Music From That Golden Era

Willie Lawson
I've no idea how Dancing Queen became a regular Dawn Watchers Reunion anthem as it didn't come out until '76 - was it selected by the WAGS or is there some reference to the Kai-Tais on Bugis St?  There are some obvious titles from those days which come to mind, I'm A Tiger (or Thai Girl as the lucky boys who did the Bangkok Signals Unit survey preferred it), On a Little Street in Singapore - although like Dancing Queen, Manhattan Transfer sang this after we'd all left.  From Corps Day '69, we now have Give Peace a Chance!

We used to listen to the Top Twenty each weekend in the 8 Coy mess and Hey Jude was a favourite after a few Tiger Tops, along with Something In The Air by Thunderclap Newman and Those Were The Days My Friend by that pretty Welsh girl.   Jethro Tull had a big hit with Living In The Past but imitators of Ian Anderson found it hard to balance on one leg in the Mess.    Dave Peaks introduced us to Jose Feliciano's Light My Fire.   The Good, The Bad and the Ugly theme was easy as there were only strange noises and a bit of whistling needed and no words. Some members had the perfect slurred voices to sing Dino's Little Ol' Wine-drinker Me - Buns was especially good!   Gavin Greenwood used to play a song called Down In The Boondocks on JB bar jukeboxes whereas I played Nights in White Satin if it featured.   A Whiter Shade of Pale was apt for some morning -after faces and the opening line was NOT Slip a length and dangle.....   Other songs called Jessamine and a night club favourite in downtown Singapore, Vehicle by the Ides of March (it's on youtube if you can't remember it), always remind me of those heady days.   Fitz used to play a Beatles CD ad infinitum but the only track I remember from it now is about Rocky Raccoon.     On the Small Faces' Ogden's Nut Gone Flake vinyl there was a track called Reenee, The Dockers' Delight with a seedy line about groping with a stoker from the coast of Kuala Lumpur - but that nit-picking Greenwood pointed out that KL isn't on the coast and Klang/Port Swettenham didn't rhyme!  The track is on youtube as well.    Finally was it Out of My Heart or some other old tyme song that some sang in a sort of harmony?

Do other Dawn Watchers have favourite songs from that era that bring on a faraway, wistful look?

Paul Devoti
In 1966 ish Malaya Area changed to 17 Division and we all had to change our formation flashes to a yellow square with a black cat.   Tom Jones, who must also have been young in thoses days mustn't he(?), sang "What's new pussy cat?" and it became the greeting bellowed at me by members of 2 RGJ.   Their bandmaster wrote an excellent arrangement of the Sound of Music which was so popular that they couldn't go anywhere without playing it at least three times until the band and regular attendees at their concerts got heartily sick of it.   All the above bring back memories of Penang but as Dawnwatchers we shouldn't forget "Tiger feet" a somewhat later addition but very popular even if I can't recall who did it.

Nigel Foster
Bee-gees, Massachussets. Also a song from a folk-evening across the road: Diesel and Shale. Stones and Tamla Motown, anyone?  And since we're being nostalgic: remember chilli cab at Pasir Panjang, and those haunting songs from the Chinese dance-club next to the restaurant?

Nik Collett
I, like Willie, have a soft spot for "slip a length and angle' - it was played several times at a disco in the Ashford NAAFIA the evening before I left for indeed was "Fire Brigade" by The Move. As for "Tiger Feet" - wasn't that that world renowned mini driver Marc Bolan and T Rex?

Gavin Greenwood
Good Grief! (Peanuts added much to the vocab of the day). Dawn Watchers Unhinged: Old Soldiers, Murdered Songs should be on every 60+ year-olds iFrame by April, boosted by the much sought after Straford Tapes (Watchers Unplugged, But Virtually Incoherent).  Other Enofel Inn favs included the lusty Mars For Ever More with its rousing opening growl of:  'Come my lads we're off to the Main/Oh Agammenons all/To load our ships with the dollars of Spain/Mars for evermore.' Also to be included Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation (D Peaks, solo). I Fought the Law, and the Law Won by Bobby Fuller made its mark, as did anything from the White Album, introduced to the Ayer Rajah Road by Fred Philpot, and the source of some bafflement to at least one infantry transferee because of its absence of pictures. Burning Ring of Fire, for obvious technical reasons, also an important addition.  As for the grub. Abdul's beef curry in the Orchard Road carpark (which closed the day after I returned to Singapore in 1978); Blue Madras Curry in Arab Street (back to Mr Cash here); Saturday lunchtime snack of Sydney Rock oysters in the Cold Storage bar; mutabak, roti Johns anywhere - and of course the satay eating competitions at the Rumah Bomba pasir malam.

Willie Lawson
Gavin mentioned Cold Storage.  I remember being in there one weekend and meeting the BFBS DJ who did a regular request programme.  He told of the funniest requests he had received in his time there and decided on the following:  This one is from Serene Wee (honestly!) for her cousin Simon Wong who is in hospital awaiting an abdominal operation, she wants to hear Oh Bloody Bladder by the Marmalade (which of course is Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da!!).      That story was well worth the Tiger I bought him.

Dave Wakelam
How did you all get from music to footy?

Mud did Tiger Feet, but I’m sure that wasn’t until the 70s.  I’m A Tiger was Lulu.  Top tracks between 65 and 67:  Pretty Flamingo – Manfred Mann (always reminds me of Gilman pool),We Gotta Get Outta This Place –The Animals (who are on in Bunde next month); Ferry Cross The Mersey – Gerry and The Pacemakers: Heart Full of Soul – The Yardbirds; Yellow Submarine – The Beatles; A Girl Like You – The Troggs; I’m A Believer – The Monkees; Gloria – Them; and loads more.