Derby psych band The Telephones have reworked nursery rhyme Mary Had A Little Lamb for a charity compilation from Mega Dodo Records.
John Blaney of the label said of the Tiddlywinks compilation, “The album was the idea of a former work colleague who was dissatisfied with an album of nursery rhymes he bought for his daughter. They suggested Mega Dodo ask some of its artistes to record their versions of classic nursery rhymes. The idea was simple, they could do what they liked with the tune but had to stick to the original lyrics. Naturally, some strayed but we’ll let them off because each and every contribution is full of fun and joy.”
The Telephones version of Mary Had A Little Lamb – the first audio to be recorded on Thomas Eddison’s phonograph in 1877 and based on a real incident – brings in chiming guitars and stretched melodies giving the nineteenth century rhyme a ’60s psych-pop feel. The band aren’t the first to give their own flavour to the childhood classic with Paul McCartney famously bringing a new melody to the original words by Sarah Josepha Hale with his 1972 version, giving him a Top 20 hit but eroding his credibility with music journalists of the day.
However nursery rhymes are nothing to be sniffed at with links to child development, and ability in both maths and spatial awareness through rhymes set to music. With violence often hinted at in the stories told through rhyme – although Mary Had A Little Lamb is a gentler tone – allow children to cathartically deal with real world issues and begin to understand symbology and the importance of storytelling as well as occasionally being a form or protest or propaganda although also a simple form of pure entertainment.
The Mono Dodo Records Tiddlywinks compilation is limited to 100 CDs or is available for download now with proceeds going to Save The Children – order from the Mono Dodo Records website.
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