Oct 1971

Alexander Beetle

EP reviews

Origins Unknown

An entertaining track from Melanie, though it's basically a kiddies song. Sung solely to her own guitar accompaniment , it's the story of a child who adopts a beetle as a pet and keeps it in a matchbox. Despite the triviality of the material, the lass puts it over with such enthusiasm and exuberance that it almost climbs into the pop song bracket.

This is a maxi-single with two other songs for the youngsters on the flip, "Christopher Robin" and "Animal Crackers", both of which Melanie recorded in 1968 though the 'A' side is a new track……

Treated more like an EP than a maxi, this is just what it says - winsome kiddies' ditties by Mrs. Schekeryk, who now has her own label in America. If her corncrake voice hasn't worn people down too much, this sensible package of old material should do well at Xmas.

A maxi single from one of the top ladies in the States, three tracks all with a running theme which in this case is a collection of songs that could be said to be directly aimed at children but I'm sure anyone who likes Melanie's weird evocative little cracked-up Piaf voice will equally enjoy.

"Alexander" is, of course, the popular stage number she always includes, full of strange irony and joy, as too is "Animal Crackers", I don't recall "Christopher Robin" live but it's done with her usual panache………….

Family Favourites!

It's like the Fox and the Goose song.. Did you ever hear that? Yeah - the Fox and the Goose song. Hmm. It can't be English. It's the sort of thing they play in the middle of the sets at a college gig to keep the hippies brewing. Oh I can't get into that - no way. I think a gumshield may help her………

When we were very young we were really too young to appreciate just how marvelous childhood is. It's not until we've passed right out of it that we can look back and realise what we missed! Do you follow? Melanie certainly must for her world is a world of perpetual childhood; the beauty of innocence.

Re-released Dec 1972

By Penny Valentine. Sounds 16th Dec 1972

Oh well. Of all Melanie's records I think I possibly cringed most of all to this track - so fey and twee it always was. Still it was written for kids, one supposes, and certainly it's a far cry from the work Miss Safka is talentedly turning her hand to these days.

Buddah, who apparently won't let her old tracks RIP, have re-released this and two others - "Christopher Robin" and "Animal Crackers" (Shirley Temple where art thou?) - in time for the Christmas market, presumably in an attempt to stop our worries about what to give the under-fives for a present. Nice of them. I seem to recall they did this last Christmas too.

By Danny Holloway. New Musical Express 16th Dec 1972

Since Melanie has now formed her own record company, her old one is beginning to re-release old material. There are three songs on this maxi-single. The 'A' side is "Alexander Beetle", and the 'B' side features "Christopher Robin" and "Animal Crackers". The songs are very simple little stories and should be nice for a kid to receive at Christmas.

By Chris Welch. Melody Maker 16th Dec 1972

While, I'm trying to listen to sweet Miss Melanie singing "Alexander Beetle", Andrew Means is blasting out Hawkwind's latest at full volume, sitting in total darkness in the 'sound-proofed room'. White faced secretaries come rushing in to ask what calamity has befallen us, as the floors vibrate. Meanwhile Richard Williams, who is poring through the back issues to choose his 'top albums of the year', is screaming and banging on the table top 'Shut Up!' I don't think I dare play "Christopher Robin".

unknown source

From her early LPs Polydor have wisely chosen these three songs, two adapted from A.A.Milne's words and one all her own. In a special sleeve with the words to "Alexander Beetle" and drawings of the other two songs; this will delight old and young alike. "Alexander" is the most enjoyable, complete with little beetle-like squeakings and sung so descriptively by the gentle lady…..

Alexander Beetle


Melanie Safka/A.A.Milne

I had a little Beetle, so that Beetle was his name,

And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same

And I put him in a matchbox and I kept him all the day

But Nanny let my Beetle out, Nanny let my Beetle out

She went and let my Beetle out, and Beetle ran away

She said she wanted matches and she just took off the lid

She said she wanted matches and she just took off the lid

She said I mustn't worry and I really mustn't mind

That there's lots and lots of Beetles that she's certain we could find

She said I mustn't worry, but it's difficult to catch

An excited sort of Beetle you've mistaken for a match

If we looked in all the places that a Beetle might be near

And we made the kind of noises that a Beetle likes to hear

And I heard a kind of something and I gave a kind of shout

It was a Beetle House and Alexander Beetle popping out

It was Alexander Beetle I'm certain as can be.

And he had a kind of look as though he thought it might be me

And he had a kind of look as though he thought he ought to say

I'm really very sorry that I tried to run away.

And Nanny's very sorry too 'cause you know what she did

And she's writing Alexander very blackly on the lid

So Nan and me are friends because it's difficult to catch

An excited Alexander you've mistaken for a match

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