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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA


By Steve Cooke

Wordsmith and former Mayor Robin Parker produced a poem during the Pandemic, BBC To Captain Tom, dedicated to Captain Sir Thomas Moore (30 April 1920 – 2 February 2021).

Popularly known as Captain Tom he was a British Army officer who raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 6 April 2020, at the age of 99, Captain Tom began to walk one hundred lengths of his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his 100th birthday. On

the morning of his hundredth birthday, the total raised by his walk passed £30 million.

Robin’s BBC to Captain Tom parodies Space Oddity, a song written and recorded by the late English singer-songwriter and cultural icon David Bowie. It was first released as a 7-inch single on 11 July 1969 before appearing as the opening track of his second studio album. It became one of Bowie's signature songs and one of four of his songs to be included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

The song introduced the world to Major Tom and over four decades later gave Robin the inspiration for BBC to Captain Tom.

A video of BBC To Captain Tom has now been produced in collaboration with Teresa Ogden.

Teresa explains, ‘I made an audio track of Robin’s recording of BBC To Captain Tom on GarageBand and made the video using iMovie and sent it back to him in an email. Currently Robin is in the process of creating his own YouTube channel to put the video on’.

‘The collaboration with Robin on this project came about as a result of him asking me to create a video to accompany his poem. It was suggested that I might do this by Dave McKeon, a member of the Baum group of poets.’

‘Dave is also a member of Oldham Acoustic Guitar Group, as am I. One of Dave’s performances, a parody of Summer Holiday, inspired me to add some images to illustrate it. Dave liked it so I made it public on YouTube. Dave had caught the bug and went on to write another parody, a timely send up of President Trump’s fall from power called “Hit the road Trump”. This one has been viewed 21,395 times and has gone all around the world.’

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