The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
The Singing Postman (aka Allan Smethurst) is as real as people come, this was a guy who was a post man who literally sung and wrote songs while doing his route, and somehow, despite his very, very thick Norfolk dialect, became surprisingly famous for a bit, until the spot light faded from him, he eventually succumbed to alcoholism, quit music and died in a Salvation Army hostel of a heart attack in 2000.
The album opens with Smethurst’s most famous track, “Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy?” (which is written as how it is sung in Norfolk dialect), and well, it’s basically the postman and his guitar singing his songs, and what makes these so great is the fact that they’re just such simple little songs that made one man happy, and he did it for just that. Then comes “Dew Yer Father Keep a Dickie?” which opens with a child shouting, and then donkey sounds, and lo and behold the song is about a donkey. Like I’ve said, the songs are solely to make the one man happy, they’re not good, but Smethurst definitely puts his heart into what he does. Then comes “Come Along A Me” and this one is not bad, I actually have it on my iPod and it’s not something I listen to often, but it’s listenable for sure. Then after that comes “They’re Orl Playin’ Dommies in the Bar” – and like, I’m trying to figure out what a lot of these titles mean, and this one is more spoken with some faint guitar playing in the background, it’s nothing too special. After that comes “Wass the Bottum Dropped Owt?” and I’m not really understanding this anymore, you lose your attention span for a quick moment and you’re suddenly lost and all you hear is the postman singing his songs, I’m still liking this album for the seriousness it had on the charts. “Who’s That Little Old Boy?” comes next, and we’re not let down by Smethurst on this track either, his accent makes it all the more worth listening to. The A-Side closes with “Oi Can’t Git a Noice Loaf a Bread” and well, it’s not bad (?) and well, Smethurst is probably still one of the most dedicated musicians I’ve heard, he seems more dedicated than most of today’s musicians. Where is his Grammy?
The B-Side opens with “The Cricket Match” and we’re continuing on with the same way we left off, with Smethurst and his Norfolk accent. Not a bad song, we’re off to a decent start. After that comes the track “Sound Barrier” and we continue with his Norfolk accent, and it’s going nicely and then suddenly lots of static, and then he says he has to start his song over. oh, it’s not static… it’s supposed to be the sound of jet engines. You know, the song was good until the jet engines start. Oh, the song ends with Allan singing about shooting down the planes. (That’s fucked.) “A Miss from Diss” which is song in which the Singing Postman sings about how he makes fun of everyone, when everyone makes fun of each other and him. I’ll admit, besides the message that the postman is giving off, and the really crude lyrics, the song isn’t overly all that bad. It’s a decent track. Then after that comes “The Motor Bike Song” which comes and goes like the other ones in the traditional Norfolk accent, it’s an alright song. “The Train Robbery” comes next, and it starts with Smethurst talking, not sure what he is saying, like at all. Lots of talking that I don’t understand. I’m pretty sure he’s talking about how to rob a train. I’m confused, this is like incoherent drunken rambling. I’m confused as to how this made it onto a greatest hits album? We go back into singing with the song, “Oi Shot a Rabbit Up a Tree” and I’m really, really beginning to question the Singing Postman. I’m severely confused and concerned about how this was put out for radio play? The album ends with the track “Moind Yer Hid Boy” and just so we’re all on the same page, it’s ‘Mind your head boy‘ – and you know, it’s an alright track, I’m not too big on this guy, but gotta give him credit for being so dedicated to his trade, and such.
A1 – Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy?
A2 – Dew Yer Father Keep a Dickie?
A3 – Come Along a Me
A4 – They’re Orl Playin’ Dommies in the Bar
A5 – Wass the Bottum Dropped Owt?
A6 – Who’s That Little Old Boy?
A7 – Oi Can’t Git a Noice Loaf a Bread
B1 – The Cricket Match
B2 – Sound Barrier
B3 – A Miss From Diss
B4 – Motor Bike Song
B5 – The Train Robbery
B6 – Oi Shot a Rabbit Up a Tree
B7 – Moind Yer Hid Boy
Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Directed by Ralph Tuck
All Compositions by Allan Smethurst
Produced by Douglas Fisher
Other Albums I Own by The Singing Postman: