Chicken or egg?

25th February 2022

Which one came first, the chicken or the egg?

Brushing off the porch this morning I was mulling over what Grant and I had just been talking about and a song popped into my head:

"If I ruled the world"

If I ruled the world
Every day would be the first day of spring
Every heart would have a new song to sing
And we'd sing of the joy every morning would bring

If I ruled the world
Every man would be as free as a bird
Every voice would be a voice to be heard
Take my word we would treasure each day that occurred

My world would be a beautiful place
Where we would weave such wonderful dreams
My world would wear a smile on its face
Like the man in the moon has when the moon beams

If I ruled the world
Every man would say the world was his friend
There'd be happiness that no man could end
No my friend, not if I ruled the world
Every head would be held up high
There'd be sunshine in everyone's sky
If the day ever dawned when I ruled the world


At first I thought the song had come up because Grant and I had talked about distressing world events.

Then I looked around: “First day of Spring!”

But the fact is, I would never have remembered the song at all if we not been laughing over comedy shows earlier in the week:

“Remember the Goon Show?”

The Goon Show was a British radio comedy programme broadcast from 1951 until 1960. Looking back I was hardly old enough, before we left Britain in 1956, to understand just why it was funny or how I even heard it.

Presumably my father listened to it.

It will seem a little far-fetched but in 1956 we happened to overhear a broadcast of the show in of all unlikely places, a cafe beside Angkor Wat.

The sound was unmistakable. Apparently a transistor radio nearby was tuned to the overseas services of the BBC, in itself amazing since no-one spoke English.

My father seemed unimpressed, although he spent fretful hours trying to pick up the BBC on his own radio. There were very few things that impressed my dad and my mother would have hated that “noisy” show.

Unlikely events always register with me, however.

My friend Tim, many years later, could do a wonderful imitation of the various characters played by Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe.

Tim and his friend Andy held whole “conversations” that had me in stitches. It was silly, simple and very British.

The wonderful Harry Secombe was also a very gifted singer and I was prompted to go searching YouTube which is where I found that lovely song from the 1963 play “Pickwick”.

It actually makes me want to cry, given the current incomprehensible state of affairs.

Music has always been very emotional for me and has carried me through all my ups and downs.

Most people, I am sure, recognize tunes that awaken old memories of all sorts.

And they certainly aren’t all sad:

A few days ago our regular gang were celebrating the apparent departure of the Red wings and Cowbirds that had ousted them from their seed bowls.

We decided they must have flocked off.

Then, when we were outside, Grant called my attention to a tree top: “there they are!”

Whereupon I stood on a remaining ice patch:

Grant rescued me by the seat of my pants.


No such rescue this morning, however and as I sank gracefully into our latest snowfall, another song came to mind, this one from the musical “My Fair Lady”:

“You did it!”

Then came more memories. In 1958, Dad was on home leave and we went to see Rex Harrison in the play at Drury Lane in London.

Dad obtained the long-playing record which we carried back to his new posting in Saigon.

The flat/apartment where we lived was close to Cholon which was the Chinatown of Saigon. Chinese New Year was called Tet. In 1959 it was memorable. Celebrations lasted for a week and consisted of all-day, all-night fireworks. It did not stop.

My father became quite agitated by it. I shall always remember him standing beside a window belting out: “You did it, you did it, you did it!”

Presumably in retaliation. He could not sing but neither could he be heard.

My long-suffering mother maintained her serene smile.

It’s a factor of aging that you look back and what a jumble of memories I have.

Just after I took this picture of our road this morning, cautioning Grant to be careful as he dug the driveway, he came in to get more seed for the birds.

How the clamoured and shrieked this morning!

A few minutes later, in came Grant laughing:

“See those birds? That’s the hole I made in the snow.”

He had also done a snow frolic and the seed had gone every which-way but the birds arrived promptly before it could get buried.

There’s another song for this: “What a difference a day made”!

Today’s post seems as jumbled as my memories.

5 thoughts on “Chicken or egg?

  1. My dad preferred Tony Bennett singing ‘If I ruled the World’, and had a recording of his version.
    The Goon Show was the ‘Monty Python’ of its time, but I preferred ‘Round The Horne’, which I remember laughing at uncontrollably.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. When we returned to England in 1962 we lived briefly in Richmond and I used to listen to lots of radio programmes, mostly mystery stories and some quiz shows. My favourite was the one where the contestants who were regulars were given a sentence and had to work it in to a story that they then read. It was terribly funny. Don’t remember the name..Take it from here? maybe?

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