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08 April 2012



Lovely. I still have one of the Beatrix Potter themed curtains that hung in my room when I was very wee. Of socio-anthropological interest is the fact that said room was in a council flat in a new-build scheme in Camelon in the very early 1950s. Also of note, there's a fine wee translation of Peter Rabbit into Scots. Given Mr McGregor that 's fitting.


A translation of Peter Rabbit into Scots? Does that highlight the extreme Englishness of the story, including that the gardener was Scottish? It was a popular prejudice among the English, that that the Scots made excellent gardeners and they often crop up as grumpy Scottish patriot working in gardens in English novels including George Eliot's.


"Maister McGreegor wis doon on his hunkers settin aff sma kail, but he louped up an ran efter Peter, waggin a scartle an roarin oot, 'Stop briganner!'" It has a ring to it, I think.Yes, the incidence of Scots gardeners in English novels is high, in P G Wodehouse among others: 'it is never difficult to spot the difference between a ray of sunlight and a Scotsman with a grievance.'


I have also being trying to find the songs for the musical. I was involved in producing the play in 1970 and now am trying to remember the songs to sing to my grandchildren! One is stuck my head...
Naughty Peter, Naughty Peter,
Did exactly as he pleased.
Hurried to McGregor's garden
Underneath the gate he squeezed.
First he ate some lettuces and took his pick,
Then he ate some radishes and felt quite sick
Naughty Peter ....repeat
Do wish I could remember more!!


I remember this musical from when I was young - I'd love to find a copy. I believe Peter's mournful song was:

Why do I do it?
What can it be?
There's naughtiness in everyone
but twice as much in me

I'd give the world if only I could
Now and again, just for a change,
Once in a while be good.


@Geoff - There was a middle eight in that song:-

I think a halo would suit me
Dangling above my head
When they'd behold me,
They wouldn't scold me,
They'd say well done instead.


To Hilary, I too am trying to track down the musical version of Peter Rabbit you are talking about. I listened to it to death as a child until one of my siblings taped over the cassette. Still don't know who it is by, but I have found it on YouTube. Search 'mcgregor was on his hands and knees' and you should find a school performance of the musical. It's got all the songs from the intro 'once upon a time there were four little rabbits' to 'naughty peter', 'being good', 'boo-hoo, what could Peter do' etc. Now I only wish I could find where to buy a copy for myself!


There was a set of musical Tales of Beatrix Potter released in the 1960's narrated by Vivien Leigh and these include the songs mentioned above. They were written by David Croft (who wrote Dads Army) and Cyril Ornadel. You can listen to them on the website of David who died last year at davidcroft.co.uk and go to the early years link. Sadly you can't download but they are all there.....

J Dennehy

I still have the Peter Rabbit record narrated by Vivient Leigh (and Benjamin Bunny and Johnny Townmouse). The records have been recorded on to cassette and were regularly played on car journeys when my children were young (very much predating in-car DVDs). Now they are played to my grandchildren. (In fact I was quietly singing several of the songs to my grandson yesterday in an attempt to get him to sleep!


Yes, I remember these; listened to death along with Squirrel Nutkin.

Stop thief, stop thief,
not another lettuce leaf
will. you. have
cabbages and parsley,
carrots and baby peas
Each and every one belongs to me
not to you
but to me.
If I catch you you will die
then you'll be rabbit pie
supper for me wife and I...
Stop Thief!

Claire Warner

To J Dennehy - you mentioned you had a copy of the Peter Rabbit record. Would you be willing to share a copy - I'd be happy to pay for it. I grew up with that record (and the story of Nutkin which I think was on the flip side) and have been trying to find a copy of the LP.
My email address is clairewarn@aol.com


I had them on coloured vinyl on 45s !:)


I found copies of the score on Amazon. The title is "the Songs of Peter rabbit" by composer Dudley Glass, 1979.

A soprano names Tracy Dahl recorded the songs in 2008. I would love to have a recording of a storybook performance too though.


There is at least one LP on eBay -


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  • Rosie Bell

    Some song writing, some verse writing and too much blogging about culture, politics, cycling and gardening.

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