Illustration Friday: Twirl

“And then… her shoe elastic snapped!
Up into the air there flew a tiny silken ballet shoe…”

Long before (well, 6 years before) Angelina Ballerina, there was Dilys the Dachshund, who shot to unexpected fame after being spotted by a talent hawk and drawing violent attention to herself while playing a cygnet in Swan Lake.

Dilys was read/sung by Harry Secombe (yes, of the Goon Show) on the strange wonderful album Captain Beaky and his Band which features the collected vocals of Keith Mitchell, Harry Secombe, Twiggy and Jeremy Lloyd (in so many ways: yes, really!). It is the sweetest, most innocent, oddest album and peopled with memorably eccentric characters: the ghostly ginger cat (in plimsolls and a paper hat, Wilfred the Weasel (seized by artistic doubt), the haunting forest strains of “My Best Friend”, the great traditional Scottish haggis hunt (“they’re flying upside-down and low!”) and the faithful, environmentally conscious Herbert the Hedgehog. The lyrics are on this fan site: Beaky! (and his band), but if you have any way to do so, listen to the originals. Force them on unsuspecting friends and small defenceless relatives. It will warp their minds wonderfully.