The Insane Music Of Stuart Anderson


The Insane Music Of Stuart Anderson
A Wee Scottish Lad

Posted by Charlie Recksieck on 2022-11-08
Have you ever had a piece of art or culture that you consider to be "so bad it's good"? In TV it's known as "hate watching".

I generally had a lot of things like this in my 20's. Eventually I kind of outgrew the concept of reveling in things that suck; it started to have too negative of a ju-ju. But I can’t resist sharing one that has meant a lot to The Bigfellas. It's a 1989 album from a Scottish child named Stuart Anderson.

The Bad-To-Good Tunnel

In my heyday, I really got into some oddball musical collector's pieces. I remember being fascinated by a tuba-heavy mess called "Herb Bernstein's New Crusade." I loaded up on a ton of ill-advised celebrity songs and albums from folks like Mae West, Jack Webb and Leonard Nimoy - while William Shatner's records were the gold standard.

Shatner records were always funny on a first listen, incomprehensible on a third listen, then almost reassuring on a seventh listen. They I'd go through the metaphorical tunnel by a fifteenth listen where my ears and head were so confused that my brain would convince me that Captain Kirk's LSD fever dream of a "Mr. Tambourine Man" cover was actually inspired genius.

In a way, dedicated "hate listening" is a captivating example of how music can work its way into the brain, even bad music.

Stuart Anderson's Party does exactly the same thing. By the time you've heard these corny songs three times, you need to hear them regularly.


Dig in!

The Music

It's corny. It's hokey. It's not even particularly well recorded. There's seems to be a weird bed of accordion and banjo underneath everything.

Yes, that's not what makes this special and all of that buries the lead: It's a young child talk-singing emotionless songs with a thick Scottish burr. Still, there is something almost charming about his positive, let's-put-on-a-show attitude. Notice I said, "almost charming". On most listens this record lives somewhere between endearing and creepy AF.

The Lyrics

This article might be the first article ever to take a deep look at these lyrics. That's partially because nobody has bothered to put the words from a forgotten 1989 album on the internet and also because Stuart's accent is so damn thick, you can replay some sections like the Zapruder film and still not be able to decipher what the hell he's saying.

Donald Where's Your Trousers - If you scan the titles of these 12 songs, this is the one that sticks out. This was originally written and performed by a comedy singer Andy Stewart. But in the hands of little Stuart Anderson this just gets weirder: "Let the wind blow high / Let the wind blow low / Through the streets, in my kilt I’ll go / All the lassies say hello / Donald, where’s your troosers?"

The Ghostie - The Addams Family theme ripoff notwithstanding, as far as I can tell this is a cheeky song about a cheeky kid who's friends with (or related to) a cheeky ghost. Who the hell knows, I can't even tell if he's singing in Gaelic or not at some point?

Marriage - THE show-stopper from the album. This one has fascinated me for years. Here's this tiny, cheeky, precocious Scottish lad giving advice on married life. But everything about it is a kid's ignorant version of what marriage is �"

"Buy yourself a table, buy yourself a chair
Build yourself a house, upon the little square
Get yourself a big strong wife, and buy her a ring
And don't forget the cradle, to rock the baby in."


The Legacy Of Stuart Anderson

If anybody knows of Stuart's last 30 years or can find something about how his career panned out, I'd be grateful to hear of it.

Meanwhile, we just hope you like this relic of peculiarity. We'll be back to talking about real music next week.