I've been listening to Brian Blessed's autobiography (named "Absolute Pandemonium," in perhaps the finest example of advertising accuracy ever) on the way to work in the mornings, and loving every moment of it. It's a brilliant (if occasionally rough and bawdy) account of a fascinating and fantastical career, and Blessed's performance -- he's the reader -- is as hilarious and wonderful as one could have hoped (and if you're familiar with his work, expected).
I'm at the part where Blessed recounts his career-making casting in "Z Cars," a British police show that made him into a TV star and ran for some 16 years on the Beeb. (An aside: I had a bit of trouble finding the show, initially. Blessed calls it "Zed Cars," and I couldn't get anything to come up under that name. Heh.)
I was entirely unfamiliar with the series before this, and I'm going to have to try and track it down -- if for no other reason than to watch a young and beardless Blessed spinning his magic. But the thing that first piqued my interest as he entered that section of the book was his claim that the show's theme was the finest ever written. A bold claim, so I went searching.
Here it is. And it is pretty great.
Interestingly, it's not an original, but an arrangement of an English folk song, "Johnny Todd."
Johnny Todd, he took a notion
For to cross the ocean wide
And he's left his own true love behind him
Walking by the Liverpool tide
For a week, she wept with sorrow
Tore her hair and wrung her hands
Till she met another handsome sailor
Walking by the Liverpool sands
Fair young maid are you a weeping
For your Johnny gone to sea
If you'll wed with me tomorrow
I will kind and constant be
I will buy you sheets and blankets
I'll buy you a wedding ring
You shall have a silver cradle
For to rock the baby in
Johnny Todd came home from sailing
Sailing on the ocean wide
And he's found his fair and false one
Was another sailor's bride
All young men who go a sailing
For to fight the foreign foe
Do not leave your own true love like johnny
Marry her before you go