Page 1 of 2

Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:20 pm
by Clumsymum
:) A while ago my husband & I were discussing an episode of Steptoe & son,

I remember a snippet of an episode where Harold sits at his bureau, and sings "we're going to have an orgy" , while he opens a box of sweets. Now I remember the sweets as liquorice allsorts, but my husband is sure they were Quality Street.

We have tried lots of sources for this, but can't find the answer anywhere. So please, someone, can you solve this conundrum ?

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:28 pm
by The Pixel Surgeon
They were Liquorice Allsorts (Harold's favourites), and not, as your husband suggests, Quality Street.

The episode was Upstairs, Downstairs, Upstairs, Downstairs, from the final series (which just happens to be, one of my favourites).

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:21 am
by Dirty Old Yank
Pink liquorice allsorts :)
I always thought Harold was singing, "Going to have an hoagie", aka a 'hero' or 'submarine' sandwich.
If it was "orgy", is that tune some burlesque song I haven't heard? I assume he chose that specific melody for a reason.

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:36 am
by PhilGlass
I believe he sang 'going to have an alcy' short for allsort which I assumed was an advertising jingle. It could be any of them!

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:36 am
by The Pixel Surgeon
Dirty Old Yank wrote:Pink liquorice allsorts :)
I always thought Harold was singing, "Going to have an hoagie", aka a 'hero' or 'submarine' sandwich.
If it was "orgy", is that tune some burlesque song I haven't heard? I assume he chose that specific melody for a reason.


Indeed.

To be honest, I never understood exactly what the word was at the end of the sentence/song. Never actually thought it was orgy, though.

If I remember correctly, as I've watched that episode many times, although not for years, that last word seemed to be pronounced as orgeeeeeee (if you know what I mean...).

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:29 pm
by Dirty Old Yank
If you 2 fellas don't know then it is a mystery.
Was it an advert jingle? Certainly seemed that way. Maybe Harry ad libbed the melody.
I guess only Ray, Alan or Susannah would have the answer.
Hang on, haven't the scripts been published?

Going to have an hoagie, a lovely lovely hoagie...
That's what I've been hearing anyway. And it makes sense, poor sod is just back from shops, hasn't slept or eaten, a lovely hoagie might be just the thing lol.

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:00 pm
by PhilGlass
The DVD subtitles have it as Hoagie, but what exactly is a hoagie? It's not a word I think is used in England much... but it would make sense if he was singing 'Oagie, missing off the H.

Harold did often alter his Steptoe accent, look at the word BALCONY, it appears once as you would expect, then the next time its BALCONY... with the emphasis on the CO

One of the most notable errors comes from the accents, when in The Offer (I think) Harold and Albert both pronounce CAFE totally differently... as most kids learn their dialect from their surroundings and parents, it's highly unlikely a father and son who have lived together all their lives together would pronounce it completely differently...

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:07 pm
by PhilGlass
Just checked thr book of scripts - the bit is completely missing, with harold simply going in to the kitchen with the groceries, then looking for a beer!!

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:11 pm
by Dirty Old Yank
A "hoagie", as I suggested above, is a submarine sandwich. Is that expression unknown to Britons?
Also, I realized that Harry singing Going to have an hoagie (?) is virtually identical in key and rhythm to "Singin' in the Bathtub", a popular song published in 1929. So popular in fact, it became an archetype that survives to this day.
Not scripted? Then Harry was likely improvising to that historic melody :)

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:19 pm
by PhilGlass
That makes a lot of sense, though let's not forget, the published scripts were published as scripts to be read, not acted. It's the Shakespeare syndrome... his scripts have been altered over the past 500 years and are often used to be read. A script is not meant to be read, it is meant to be acted. Galton and Simpson themselves altered some of them for the 1971 school text book of Steptoe scripts, so although likely he improvised, we can not be sure.

What puzzles me is why he would be singing about a sandwich, or an orgy, at the thought of eating a liquorice allsort. Having listend back to it, my first guess, which I always thought it was, is way off. Definitely not that... Hoagie it is, but the question is... why?

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:22 pm
by Dirty Old Yank
"Shakespeare syndrome"...is it catching? We hope not.

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:52 pm
by Clumsymum
How interesting, first thaI was right, it Was liquorice allsorts, but also that you guys don't recognise the word.

I clearly remember it as being "orgy" - pronounced with a hard G (i assumed that was part of the joke) .

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:59 pm
by Dirty Old Yank
It's possible BBC has the subtitles wrong, that they didn't know what Harry was singing either and just guessed, "hoagie." Wouldn't be the first time their subtitles/captions weren't merely incomplete (or non-existent) but obviously incorrect. Happens quite frequently here, yank dvd's are infested with dreadful, patently incorrect subtitles/captioning all the time. It appears one Los Angeles company has (or had) a monopoly on what must be a very profitable business, despite frequent, grotesque errors lol. I'm guessing it's done by machine, advanced voice recognition technology, and then not checked for mistakes. Can imagine their rationalizing, "Who cares? Hard of hearing will never know the difference anyway."

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:14 am
by Ivor Biggun
I hear Or-gee (hard 'g') every time I watch that one. I don't think it's hoagee. They may have put hoagee in the subtitles to spare parents some awkward explaining when their kids ask what an orgy is.

Re: Please end a marital argument

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:44 am
by PhilGlass
Ivor Biggun wrote: They may have put hoagee in the subtitles to spare parents some awkward explaining when their kids ask what an orgy is.


What is it??