Something for the weekend. The endlessly talented Petula Clark singing Downtown.  This song got a huge amount of play in the mid-Sixties, and I enjoyed it immensely as a child.  Not great music, but certainly fun music.

Now compare and contrast with this recent version by Emma Bunton:

Myself, I prefer the older, less Spicey version, but perhaps I am mistaken?

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Heh, the first thing that came to mind upon reading this post was the Seinfeld episode with the Downtown clue.

    I didn’t think that cover was bad, not sure I’d have a preference one way or another. Had never heard of Emma Bunton and didn’t get where you thought that version was spicy until google assisted in me in deciphering your clever quip. Duh…

  2. Rick my kids often tell me that my humor is so subtle as to be non-existent, which is their subtle way of saying, “Not funny Dad!”!

  3. Don’t let them fool ya, Don. They no doubt love it. Wait til you see how they become Dad x 2 when they have their own kids. My 13 yr old is quite gifted, a total bookworm and somewhat pedantic. She groans at my antics but beneath that steely veneer of teenage parental embarrassment syndrome, there’s a twinkle in the eye and an elevated corner of the lips that still makes the corny or subtle well worth it.

  4. For some odd reason this song this P. Clark was piped over the sound system in Walgreens last week. It made my day. I love this song.

  5. Petula has the fuller voice (of course, it’s also a studio recording vs. live performance,) but Baby Spice does a fine job. I’m glad she stuck to the original orchestration and didn’t do anything offbeat with the song.

    I remember singing along to stuff like this, “Georgie Girl,” and (Heaven help me) “Boots” by Nancy Sinatra at four or five years of age!

  6. Aah – YES!!
    Petula Clark – what a fabulous voice and a beautiful woman. She was top of the Hit Parade here when I was ninteen, and on transfer in my bank job to Wellington NZ – and that year was 1961. I was in love with her 😉

    But hey Don, we’re really dating ourselves now.
    Didn’t really like the bank job that much, and being a town boy, didn’t particularly like the city – even though I met some great guys – and gals – there.
    Left the bank six months later and joined my dad in his joinery business – but that was through no fault of Pet Clark. IIRC, she sang mainly Burt Bacharac numbers, followed a few years later by Dione Warwick.

    BTW – got the Spicey bit – the capitol ‘S’ gave it away. And my kids used to react to my humour the same as yours – I guess its a universal event. Funny thing is, my second boy who had the sharpest wit and was the most scathing of my “debased” humour, now at 36years old, is most like me. Even has his wife and 8 y/o old groaning at him. He reckoned I suffered from ARBD (alcohol related brain damage )

    Its a great life aint it? (to hell with the recession 🙂 )

  7. “to hell with the recession”

    That’s my motto Don! Good times come and good times go, but the most important things, God and family, remain.

    In regard to Petula Clark she has always had a warm spot in my heart. I loved the musical version of Goodby Mr. Chips that she did with Peter O’Toole back in ’69.

    As to my kids, my most scathing critic is my 14 year old daughter who also possesses a sense of humor that is almost identical to my own. I point this out to her and she reacts with mock horror!

  8. Thanks Don, I’ve had the Spicey version melody stuck in me since Sunday. It’s not bad, kinda of neat actually.

    It’s almost noon on Monday and it’s still going on inside my head!

  9. Petula Clark was (and remains) a favourite of mine. I collected every one of her albums way back when as soon as they appeared in the record stores. Emma Bunton was OK, and cute, but Pet definitely still rocks! Thanks for posting this wonderful tune — one of many brilliantly arranged by the gifted Tony Hatch, who produced most Clark albums. BTW, next time you post a Clark video, how about “My Love”? It’s cheerful, catchy, and if it gets stuck in your head will drive you crazy — in a good way, though! Thanks again.

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