Mocking’ bird hill

Maybe this was the first time that I became aware of what could be done with a song. I knew this song because it was made popular as a commercial in the eighties. It is a cheerful reggae tune, that was used in a commercial for a Dutch insurance company.

The oldest form I could find is from 1944 (wikipedia says 1915. Maybe it is older). Originally a Swedish waltz about life in the Finn Woods, it was picked up by Les Paul and Patti Paige, with its name changed. But still a waltz.

Then came along the Dutch band Roots Syndicate. Formed in 1986 in Rotterdam, they enjoyed moderate success as introduction to other bands and at festivals. Then they were asked by Centraal Beheer for their popular series of TV commercials. These centered around someone making a silly but disastrous mistake, after which the main character had to call the insurance (Even Apeldoorn bellen). The waltz became reggae.

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