In 1975, only a couple of months after C. W. McCall's original "Convoy", a parody of it was recorded by "Laurie Lingo and the Dipsticks". The perpetrators of this sacrilege (two DJ's employed by BBC Radio 1, Dave Lee Travis and Paul Burnett) should rightly have been burned at the stake for heresy, but we'll let them off because it's actually quite funny.
So now, download the record here (convoygb.mp3 - about 2.9MB), unwrap a Yorkie, and sing along!
(Non-British visitors - want to know what it all means? Read the Glossary!)
It was a foggy day on the sixth of May
[On the CB]
So there we were, the two of us,
[On the CB]
Hello, Plastic Chicken to Super Scouse, gerroff, I mean come in, er, come on - oh, do I have to say this every time?
Spaghetti Junction was coming up
[On the CB]
Chips - Not what the Americans would call chips (we call those 'crisps'), chips are a bit like french fries, but thicker, greasier and much, much nicer...
M1 Motorway - British Motorways (designated by the letter 'M') are high quality, high speed roads, usually with three lanes of traffic in each direction, with a central dividing strip between the two opposing carriageways. There is a spare lane, or 'Hard Shoulder', at the side, which drivers should try to get their vehicles onto if they break down or have an accident, to get clear of the running lanes. Pedestrians, learner drivers, and some classes of vehicle are prohibited on motorways, and all junctions are grade-separated interchanges. (Rough equivalents would be American Interstates and German Autobahns.) The M1 runs more or less due north from London, ending in Leeds 190 miles away.
MOT - The 'MOT' is the annual test of roadworthiness for cars, or the certificate issued to vehicles which pass. 'MOT' stands for 'Ministry of Transport', and although we haven't had a Ministry of Transport for about 25 years (it became the Department of Transport, then part of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, and is now part of the Department of Local Government, Transport and the Regions) the name MOT has stuck.
Nap - Short period of sleep.
Newport Pagnell - A service area (place where you can get off the motorway to park, rest, use toilets, eat, go shopping and refuel your vehicle) on the M1.
Scammell - British make of lorry. Absorbed into Leyland Trucks in the 1970's, the name is (I think) now defunct, though it was used as a brand name within the Leyland model range for a number of years.
Spaghetti Junction - Junction 6 on the M6 motorway (nowhere near the M1!) near Birmingham, and opened around 1972, this is the junction where the M6, the A38, the A38(M) Aston Expressway, and a few other lesser roads meet. Called 'Spaghetti Junction' because of its apparent bewildering complexity, with roads going over, under and past each other like strands of spaghetti on a plate, it's not really as complicated as it looks. Contrary to popular belief (and as suggested in the song) you can't actually go round and round it all day. Whatever happens you're through it and out again in a matter of seconds, though it's quite conceivable that if you weren't reading the signs fast enough you now might not be going in the direction you were hoping for.
Scouse - I wasn't sure whether to put this one in - surely everyone in the world knows that 'scouse' is someone or something from Liverpool?
Suicide jockey - This is a bit of an in-joke. The expressions 'As it happens' and 'How's about...', and the ululation, were catchphrases of one of Dave Lee Travis and Paul Burnett's fellow disc jockeys at Radio 1, Jimmy Savile OBE. Travis (in his persona of Super Scouse) is sending up his colleague.
Tax disc - Technically known as a Vehicle Excise Licence, this is a disk which is required to be displayed in a vehicle's windscreen to show that one part of the huge tax burden on British drivers has been paid.
Toddington - Another service area on the M1 (see Newport Pagnell)
Watford Gap - Another service area on the M1 (see Newport Pagnell)