So here we are then ready to reveal what’s behind the cardboard door of my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar for December 8th. Where the hell does the time go? Anyway today’s choice whizzes you way back through the sands of time to the Christmas of 1968 when “Lily The Pink” was number one for the Scaffold. It held sway at the top for three weeks. There were supported by some big stars although to be fair one of them hadn’t become a star at that point. Backing vocals on the song were provided by our stars and those stars were Elton John, who was not much more than a small stone in the celebrity universe at that time and Graham Nash off of the Hollies and later Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. In fact it is thanks to Mr Nash that the line “Jennifer Eccles had terrible freckles” was added to the song. In reference to the Hollies smash “Jennifer Eccles”
The song was based on a traditional folk song “The Ballad Of Lydia Pinkham” although the band provided most of the new lyrics. The band was from Liverpool and counted Mike McGear, Paul McCartney‘s brother among their members along with Roger McGough and John Gorman. The Scaffold performed a lot of McGough’s poetry in their live shows and they also had two other top 10 UK hits with “Thank U Very Much” in 1967 and “Liverpool Lou” in 1974. The latter was recorded with Paul McCartney and Wings.
The band broke up in the late 70s but have reformed on a few occasions, often for charity and most recently to record a special song to commemorate Liverpool’s year as UK City Of Culture in 2008. Enjoy the band performing the song below.