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Friday 15 February 2013

You Make My Heart Go Giddy Up

I was watching a documentary on Youtube recently called Windrush about the experiences of immigrants from the Caribbean into Britain, from the Empire Windrush docking in 1948 up to the mid 90s. In one section it made a point about Millie's Number 1 single My Boy Lollipop- after the Notting Hill riots of 1958, when Oswald Mosley stirred up six weeks of white on black violence in London, many black residents felt they got no protection from the police and formed themselves into self-protection groups. The press reaction was generally one of 'race riots- this sort of thing doesn't happen here'. In 1964 Millie's utterly infectious song sold by the bucketload and some talking heads argued that this single helped heal the wounds of Notting Hill, helped Black Britons be seen more positively and gave them something to sing about. One now elderly Jamaican gentleman said My Boy Lollipop was also the start of the swinging sixties, just as much as any record by lovable moptops, that clubland in London was really swinging to Jamaican influenced sounds. Which is a nice piece of perspective.

My Boy Lollipop

And here is Minnie performing for TV in Helsinki of all places.


davyh said...

I had a colleague whose parents came to the UK on The Windrush. She had some great stories about their experiences. They were most shocked by how cold it was here - they'd come only with light 'Jamaican winter' clothing. Her Dad was determined to buy her Mum a proper coat; they went to Harrods, because it was the only shop in London they had heard of.

Swiss Adam said...

These are the stories social history are made of.

dickvandyke said...

Smashing post Adam