Top 10 Scouting Songs
Darren Davis – member of The Scouts Team has compiled his top ten songs associated with scouting……
British Sea Power – Remember Me
The sheer fact that they dress like 1930’s boy scouts and feature foliage, stuffed birds and bears fighting on stage would be enough. However, these nature loving indie rockers love nothing more than a walk on the South Downs bird watching (I have joined one of their guided walks in the past). If Lord Baden Powell was alive today he would own a British Sea Power record. Remember Me was released as a limited 7 inch single and each cover sleeve featured a unique person worth remembering – Lord Baden Powell is one.
The Undertones – Teenage Kicks
Music is subjective and I am fully aware I like a lot of music that people occasionally find a little challenging on the first listen …… however, this is probably the greatest ever single of all time! The late John Peel certainly thought so. But did you know the Undertones first ever gig was at a scout hut in Londonderry where lead singer, the incredible Fergal Sharkey was the scout leader!
Bob Dylan – Clean Cut Kid
The Vietnam protest song, Clean Cut Kid, is the story of an average American kid who’s radically altered by his experience in the Vietnam War. Dylan wants everyone to know that prior to the drama his character endures in war, he was both honorable and capable, the lyrics.’ He went to church on Sunday, he was a Boy Scout’ illustrate this perfectly.
AC/DC – Thunder Struck
Brian Johnson, the flat cap wearing Geordie and lead singer of Australia’s mega rockers AC/DC was a Scout and not only that his first performances was in local gang shows, even staring in a play made by the scouts which was shown on TV ! This clip of them performing Thunder Struck just shows why they are arguably the biggest band in the world. THUNDER! THUNDER! THUNDER!
The Beatles – Blackbird
6th July 1957 was the exact date that John Lennon met Paul Macartney. We know this because it was also the same date that Paul arrived at the 3rd Allerton Scout Camp as a guest of his older brother where he was introduced to John Lennon. As boy scouts they learnt to play the banjo and John learnt harmonica from a musical leader.
It would be difficult to choose one song from the Beatles back catalogue, but I have gone with Blackbird which always reminds me of morning and evening bird song on camping trips.
David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging
At another Scout camp on the Isle of Wight just one year later in 1958 David Bowie performed his first ever gig playing a ukulele accompanied by his washboard playing fellow Scout George. Boys keep Swinging from the 1979 album Lodger has the lyrics ‘When you’re a boy, you can wear a uniform’…which must surely relate to his time as being a Scout.
The Smiths – There is a light that never goes out.
If there are any Smiths fans out there they will know the significance of the Salford Lads’ Club. Like the Zebra Crossing at Abbey Road or Ziggy Startdust’s telephone box in Heddon Street, The Salford Lads’ Club is an iconic rock’n’roll location as it features on the cover of The Smiths seminal album – The Queen is Dead. But, did you know the club was the home of a very early form of Scouting – officially opened on January 30th 1904 by Robert Baden-Powell, who in 1899 had written a book called ‘Aids to Scouting’ that, by 1903, was being used by youth leaders all over the country and a few years later, in 1907, led to the foundation of the Scout Movement.
Pulp – Common People
Lead singer Jarvis Cocker was a Scout before he formed the legendary Pulp. Scouting must have left its mark on Jarvis as he donated the platinum disc of the multi-million selling album Different Class to his old Scout Group in Sheffield. which was auctioned to help them raise funds for a new HQ. Well done Jarvis ! This you tube clip is of Pulp performing Common People (taken from Different Class) at Glastonbury
in 1989, if you look closely we you can see me in the 50th row back wearing a Sonic Youth T-shirt. This still make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end! This is worth watching just for Jarvis Cocker’s opening speech – they famously started the day billed as 2nd on the bill on the Other Stage, but due to The Stone Roses last minute cancellation were promoted to headlining the main stage – and were astonishing.
Light My Fire – The Doors
Clearly this song was subliminally asking the Boy Scouts of America to help Jim Morrison aka the Lizard King and also ex Boys Scout of America for assistance whilst preparing his scout troops camp fire. Jim Morrison’s scout uniform is on permanent display at the Rock and Roll hall of fame!
Bonzo Dog Band – Tent
Probably the only song in the world about tents, and worth including just for the following lyrics;
“I’m gonna get you in my tent, tent, tent tent, tent
Whoa, whoa, it’s only common sense, sense, sense
I know that you won’t mind the stench, stench, stench
Do the tango in my tent”
Ok, I agree it’s a bit lame but it’s getting harder to think of songs.
Member of The Scouts Team
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