It’s easy… as falling off a log…

So back in June I mentioned some obscure song that pops into my head occasionally out of context, and Amanda was kind enough to leave a comment identifying it.  It was part of a small songbook called ‘Piper’s Mountain’ – a Music Workshop for Primary Schools issued by BBC Radio for Schools in 1986.

Thanks to the wonders of Amazon Marketplace I found a copy for the princely sum of £3, and couldn’t resist getting it to jog my memory.  As well as music it contains a comic-strip based story about a trio of adventurers visiting the moutain where the Pied Pier of Hamelin led a bunch of children.  Now there was an odd mixture of royalty and a witch living there – all of whom enjoy youth beyond their years.

The secret to this is their lack of greed and coveting of things.  A couple of the adventurers though attempt to throw a spanner in those particular works – because they have decided to try to sell stuff to them… which is where the Giant Ginormous Cataloge comes into being… which is one of the numerous songs in the book…

… the only other one I remembered was one entitled “You Can’t Have Everything”, a song based on the premise that you couldn’t have everything because you wouldn’t have anywhere to keep it.  I do recall this leading to some quite heated debate on the playground – because if everything automatically included the concept of everywhere as well (which I seem to remember thinking it did), then it was perfectly feasible to have everything, as you would have everywhere in which to keep it!

So, for the sake of posterity, here are the words to the song I remembered at least… I bring you, The Giant Ginormous Catalogue…

The Huge Ginormous Catalogue has everything for your home
From a range of bedroom carpets to a plastic garden gnome
If you want a conversation piece to knock the neighbours dead
How about our grand piano that converts into a bed?

Chorus:
It’s easy as falling off a log
When you order from the Giant Ginormous Catalogue
The order from the Giant, the Huge Ginormous Giant,
You order from the Giant, Ginormous Catalogue. Hi!

The Huge Ginormous Catalogue has everything for your pet
You can get a special discount if you order through your vet
We’ve got paddling pools for polar bears and tea for chimpanzees
And we do a special circus kit for pet performing fleas

Chorus

The Huge Ginormous Catalogue has everything made for sport
We will even paint the markings on your garden tennis court
And if coming last on sports day is the most you’ve ever done
We do silver-plated trophies to pretend that you have won!

Chorus

The Huge Ginormous Catalogue has everything for your life
Simply call up our computer for a husband or a wife
We could sell you Tower Bridge, ‘cos we’ve got everything in store
We’ll make any crazy promise just to keep you buying more!

Chorus

So there you have it.  For those of you of a certain disposition the sheet music can be provided!!  Now I just need to track down the random thing we did about a music competition along a similar lines and my underwhelming rediscovery of what passed as musical teachings at Primary School will be nearing completion.. all together everyone.. “The Black-bird sings… A tune-ful song.. with turns and trills so fine..”

In other news I took delivery of a DVD and CD recording of the Levellers performing on their Levelling the Land tour back in March, which has my name printed in it.  I’m quite happy about this and am in the midst of ripping it to pop on the iPad!

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Categories: blog, levellers | 35 Comments

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35 thoughts on “It’s easy… as falling off a log…

  1. bean

    I totally remember this! And found myself singing the chorus today, and then decided to see if google could give me some more information….. I looked on Amazon but unfortunately sold out. We performed it as a production in my junior school and it brings back some hilarious memories. Thanks for the reminder on the rest of the lyrics!

    • Awesome! This whole exercise is worthwhile now if I’ve enabled another person to fill odd memory gaps!

      • Alan, I’m a primary teacher who has been searching for this for literally years. That and the Cinderella one. Desperate to get my kids to perform one or other or both but after months, still can’t find one. Any help would be massively appreciated.
        I sing the catalogue all the time btw. And the one about ‘ and even if you make it to the top, you sometimes need a broom and mop’….

  2. Kelly

    I cannot tell you how excited I was to find this!! I have been singing the first verse and chorus from this song for more than 20 years and couldn’t find ANY mention of it when i trawled the web before. I also have been singing You Can’t Have Everything which I remember as

    You Can’t have everything
    Isn’t it just as well?
    Where would you put things for a start?
    You’d cram every cupboard, have no room to breathe,
    No room for happiness in your haeart.
    You’d be so busy counting things,With no time to enjoy,
    So busy looking after things, your peace it would destroy
    You can’t have everything, and I think thats goooooooood,
    You wouldn’t like it if you could!

    • That’s brilliant, Kelly! You have a good memory. I have the songbook at home which I keep meaning to scan and upload – I’ll do it this weekend!

      • Kelly

        Hi Alan,

        That would be amazzzzzzzzing if you could scan and upload it! I would literally be falling off a log with glee 🙂 I wonder if I’ll recognise any other songs. I recognise the front cover thats for sure. Maybe there’s a Pipers Mountain karaoke CD?! Now that WOULD be the icing on the cake!

  3. Caz

    Hi – I randomly googled the lyrics as this song popped into my head too….I’m 31 and distinctly remember this song as one of our music teachers favourites.

    I could remember the final line of the chorus but nothing else…..if anyone has a video clip of the tune so I could piece together the rest of the words that would be brilliant….

  4. vicky

    now we just need someone to perform it for us on you tube so we can have a sing-a-long, i’m not volunteering – but i have been searching for it for ages! – the silly things you remember from school!

  5. Ken

    I remember this from primary school, listening on a massive old tape recorder. I looked it up a couple of years ago but couldn’t find any reference and ironically was only looking it up again today as an example that Google doesn’t find everything…

    Thanks for sharing. To say thanks I’ll leave you with this lyric which I remember:

    The piper’s tune is a magical tune,
    You may hear it in dreams at night,
    You’re sure you’ll remember it all of your life,
    But it vanishes come daylight.

    Nearly 25 years later and it still hasn’t vanished…

  6. Alex

    Every few years I remember bits of the catalogue song and type them into google, fruitlessly till today. Thank you for providing the answer and a little piece of nostalgia.

  7. Jonathan

    Seeing a constructed Lego Tower Bridge in John Lewis in Oxford Street yesterday made me recall the words “…we could sell you Tower Bridge, ‘cos we’ve got everything in store…” and I searched for “It’s easy as falling off a log…” and found this blog entry.

    Anyway, by quirk of fate, I think I was ill for one of the weeks and have a recording of (most of) one of the programmes on a cassette tape. This includes a full rendition of The Huge Gianormous Catalogue together with some of the other songs. From time to time I’ve thought that it would be good to find a copy of the song book but never have.

    I don’t know how I could get the recording onto youtube, presumably pointing a video camera at my tape player might do it.

    Other songs included on the recording I have are:
    Surprise Surprise
    Piper’s Tune
    Somebody like you
    Queen of the Chorus (verse 3)
    and an accompaniment to “You can’t have everything”.

    Seeing the words to this last one makes me think they are quite apt.

    • Well I’ve got the song book! I did upload a PDF scan of it which appears to have expired on RapidShare, I shall have try to find the file and pop it somewhere.

      It would be great to hear the tape you have!

  8. Jonathan

    Here is my recording – hope you enjoy it!

    I’ll see what I can do about the other songs in due course.

    • Kelly

      This whole thread is awesome! I have just bobbed and sung my way along to your cassette recording Jonathan. I love it! Please upload ‘You can’t have everything’ when you get time 🙂

    • Thanks for this, Jonathan! Scary recollections – unlike a lot of things I recall from childhood and re-hear, it’s pretty much how I remember it!

    • Susie

      Just posted on the previous thread. If you still have your tape Jonathan I’d be absolutely delighted if you could put it all on Youtube.
      I found some more musical memories (but sadly no music) on http://www.broadcastforschools.co.uk/site/Music_Workshop – anyone else remember Bowater Merryweather and the Chemifizz Catastrophe?? Somehow I suspect the songs weren’t quite as good as Piper’s Mountain because I can remember far less of it, though I bet it would come straight back if I actually heard it.

      • Jonathan

        OK – after three years I’ve found time to upload another video with four more of the songs. I hope they bring back memories.

        I should be able to load the rest soon in two further videos.

      • James

        I remember it! Some of the songs still go through my head today, bizarrely. Would love to find the music for it.

  9. rebecca

    You have made my night with this thread, I was sitting here and from the depths of my memory randomly started singing the ‘huge ginormous catalogue’ and thought I’d google it – never expecting to find it!. Just need to see if I can find Golden Goose now….

    • Ha! It’s great how many Ginormous Catalogue kindred spirits there are out there!

  10. Mel

    You must of had the last copy 😦 I too wanted to be all nostalgic but there’s none!

    • Mel

      But thank you soooo much for the PDF…. I am going to take great delight in introducing my kids to this!!!!! 😀

  11. Pau honnor

    Just googled “easy as falling off a log” and hey presto! I remember this book from St Johns School in Weymouth, I was about 8 or 9 at the time, we even used to do actions to the words!

    Cheers

    Paul

  12. Chris P

    Googling “ginormous catalogue” brought me here, and I see a thread which has been going for 4 years. I remember one day most of the class being told off for singing “it’s easy as falling down the bog” instead of “it’s easy as falling off a log”. The things you find funny when you’re 9.

  13. Jonathan

    This is Somebody Like You (verse 1 and chorus)

  14. Hmmm… Not sure exactly what I’m remembering. One of those educational entertainments we listened to at school in the mid 80s. About a drinks company? Elixier something?
    This sounds a bit like what Charismatic was talking about…
    Do It Yourself (sang by the boss guy):

    “And even when you’ve made it to the top,
    You sometimes need a broom and mop.
    When no one else will stay,
    To clear the (mess/dirt?) away,
    Well, then I always say…do it yourself!
    Got a prob-lem?…Do it yourself”

    Also we did a Wild West one…Cowboy Carol featured as did: Land of the Silver Birch (this seems to be quite famous though).
    Altogether now…”Land of the silver birch, home of the beaver…”

    Anyone remember this Pinocchio one?
    “You dig a little hole in the soil,
    And in it hide a coin of gold
    Cover it with soil
    Sprinkle it with salt,
    There’s no need for further toil.
    You’ll be rich before you’re old!”
    Basically, add a coin (e.g.two coins) to line 2 and a very to the last line each time you sing the last verse (as in “you’ll be very very very very rich…” and that’s your song.

  15. Teresa

    I have a copy of the Bowater Merryweather/Chemfizz Catastrophe booklet. I remember being in the production at primary school, around 1987. Even with the words in front of me, I can’t remember any of the songs 😦

    The only song (well a parts of verses and a bit of chorus) I can remember is from an earlier BBC Schools Workshop production of Sleeping Beauty. She was named Princess Thick Pea and Ham soup as the king had pulled her name out of a hat of suggestions and someone had written their suggestion on the back of a soup label.

    The song went a little something like :

    I who am used to public speaking,
    Suddenly realise (what’s he realise)
    I can’t prevent the teardrops leaking from my eyes
    (leaking from his eyes)

    Another part of a verse went:

    Kindly observe I’m bravely coping,
    Though I’m so sad and blue,
    Never the less I can’t help hoping it will do (It will have to do)

    Possibly chorus ??

    Guess I have to try,
    Can’t imagine why,
    I should be so shy with you dear.
    Now I make a start,
    Trying to Impart
    What is in my heart for you.
    Just wish her happy birthday,
    That’s all we want you to do.

    Googled, searched, trawled the internet and no luck.
    Does anyone else recall this ??

    • That’s a mystery to me I’m afraid! Does the booklet not have sheet music as well as lyrics to help give a clue?

    • Charis

      Wow!! Is there any way at all I could persuade you to copy the Chemfizz booklet???

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  18. Hayley Davis

    I remember the whole first verse of this song from 30 years ago at primary school!! I absolutely loved it!

  19. Alex

    I sang this in the early 90s at primary school. Have been searching forever for it so thank you

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