10 January 2010

Diet Songs: Nimble

This Diet Song is from a TV advertisement for Nimble, a kind of diet bread. It's from the 70s, but I don't know the campaign's dates. The song is a real pop song by a band called Honeybus, it's called 'I Can't Let Maggie Go' and it was a top ten hit in the UK in 1968.

The original song has no obvious connection to weight loss, but it has a euphoric, dreamlike quality that captures the feeling of cognitive dysfunction which accompanies long-term calorie restriction. I presume Maggie is/was fabulously thin and/or has the supernatural ability to actually fly. The TV advert featured a woman in a hot air balloon, obviously so light that the balloon has no trouble in lifting her off the ground. The advert emphasises this as a fundamental feminine aspiration.

I loved singing this song, especially the trite "Oh me oh my/I see her fly" line. The original was sung by a bloke and I liked making it dykey. To me the song is about being left behind, trying to grasp for an unreachable ideal, which is floating away, far beyond – it perfectly describes the inherent frustrations of continually failing to lose weight! "I can't let Maggie go" could be about reconfirming one's commitment to weight loss, but I read it as the statement of an addict.

Nimble still exists.

Diet Songs: Nimble by Charlotte Cooper + Simon Murphy (.mp3, 700kb)

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Unknown said...

Love this idea and recording! I'm a huge fan of weird music (Song-poems, outsider stuff, etc.) and this is just such a great intersection of so many of my interests - glad to know there's someone like you out there who's archiving these lyrics, melodies and themes. And I'm in love with your adorable accent! Keep these coming, and thanks for the link to FMU's corporate songs, which was something I hadn't seen before.

Emerald said...

Thank you for that, Charlotte (and Simon)! I definitely remember that song and the accompanying ad from the TV when I was a kid in the 70s.

It also pretty obviously played a big part in inspiring the Wallace and Gromit story, 'A Matter of Loaf and Death'. After watching Piella, the 'Bake-o-Lite Girl', now too heavy for her balloon, descend to her death in the crocodile pit, I'm afraid I kind of went off Nick Park - and that, I think, was before he worked on Change4Life.

Dr Charlotte Cooper said...

Thanks folks.

Emerald, yes! I'd forgotten about the sequence in A Matter of Loaf and Death.

Obesity said...

Love this idea and recording!