Friday, 27 July 2012

Ugly Dicking


Now here’s something to ruin your weekend.

Everyone in Britain has a different opinion, and different memories, of Mike Reid. You’ll either remember him as a slightly blue working men’s club comedian, as the avuncular host of the 70s kids quiz Runaround, as the dodgy but put-upon Frank Butcher in EastEnders or for his nasty rendition of The Ugly Duckling, the Danny Kaye standard which the late Mr Reid took into the top 10 in 1975.

But I guarantee you won’t remember him for this.

Recorded in 1976, Reid’s cover of Italian singer-songwriter Adriano Celentano's nonsense song Prisencolinensinainciusol is beyond bizarre. Who on earth tried to convince this beloved British entertainer that he would strike gold a second time round by attempting an Italian discotheque hit? The lyrics are, frankly (no pun intended) baffling – I can’t make out half of what he’s saying - and why do his backing vocalists insist on pronouncing the title as Freezing Cold In 89 Twoso? That makes even less sense. Apparently Celentano’s original version, although total gibberish, was supposed to sound to the Italian ear as if it was sung in English….which make the whole thing even more confusing.

Mike Reid died in 2007, but three years later the song enjoyed a bit of a renaissance with a campaign on Facebook to make it a hit. Reid’s granddaughter, Claire Louise Reid, told WebUser magazine at the time “Most people knew my Granddad as a stand-up comic or as Frank Butcher, clearly his singing talents need to be remembered too! Although, I must warn you - don't try and understand it - just enjoy it for what it is.” I couldn’t put it any better.

Oh Pat, Pat...what have the done to me Pat?

Thanks to the Downstairs Lounge for the photo!


  1. My god, that really is SHIT! Thank you

  2. A single is one thing, but the success of the Ugly Duckling also inspired Mike Reid to release an album of the same name:

  3. thanks for sharing.

  4. I bought this (or had it bought for me). I think it was banned by the London radio station Capital Radio for its use of Cockney Rhyming Slang (Google it!!)

  5. I thought James Reyne of Australian Crawl set the standard for unintelligible lyrics, but Mike Reid has raised the bar!

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  7. You make out half of what he’s saying? Well you are a genius, since there's nothing to make out!
    I'm Italian and I admire he put some sense in this song with 'Freezing Cold In 89 Twoso': winter of the '89 was very cold in Italy, so I can call mr. Reid a prophet!


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