1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Ag Pleez Deddy – Jeremy Taylor

Ag Pleez Deddy – Jeremy Taylor (All together now – Popcorn, chewing gum…)

Ag Pleez Deddy

Ag Pleez Deddy

Say ‘Popcorn, Chewing Gum’ to a South African and they will probably respond with ‘Peanuts and bubble gum.’ Say ‘Ag Pleez Deddy’, you’ll either get ‘won’t you take us to the drive-in’ or ‘Popcorn, chewing gum.’ Should you say ‘The Ballad Of The Southern Suburbs’ a lot of South Africans would look at you blankly. You could then add, ‘it’s a song by Jeremy Taylor,’ and they will probably go, ‘Oh, I only know Ag Pleez Deddy by him.’ You can then smile your smug, I know more than you about South African music smile and inform them that ‘The Ballad of The Southern Suburbs’ is the proper name of the song everybody knows as ‘Ag Pleez Deddy’.

It is marginally more ironic than rain on your wedding day that a song that so encapsulated the South African accent, its culture and people was written by a pom, for that’s what Jeremy is. He came to South Africa from England, poked fun at us till the government told him to Voetsek!! They did eventually allow him to return.

‘Ag Pleez Deddy’ nearly didn’t get recorded. According to Jeremy, he wrote a verse and chorus then threw it away because he thought it was dumb. Fortunately for us, he then read an article saying that any serious writer will always finish what he starts otherwise you never learn. So he dug out the bits he had written and completed it.

Wait A Minim!

Wait A Minim!

The next issue was to get it recorded and this is where South Africa has a story to match the legendary Dick Rowe of Decca Records who turned down the Beatles, or the screen test at RKO Pictures that said of Fred Astaire, “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Balding. Can dance a little.” Jeremy took the song to Phil Goldblatt at Gallo records who decided that no one would buy it as it wasn’t commercial enough. ‘Ag Pleez Deddy’ was eventually recorded as part of the musical ‘Wait a Minim’ and went on to outsell any Elvis Presley single in South Africa.

Another famous recording of the song is from 1974 when Jeremy teamed up with the comedian and one time Goon, Spike Milligan for a concert at Cambridge University which was captured on the double album, ‘An Adult Entertainment.’ During this performance, he does have to explain that Eskimo Pies are a kind of ice cream.

Well into his seventies, Jeremy is still performing the song, although he now as to be politically correct and sing ‘Sugar balls’ instead of you know what, and despite this necessary change, the song will live on long after Jeremy eventually retires.

Interestingly, I have not come across many cover versions of this song, I have found a single by a guy called Rodger Bellamy who recorded it, and on Youtube, there is a parody of it by Leon Shuster and that’s about all. Perhaps this stands as testimony to the fact that Jeremy did it so well, no one else has felt they could do it justice.

Where to find it:

Ag Pleez Deddy

Ag Pleez Deddy

Lyrics:

Ag pleez deddy won’t you take us to the drive-in

All six, seven of us, eight, nine, ten

We wanna see a flick about

Tarzan and the Ape-men

And when the show is over you can bring us back again

Chorus:

Popcorn, chewing gum, peanuts and bubble gum

Ice cream, candy floss and Eskimo Pie

Ag deddy how we miss

Nigger balls and liquorice

Pepsi Cola, ginger beer

and Canada Dry

Ag pleez deddy won’t you take us to the fun-fair

We wanna have a ride on the bumper-cars

We’ll buy a stick of candy floss

And eat it on the Octopus

Then we’ll take the rocket ship that goes to Mars

Chorus

Ag pleez deddy won’t you take us to the wrestling

We wanna see an ou called Sky Hi Lee

When he fights Willie Liebenberg

There’s gonna be a murder

‘Cos Willie’s gonna donner that blerrie yankee

Chorus

Ag pleez deddy won’t you take us off to Durban

It’s only eight hours in the Chevrolet

There’s spans of sea and sand and sun

And fish in the aquarium

That’s a lekker place for a holiday

Chorus

Ag Pleeeeeez Deddy – VOETSEK!

Ag sies deddy if we can’t go out to bioscope

Or go off to Durban, life’s a henguva bore

If you won’t take us to the zoo

Then what the heck else can we do

But go on out and moer all the outjies next door

Chorus

Words and Music by Jeremy Taylor, 1961

Videos:

Jeremy Taylor:

Leon Shuster parody:

Further info:

Who is Sky Hi Lee?

South African Rock Encyclopedia

3rd Ear Music

Jeremy Taylor

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3 thoughts on “Ag Pleez Deddy – Jeremy Taylor

  1. Pingback: Ek Is ‘n Gé – Long John Berks « 1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

  2. I smaaaaaaaak it loooooong time, from a porra ex pretoria boytjie,now living in uk.

  3. Pingback: The ‘A’ of South Africa | 'Work Out' each Day

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