! Ha! Said The Clown


This was one of my mother’s records (I still have it, with the sleeve pictured above). She had a few singles I loved when I was a little lad of four, five, six. Gilbert Bécaud’s “Natalie” was another. The Peels “Juanita Banana”. Jane Birkin’s orgasm feast (my mom either didn’t know or didn’t care that I was playing it; not that I would have known why the lady was making these funny noises). Al Martino’s “Spanish Eyes”. Chris Andrews’ “Pretty Belinda”. And, of course, all manner of German stuff, what with us being Germans. But “Ha! Ha! Said The Clown” was my favourite.

Of course a small kid will be attracted by the idea of a song about clowns, especially laughing ones (the kid need not be aware that the protagonist wanted to bang the wife of the clown). But two other things attracted me to the record: the cover, with a rather cute little girl, and the Fontana label, with the record company’s rather excellent logo. I had an interest in record labels as soon as my love affair with vinyl began. And the Fontana one appealed to me greatly. I loved all black labels, it seems (though on the UK release, the label is blue). The song itself is brilliant; it features the flute, whistling and a bass drum!

blog comments powered by Disqus