dadsarmy_main.gif“Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler” sings Bud Flanagan at the start of Dad’s Army. I think you’ll find that Herr Hitler was not “kidding” anyone, and was deadly serious about his attempted conquest of Europe. Indeed as statements in song about World War II this is almost as crass as “How could you lose, six million Jews?”, by Emerson Lake and Palmer. But then what would you expect from a TV show whose express purpose seemed to be to demonstrate how Britain won the war by being old, incontinent and deliberately unfunny. A bit like that Genesis comeback tour then.

Indeed Dad’s Army could have only been worse if it had been called Dadrock Army, about the battle being waged by aging rockstars in today’s youth oriented market. Indeed there is a direct crossover, what with Arthur Lowe being Nick Lowe’s dad: he would be a shoo-in for the role of Cpt Mainwaring. I could certainly see Paul Weller as a Sergeant Wilson type, sneering at Lowe whilst being even more pompously mod. Add Alex Harvey as Frazer and Bill Wyman as Private Godfrey to fill out the ranks. Private Pike would be Dadrock wannabe Noel Gallagher whilst Corporal Jones would be the hoariest of the old Dadrockers himself: Paul “Thumbs Up” McCartney. The show wouldn’t be any good, though there could be a laugh in seeing Nick Lowe call Noel Gallagher a stupid boy. But if it were made I could tinker with the pyrotechnics on set and before your could say “Travelling Wilbury’s Disaster of 1997” we’d be seeing some nice rock funerals.

In the opening animation, the British Arrow is seen to be chomping at the bit to escape the UK. Not surprising, considering that all it would be able to listen to would be Vera Lynn (forces sweetheart) or Flanagan and Allen (forces punishment). One cannot under-estimate the power of piss-poor wartime songs in repelling the Nazi’s: they may have had no great music of their own, but knew when they were opening an even shittier bag. WDYTYAKMH was not from the war, but rather a pastiche written by show writers Croft and Perry. The quality of their comedy writing was crassness of the song, leaving Dad’s Army to be visual equivalent of listening to Cranberries album “To The Faithful Departed” (you know, the one with the Bosnia song on it). Dad’s Army was certainly the dullest half hour of the week on TV after Top Of The Pops (and even that I used to be able to get nicely wound up about). Old people, playing at soldiers: isn’t that just Status Quo singing In The Army Now on a bad day? Dadrock’s Army indeed. Indeed I fear that this has opened a terrible can of worms. There are a lot of bands and songs about the armed forces : so its time for the Tanya’s Army Of Awfulness.