It is also the wedding anniversary of my son, James Forde and his wife Elisa Forde who lives in France. Enjoy your special day, Dad Forde and Sheila xx
My song today is ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’. This song was is a song written by Mike d’Abo and Tony Macaulay. It was released by the ‘Foundations’ in 1968 with Colin Young singing lead vocals. Young had replaced Clem Curtis during 1968 and this was the first ‘Foundations’ hit on which he sang.
The song reached Number 1 on the ‘Cash Box Top 100’ chart and Number 3 on the US ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart in early 1969. It was also a Number 2 hit in the United Kingdom and was quickly certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of over a million US copies.
I have never known anyone who was called ‘Buttercup’ apart from a cow. During the 1990s, I took a holiday travelling around part of Ireland. I was born in Ireland and have always loved going back there. Being in Ireland not only keeps me close to my spiritual roots but it also rejuvenates my spirits.
One of the boarding houses we stopped over at was in County Mayo. The owners took in one family only for B&B to supplement their income. County Mayo is fine farming land, as is most of Ireland.
We got very friendly with the owners of the small farmhouse that we stayed at over four days. They had one child, a son aged 24 years, and each morning when we had breakfast, (the owners and their paid guests always breakfasted together), before we had completed breakfast, the son would make his excuses and dash off to feed ‘his cow’ in a field half a mile away.
At first, we thought that the cow belonged to the owners and was kept for yielding milk, but we were soon corrected in our wrongful assumption. I cannot recall the breed of cow but was assured that it wasn’t ‘any old cow’ and that it had been bought for the specific purpose of breeding. The cow (nobody was allowed to refer to it as being a ‘beast’ without causing grave offence) apparently cost double the price of any ordinary cow and was much sturdier and larger.
We were told that it was one of the rarer cow breeds and that they had bought it as a 21st birthday present for their son a few years earlier at a cost of nearly £5,000 (Irish pounds). The parents had offered to buy their son a car as his 21st birthday present, but he opted for a certain breed of cow instead. We were also told that he was saving up every penny he had to get another of the same breed of the opposite sex, so he could mate and breed them. Golden calves of this cow breed were seemingly in high demand and commanded a lot of money.
Naturally, this cow with its magnificent golden coat wasn’t merely referred to as ‘the cow’. No! Not to have properly Christened such a fine-looking creature would have amounted to sacrilege itself in the young owner’s eyes. It was far too important an animal to have been given a mere number tag or referred to as ‘Silly old Moo’. The cow was called ‘Buttercup’ and seemingly the young owner spent all his spare time talking to it, grooming its immaculate coat, taking photographs of it, and presumably thinking of the years ahead when he would make his first shed-load of money from the commercial sale of the breed. It later transpired in conversation that ‘Buttercup’ took up every bit of spare time and every penny of the owner’s money in upkeep and saving up for a companion. He had even got the parish priest to bless ‘Buttercup’ with church holy water, and his parents were even surprised when he didn’t ask the parish priest to hold a baptismal naming ceremony at the altar rail during Sunday Mass.
As for having a girlfriend, the young owner’s parents said that their son wasn’t interested. He had seemingly once told them that having a girlfriend was too expensive a hobby for any rare cow breeder to pursue. He had also told his mother though that if he ever became a full-time farmer with a herd of rare cows and a hundred acres of pasture or more to tend to, he would take on a wife to help out with the amount of work involved. Apparently, loving any future wife would take second consideration to how good a worker she was.
Whenever I hear the song that I sing today, I think of this Irish holiday and this young man who asked to be bought a cow for his 21st birthday instead of a car, and who preferred to spend his summer evenings stroking it instead of getting himself off down to the pub or the local dance hall and putting his arms around the shoulders of a beautiful young Irish colleen instead!
Love and peace Bill xxx