UK - "Ready Steady Go"

Our local PBS station recently had a fund-raiser - one of the shows being a compilation of clips from the British show “Ready Steady Go” (roughly equivalent to “American Bandstand”). The clips seemed to be mostly from the 1963-65 era, featuring popular British (and a few American) groups and soloists, such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Four Tops, etc.

Most lip-synched their songs, but what confused me is that when the Beatles appeared, there was no screaming (or other reactions) from the numerous females dancing (or just watching). Did they simply turn off the sound and “paste” the lip-synched soundtrack over the silence?

Here is part what was shown on the PBS show (Beatles are near the start).

I am pretty sure that’s what they did. There is a short burst of screaming at the start as the presenter introduces them live, but then they switch to the recorded version sans screaming.

And why do the British go “Ready Steady Go” when we in America go “Ready, Set, Go”?

Because they are way cooler.

And then they had to go and come up with “Softly, softly, catchee monkey” and blow all that cool cred.

It seems that it comes from Africa - Ghana to be particular, and the “modern” saying comes from literal advice on monkey capture.

The Koma people of northern Ghana have a proverb to this day that translates literally as “small-small catches the monkey’s tail”. Other languages in northern Ghana have it as well. It was explained to me as follows: if there’s a monkey in a tree, and his tail is hanging down, you have to move very slowly ( small-small has that meaning) to catch him. In other words, patience and steadiness will accomplish your goal.”

World Wide Words: Softly, softly, catchee monkey

Because alliteration is good.

So is rhyming.