Monday, 8 December 2008

Chas 'n' Dave are back again - would you Adam and Eve it?

When I was little I thought Rockney rebels Chas n Dave were already ancient so I was a bit surprised to see they are playing a gig at the Electric Ballroom this week, no offence Chas n Dave but I thought you were dead!

Well obviously they’re very much alive and they’re not actually as old as I initially thought, I guess when you’ve six even a ten year old seems really old!

To my non-British audience – Chas n Dave play pub (bar) sing along Music Hall type music in a Cockney accent (London). To get a feel for it, try this song:

London girls - Chas and Dave

To my British audience (who haven't heard of them?!): Chas n Dave are a bit like old Salt n Vinegar crisps, they’d be at home in a London pub like the Queen Vic along with Peggy Mitchell dancing and serving up some jellied eels whilst cackling hysterically - you get the idea!

To understand some of the lyrics in Chas n Dave songs you need some understanding of cockney rhyming slang – “Wot we all speak 'ere in Landun tawn!

Here are some examples to start you off:

Jack Jones = alone, (on your own - 'On your Jack')
Loaf (loaf of bread) = head ('use your loaf')
Moby Dick = sick
Vera Lynn = gin
Whistle (whistle and flute) = suit
Trouble and Strife = Wife
Strawberry Tart = Heart

and "Chas and Dave" means "Shave"

There are people out there who do actually use cockney rhyming slang as part of their everyday vocabulary. My former boss used to say things like "don't get yourself in a two and eight" (that means don't get yourself in a state). Quite often it would only be during my drive home from work that I'd figure out what he'd actually been talking about. Cockney can also turn up in the most unexpected places the oddest being when I was trekking through the Andes mountains in Peru a few years back. Just when you think you've got as far away from home as you can, you overhear an unmistakable cockney accent talking about "apples and pears"! Those cockneys get everywhere I'm telling you!

If you want to know more about how to talk in cockney rhyming slang, this website is quite fun and this is good video called QI: Cockney Rhyming Slang: A Lesson with Stephen Fry - BBC.

Gawd bless ya!


Ian France said...

Haha! Great stuff, kind of reminds me of the Fratellis with all that pub music influence.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully they won't be singing snooker loopy. uh gertcha! uh gertcha!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully they won't be singing snooker loopy. Uh gertcha uh gertcha!

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