Anglo For Your Ear: Captain Sensible’s “Happy Talk”

Thought New York Dolls frontman David Johansen‘s re-invention as calypso lounge lizard Buster “Hot Hot Hot”Poindexter was bizarre? Check out this 1982 clip fromCaptain Sensible, a member of legendary ’70s punk bandThe Damned. He went from singing anarchic tunes like”Smash It Up” with The Damned to performing this giddycover of “Happy Talk,” better known as the “If youdon’t have a dweeeeem” song from the Rodgers andHammerstein musical South Pacific. But thisperformance on Top of the Pops is subversive in its ownway: it’s like a cross between a children’s singalongand a ‘shroom trip.

Oddly enough, this was a No. 1 hit in the UK. Fortwo weeks.

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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