♫ Combine Harvester ♫

A few days ago, David and I were having a conversation and, as often happens, music was one of the topics.  He asked if I remembered Brand New Key by Melanie, and of course I did.  Then he mentioned that the Wurzels, an English ‘Scrumpy’* and Western band from Somerset, England, had done a parody of Melanie’s song … Combine Harvester.  Naturally, I headed on over to YouTube to listen … laughed a bit, and thought no more about it.  Until … the next morning when I woke with this song in my head.  Throughout my shower, I was warbling … “Oh, I’ve got a brand new combine haverster …”.  Two days later, it was still dominating my little grey cells … washing dishes, cooking, folding laundry … all done to the accompaniment of this song!  It has become embedded … It will not leave!  Well, you know how I exorcise those songs that will not leave me alone … I share them with you guys and then the earworm will jump to one of more of you and leave me in peace!  If you are one of the lucky ones to end up with this song taking over the airwaves of your mind, please don’t blame me … blame David!

This song is not destined to land on my top ten list, but I have to admit it is a bit of fun, and if we can’t have some fun with our music, then what’s the point?

Since there isn’t really any information or backstory about the song, let me tell you a bit about the Wurzels …

The Wurzels were formed in 1966 as a backing group for, and by, singer/songwriter Adge Cutler. The first recordings were made live in the ‘Royal Oak Inn’, Nailsea, Somerset in December 1966. With a thick Somerset accent, Cutler played on his West Country roots, singing many folk songs with local themes such as cider making (and drinking), farming, dung-spreading, local villages and industrial work songs, often with a comic slant.

During the latter half of the 1960s, the band became popular regionally, and the release of the single Drink Up Thy Zider in 1966 led to national fame and it reaching number 45 in the UK Singles Chart. The B-side, Twice Daily was banned by the BBC for being too raunchy.  Hmmmmm … something tells me I need to check that one out!

Adge Cutler died after falling asleep at the wheel of his MGB sports car which then overturned on a roundabout approaching the Severn Bridge. He was returning alone from a Wurzels show in Hereford in May 1974. He was buried in Nailsea.  Cutler’s death marked a turning point in the history of the Wurzels. Deprived of the main song-writing talent, the remaining Wurzels recorded The Wurzels Are Scrumptious! in 1975, an album containing many favourites from the back catalogue, including a number of previously unrecorded Cutler-written songs. In order to continue the surviving band needed its own songs, and these mostly took the formula of re-written popular pop songs of the time with the lyrics changed to include the usual Wurzel themes.

In 1976, the Wurzels released Combine Harvester, a re-work of the song Brand New Key, by Melanie, which became a UK hit, topping the charts for 2 weeks.  I suspect nobody was more surprised than the members of the band!  So, I now present to you … the Wurzels and Combine Harvester! Enjoy!  Thanks, David!

*   According to Wikipedia, Scrumpy and Western refers humorously to music from England’s West Country that fuses comical folk-style songs, often full of double entendre, with affectionate parodies of more mainstream musical genres, all delivered in the local accent/dialect.

Combine Harvester
The Wurzels

I drove my tractor through your haystack last night (ooh aah ooh aah)
I threw me pitchfork at your dog to keep quiet (ooh aah ooh aah)
Now something’s telling me
That you’m avoiding me
Come on now darling you’ve got something I need

Cuz I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key
Come on now let’s get together
In perfect harmony
I got twenty acres
An’ you got forty-three
Now I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key

She made I laugh ha ha

I’ll stick by you, I’ll give you all that you need
We’ll ‘ave twins and triplets
I’m a man built for speed
And you know I’ll love you darlin’
So give me your hand
But what I want the most
Is all they acres of land

Cuz I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key
Come on now let’s get together
In perfect harmony
I got twenty acres
An’ you got forty-three
Now I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key

Ooaah she’s a lovely bit of stuff an’ all

For seven long years I’ve been alone in this place
Eat, sleep, in the kitchen, it’s a proper disgrace
Now if I cleaned it up would you change your mind
I’ll give up drinking scrumpy and that lager and lime

Cuz I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key
Come on now let’s get together
In perfect harmony
I got twenty acres
An’ you got forty-three
Now I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key

Who loves ya baby ha

Weren’t we a grand couple at that last wurzel dance
I wore brand new gaters and me cordouroy pants
In your new Sunday dress with your perfume smelling grand
We had our photos took and us holding hands

Now I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key
Now that we’me both past our fifties I think that you and me
Should stop this galavanting and will you marry me
Coz I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key

Aahh yu’re a fine looking woman and I can’t wait to get me ‘ands on your land

Source: Musixmatch
The Combine Harvester (Brand New Key) lyrics © Emi April Music Inc., Neighborhood Mc Pub Co

28 thoughts on “♫ Combine Harvester ♫

  1. Thanks for sharing this memory. I grew up in Hereford but was working in South Africa in 1974 when Adge totalled his MG. I have a vague memory of having seen them live in Hereford in the 60s. As for that tune – you’ve got it stuck in my head now!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember it well, and the follow up ‘I Am A Cider Drinker.’ As you say, they’re fun and never took themselves seriously. I first heard them in their days with Adge Cutler, when they used to get an occasional play on the BBC radio folk music programme. The first gig I ever attended at uni – at the Freshers Ball – was another West Country band, Stackridge, who also had a lot of humour in their songs. They were a curious mix of folk, pop and prog rock. Their lead singer told us ‘if you haven’t heard of us before, think of us as the serious Wurzels.’

    Liked by 2 people

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