Thursday, 17 May 2007

Deep Joy

If you live in the UK I can recommend the Sun today – now there’s a sentence I never thought I would write! The reason is they are giving away a DVD of Carry On Regardless which features several scenes with the great Stanley Unwin, a personal hero of mine. I have been in awe of the way he can speak apparent gibberish and still make sense since I first saw him when I was a kid.

For anyone not familiar with Unwinese the entry in Wikipedia has a good concise description:

Unwinese, also known as "Basic Engly Twentyfido", was a special, ornamented and mangled form of English in which many of the words were corrupted in a playful and humorous way. Unwin’s performances could be hilarious yet disorientating although the meaning and context were always conveyed in a disguised and picturesque style.

Very good, but the real fun is in hearing it, so today with deep joy I present a track from the classic Small Faces rotatey disker Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, featuring narration by Unwin.
There’s a good Stanley Unwin site with audio clips here

Buy Ogden’s here


Dave said...

Hi Mick

The B-Movie track was called Moles. I had the album too but now sadly lost in the ether. I think a CD was released containing the original tracklisting.

Dave (Digital Audiophile)

Mick said...

Hi Dave

Good to hear from you. Judging from the prices on Ebay the CD is rarer than the vinyl. I still don't remember what Moles sounded like. I've looked at the track listing and the only ones I remember are Soft Cell, Depeche Mode and Naked Lunch

Jamey said...

Listening to Stanley instantly reminded me of John Lennon's book 'In His Own Write - A Spaniard In The Works'. Much of the book was written in what some referred to as Lennonish but, actually he was merely carrying on the tradition of Unwinese!

Cheeky Beatle, and all this time I thought that style was another 'brilliant' Lennon creation. Then again one of John's famous quotes did say that, "great artists steal"!

Anyway, thanks for turning me on to Stanley! A great discovery for this yank!!!

Mick said...


Glad you liked Stanley. I've often wondered waht an American would make of him. Growing up in England in the 60's and 70's he would appear on chat shows from time to time and he could talk like this unscripted, something I was always in awe of.

To be fair to John Lennon I think it's kinder to say he was influenced by Stan. There is also a Spike Milligan influence in Lennon's writing. I think he was drawn to eccentrics like these two and Ivor Cutler. There's two more names for you to look up.

Loucos do blog said...
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PapayaSF said...

Nice discovery! The audio clips on the site were very funny. Unwinese is a form of what Americans sometimes call "doubletalk." Unwin's version was subtle: normally-paced with enough real words mixed in that you think you just missed something.

In some of his movies you can hear Danny Kaye's version. His was more full-throttle: very fast, and with just syllables, sometimes with a darn good French or German or other accent. He would rattle it off and get native speakers to say things like: "I know he's speaking French but I can't understand a word!"