Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Is this the way to Amarillo

Soldiers in Iraq have created their own spoof video of the number one hit song, Is This The Way To Amarillo - and crashed an MoD website as their mates rushed to view it.

Troops from the Royal Dragoon Guards shot the home video at their base in al-Faw before emailing it back to army friends in London.

The soldiers' version proved so popular at the MoD that it crashed the server because it took up so much memory on computers. . .

There are simply certain things the British can do better than anyone else. . .

. . . By which I mean in this context that there is "cheekiness" in British humor that Americans and others can never quite pull off in the same way.

When I saw how they cleverly tied the video to "Amarillo", Elmer Bernstein's theme from "The Great Escape" popped to mind. (The film and Bernstein himself might have both been officially classed "U.S.", but it has a very British quality about it -- Steve McQueen aside.) That was a tune that absolutely captured the spirit of that film (based on a real event) about a group of POWs planning their escape. Similarly, being encamped in Iraq ain't exactly on the way to Amarillo, of course. And everyone knows that. Also, the video is decidedly "Python-like" -- except that it is miles funnier than even the best thing that the Python guys ever did . . . for this video combines both "cheekiness" and real-life.

We don't see this sort of thing too often. In a world where everything seems planned to the "enth" degree, and where too many are paid loads and are decidedly unfunny, this semi-private, very good humor emanating from guys most of us a few days ago had never heard about personally, is just plain refreshing. Smile for a moment and enjoy it.

UPDATE: From CBBC (that's right, it's actually made a children's site):

Three soldiers whose spoof version of the Amarillo video crashed a government computer system say they're amazed how popular their gag has been.

Roger Parr, Andy Stokoe and Mungo Ker from the Royal Dragoon Guards Tank Regiment made their video to cheer up the lads who were serving in Iraq. . .

. . ."It's been fantastic - more than we expected," said Roger. . .

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