Thursday, September 06, 2012

One greenbottle is more than enough

click photo to enlarge
Some of the world's worst songs are not the output of say, the Spice Girls, Abba, or Justin Bieber* but are those that we teach to young children. The effect on me of songs such as "Michael Row the Boat Ashore", "Kumbaya", "Five Little Speckled Frogs" and "Ten Green Bottles" has been so profound that hearing one of these ditties today re-kindles in me thoughts of preceptorcide**. I know that many children enjoy the repetition, jollity, generally upbeat mood, or even the sentimentality of these songs. The trouble is that, as a foundation on which to build a deeper appreciation of music, they are jerry-built constructions, and may well account for some of the debased preferences of the music-buying public as evinced by what passes for the Top Forty today.

My annual sighting of a greenbottle fly triggered the words of the irritating song about ten green glass bottles mentioned above and the subsequent reflection on children's songs. As usual, I came across the colourful creature as I did a late summer tour of the garden in search of an image or two of the perennials that are now in full flower. When I first became acquainted with this fly I discovered that it has an unwholesome lifestyle and habits very much at odds with its incandescent appearance. Consequently I found it entirely appropriate that its name reminds me of one of the world's worst songs.

* On second thoughts the output of these"artistes" are among the world's worst songs.
** Preceptorcide: a word invented by me for this blog post. Work it out.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 100mm macro
F No: f5
Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On