Once upon a time, street performers were a rarity, and people wrote songs about the ones who were around for a long time. Here’s Mr Bojangles by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, with harmonica playing drummer – is this a first? . I’d have paid to see the old guy. Or this band impersonating him:
Here’s William Shatner’s very strange version of Mr Tamborine Man:
I had this one in my head as a busking song. It isn’t but I like it a lot so here’s Harry Nilsson’s version of Randy Newman’s song ‘Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear’
And here’s one that reallly wouldn’t make the cut today – very un-PC: a song by Fred Astair and Rita Hayworth, mocking a short dancing busker, ‘The Shorty George:
Ralph McTell’s song ‘Streets of London’ has long been a standard for buskers. So here’s a punk version of it, by The Anti Nowhere League. Interesting.
Scrubs is a brilliantly written series and one of the best episodes began series two, when Colin Hay singing ‘Overkill’ neatly summarised all the secrets and complications of the previous series. Here it is in all its glory, with Hay being a patient/busker interweaving with the main story line. If only more scriptwriting was this clever.
And here is the scene of Dr Cox smashing that same guitar. We have all been there!