Thursday, 6 January 2011

Clowns to the left of me

Fantasy Bob would like to pay tribute to Gerry Rafferty whose death was announced yesterday. 

Rafferty was responsible for one of the greatest of all cricket songs Stuck in the Middle With You whose lyrics tell of the challenge of batting with someone like Chris Tavare at the other end.   Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right?  Evidently heavy sledging was going on.

Connolly and Rafferty
as portrayed by John Byrne
Rafferty's insights into the strain of batting under these conditions are remarkable because, although Paisley born and bred, Gerry never turned out for local club Ferguslie

Instead of perfecting his front foot play in the nets at Miekleriggs, Gerry joined his musical skills with Billy Connolly, another celebrated non-cricketer from the west of Scotland and took to the road as The Humblebums.  FB remembers them well and in the late 1960s/early 70s they had 2 mildly successful albums.  That other Paisley legend, John Byrne (another non cricketer) designed an album cover for them.  They then went their separate ways leading to Baker Street for Rafferty and another form of greatness for Connolly.   Byrne also touched greatness by writing The Slab Boys and then Tutti Frutti.

It is a pity that there is only the one cricket song in Gerry Rafferty's oeuvre, but overcome with nostalgia FB gives you this reminder of 3 of the best Humblebum tracks. Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway (FB had forgotten the intrusive orchestration on this track - don't let it spoil your enjoyment of a fine song).  Everybody Knows That (this is fronted by Billy Connolly) and Shoeshine Boy.


  1. Billy Connolly might not have been a cricketer; but he was for a short time a member of a Glasgow cricket club.

  2. Iain - many thanks for that info. Presumably the club had a bar.