Rambling Syd Rumpo

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Rambling Syd Rumpo was a folk singer character played by English comedian Kenneth Williams in the radio comedy series Round the Horne.

The Rambling Syd sketches generally began with a short discourse on the nature of the song which would inexorably follow; these discourses in their own right would have assured Rambling Syd Rumpo a place in radio history as masterpieces of suggestivity and double-entendre. For this, Rambling Syd was customarily introduced by Kenneth Horne, who would set things up by (for example) inquiring as to the nature and origin of the song. Rambling Syd would (usually) respond with an "Ullo, mi dearios" before launching into the ensuing detailed explanation which left a great deal to the imagination.

The songs themselves pushed and extended boundaries of acceptable sexual suggestivity way beyond the narrow confines of a Sunday lunchtime radio slot, using nonsense (or little-known) words like 'moolies' and nadgers in suggestive contexts.

Williams later starred (with Leslie Phillips and others) in the short-lived Radio sketch show Oh, Get On with It (based on a pilot episode entitled Get On With It), which also featured appearances as Rambling Syd.

Many of the words used by Rambling Syd were invented by the Round The Horne scriptwriters Barry Took and Marty Feldman, whilst some were existing words used in a suggestive context, such as 'artifacts' (often used in an archaeological context for things such as grave goods) and 'nadger', which had already appeared in The Goon Show.

An excerpt from a Christmas episode, Cinderella, first broadcast on Christmas Eve 1967, and rebroadcast in December 2009:

Memorable songs

  • The Ballad of the Somerset Nog (to the tune of Widecombe Fair)
  • D'Ye Ken Jim Pubes (to the tune of D'ye Ken John Peel)
  • Green Grow My Nadgers O! (to the tune of Green Grow The Rushes-O)
  • The Ballad of the Woggler's Moulie (to the tune of Oh My Darling, Clementine)
  • The Taddle Gropers' Dance (to the tune of Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush)
  • What Shall We Do With The Drunken Nurker (to the tune of Drunken Sailor)
  • The Song Of The Bogle Clencher (to the tune of The Lincolnshire Poacher)
  • 'Twas On The Good Ship Habakkuk
  • Clacton Bogle Picker's Lament
  • Runcorn Splod Cobbler's Song
  • Granny Went a-Wandering
  • Song Of The Australian Outlaw
  • The Black Grunger of Hounslow
  • Gladys Is At It Again
  • The Grommet Tinker's Song
  • My Grussett Lies a Fallowing-oh
  • Bind my Plooms with Silage
  • The Russet-banger Ditty
  • The Lung-Wormer's Gavotte
  • Good King Boroslav

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