Pancake Day 2021 – the Pancake Day song – let Maid Marian and her Merry Men get you in the mood

Posted on 16 February 2021
By Andy Johnson
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Well it’s that date in the calendar where we’re all salivating about the idea of fluffy discs of flour floating in the air, caught by frying pans in our merry mitts and eaten in glorious blueberry syrup.

This calls for a rendition of that most classic of children’s TV anthems from the 90s… the Pancake Day song!

It was performed by Danny John Jules, best known as Cat from Red Dwarf, but features on Maid Marian and her Merry Men, which was created by Tony Robinson, of Baldrick from Blackadder fame.

The show was a part musical comedy re-telling of the classic Robin Hood legend, placing Maid Marian in the role of leader of the Merry Men, and reducing Robin to an incompetent ex-tailor.

It developed a cult following among children and adults alike and has been likened to Blackadder, not only for its historical setting and the presence of Tony Robinson (as well as early, uncredited, script editing work being undertaken by Richard Curtis).

But also for its comic style. It is more surreal than Blackadder, however, and drops even more (deliberate) anachronisms.

In the Pancake Day episode, officially known as A Game Called John… Pancake Day celebrations bring King John to the stunning realisation that he isn’t recognised by the people of Worksop.

So he tasks the Sheriff to come up with ideas to make sure he is remembered by his subjects. The Sheriff’s suggestion is for him to invent something – which is a challenged promptly re-delegated to the Sheriff, who comes up with a new game to be called “John”.

This game suffers teething problems when the large number of balls required to play simply roll off the table, hence the need for a green felt cloth.

The cloth is stolen by the Merry Men – to make some new fetching costumes and the Sheriff gives the rights to the game to a local peasant. Mistakenly believing the man’s name to be “Stinker”. The new owner of the game, however, is actually known as “Snooker”.

Maid Marian and her Merry Men was appointment viewing from the golden age of kid’s television, which this humble writer used to eagerly rush home for and stick in a VHS tape to capture it for posterity.

The show also had a cult adult following, my parents use to enjoy watching it on tape, when they got home from work. Not least of all for the brilliance of Red Dwarf’s Cat aka Danny John-Jules.

He was called Barrington in this show and here we see Danny using his dancing and performing arts skills to create a song which has entered the Pantheon of classics. So sing-along to the “puh-puh-puh-puh-Pancake Day” song in the video box here…