Help, help, here come the bears!
Why would I remember the theme music of the Hair Bear Bunch? And why, when it’s not the Hair Bear Bunch, is it Banana Splits?
Why would I go down the road singing to myself, “One banana, two banana, three banana, four?” And why was it Banana Splits, anyway? None of them were bananas.
I don’t know about the Hair Bear Bunch, but the only rational reason of which I can think for the persistence of the Banana Splits tune is that it was a programme broadcast during the school holidays.
Do you remember those days? The days when it was a special indulgence by the BBC to show programmes for a period each morning during the school holidays.
The anarchic antics of Banana Splits, which seemed generally to consist in them colliding with each other, were atypical of the schedules. Generally, would be cultured and they would be improving.
White Horses was screened one summer and Belle and Sebastian also got summer airings (unless the memory is unreliable). In the memory they were the height of sophistication, pictures of a world far more exciting than the depths of rural Somerset.
White Horses came with the sultry tones of the female singer who sang the unmistakable theme tune. In the memory, they were both French series – which shows how unreliable memory can be.
Youtube has the White Horses opening sequence – only an ignoramus would have thought the programme French.
“But the captions are in German and those are Lippizaners,” said the young voice when I tried to share it with younger members of my own family back in the Noughties, “how did you imagine they were French?”
“What’s a Lippizaner?” I had thought at the time. Had someone told me it was a brand of German lager, I would have believed them.
Belle and Sebastian was French, even an ignoramus could be certain of that, it was Belle et Sébastien and the primary school teacher taught that “et” was French for “and”.
Belle and Sebastian had characters who were suave, who dressed like people from magazines. What had England to offer in response to French sophistication? The Double Deckers.
In retrospect, the programmes most suitable for someone like myself were the anarchic ones – The Monkees, Crackerjack, Banana Splits.
The subtlety of White Horses and Belle et Sébastien would probably have been more appreciated by those who knew what a Lippizaner was and who knew what words are not French.