Published Sep 23, 2008I'm not a sucker for novelty or cover versions really but once in a while something shows up that ticks both boxes and somehow manages to win me over. Growing up in an anglo-centric household, The Benny Hill Show was a constant source of amusement for me as a child, though thinking back on it now I have a feeling all of the in-your-face sexual innuendo and half-nude ladies flew right over my five-year-old head. So, when I discovered this priceless gem inadvertently on The Heat Wave blog, I nearly fell over in astonishment.
I don't know much about Leftside, other than he's an artist from Kingston, Jamaica who's worked with Sean Paul, but this dude has given the old Benny Hill theme tune a makeover. To set the record straight, the song is actually called "Yakety Sax" by saxophonist and Elvis Presley collaborator Boots Randolph, though it has become better known as Benny Hill's identifiable anthem. And now it's been dance-overhauled by Leftside, who's lifted the sax bit and thrown in an echoed, clapping beat and some cheesy bass and synth, presenting a riddim destined to become one of the year's great novelty tracks. The blog points out that it's been playlisted by BBC Radio 1, so it's certainly making the rounds.
Boy has it! In addition to Leftside's instrumental, he's also put a country and western spin on the track as "Cowboy," a pimpified, XXX-rated version that favours the word "coochie" to no end. He's also farmed it out to Elephant Man, who spits "She nuh want Benny Hill, Benny Hill... want climb up Ele hill, Ele hill." Poetic genius. And then there's Lady Saw, who adds the Southern belle's take on the track, though lacking in ladylike manners, and there's also Timberlee's valley girl nitwit approach. Methinks adding all of these different vocals trivializes the cover just a little but really, I think that's the idea.
Leftside "Benny Hill Riddim"
Elephant Man "No Tikkle"
Lady Saw "Jealous"