Saturday, 26 May 2012


In the woods

If you go down to the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the woods today
You'd better go in disguise!
For ev'ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain,
Because today's the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic.

Teddy Bear's Picnic on youtube - listen

The weather is glorious. Gardens all over England are being spruced up and bunting hung in readiness for garden parties to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. It's perfect weather for a Teddy Bear's Picnic and this time of year always reminds me of the song.

The Teddy Bear's Picnic by Molly Brett

The melody for 'Teddy Bears' Picnic' was conceived by American composer John Walter Bratton in 1907. In 1932 Irish songwriter Jimmy Kennedy added the now famous lyrics.  Kennedy lived at Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, Somerset and is buried in Staplegrove Church. Pilgrimages are still made to see the small wooded area between the church and Staplegrove Scout Hut which locals will tell you was the inspiration for his lyrics.  I love the way the song is born again with each new generation of children and lingers fondly in the hearts of many grown up, and not so grown up fans.

I remember being thrilled many years ago when Pete Townshend of The Who chose the slightly scratchy 1936 version done by Henry Hall and his Orchestra with vocals by Val Rosling as one of his songs on a radio program. Producer Keith Altham recalled about Jimi Hendrix, "If things were getting tense in the studio," says Altham, "he'd just play 'Teddy Bears' Picnic'."

This is a video of a shortened version of the song on youtube:

Teddy Bear's Picnic

Our village is bordered by several small woods which we drive through coming and going. I'd love to live even closer, deep in the woods, under the shade of the trees. Carpets of snow drops and bluebells heralding spring, and the crunch of fallen leaves and wood burning bringing winter.

 Puthall Gatehouse 1906, Savernake Forest
From Francis Firth photo library

Often the birds and beasts that live in the woods venture out and give us a glimpse of themselves.

Driving through Wickham Heath recently I was not surprised to see that there really are wolves in this wood! I love this gate so much.

A Wolf at the gate



  1. Your dream house is as pretty as a picture, just the place to enjoy nature. Have a lovely week! Sharon x

  2. That sweet cottage would be my dream house too! The woods can be very captivating...shade and filtered light create a certain beauty in the trees and plants that grow there, offering mystery and at the same time fascination...lovely photos ! N.xo

  3. This is a beautiful area!
    The wolf statue is really great, and the dream house very pretty!
    I enjoyed learning the origins of The Teddy Bears' Picnic. The children at the daycare center where I worked always loved this song - I have a nice recording of it by Anne Murray, and we often have teddy bear picnics...always a favourite of children, I believe.


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