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)
New Project: Diet Songs