Thursday, December 3, 2009

Trig Trog

When I was a kid at primary school, I always ended up getting involved in the Christmas play. For a couple of years I remember having fairly minor roles, like fourth choir singer at the back. My opportunities as a thesp seemed fairly limited.

Then, for some reason, I ended up being the star of at least two plays. In the first one I played a black man in a play tackling the issue of racism (I don't think it was for a Christmas concert, though!). In the second, I was asked to be the lead in a Christmas concert called 'Trig Trog'.

I don't really remember anything about it, but I think it was about a mysterious Arabian traveller or something who somehow gets caught up in the events of the first Christmas in Bethlehem.

I remember wearing uncomfortable curly-tipped shoes and a big turban-style hat. I also remember concentrating really hard as I delivered my lines - I think I had the lion's share of the script and it was probably quite a lot to recite for an eight year old.

Not so long ago, I did a Google search on Trig Trog and nothing came up, which took me by surprise. I have just tried again and lo and behold some author has scanned in the story as re-written by his younger self from 1983. I've also discovered that you can also buy a book of the songs, so presumably our concert was a musical number (they usually are though, aren't they?), not that I remember singing any songs.

One day, when JKY's in school, perhaps I'll encourage his teacher to dig out the Trig Trog story and use it for Christmas.

Who knows - maybe I could make an appearance as Trig Trog's father....???


  1. I've just done exactly the same thing (googled Trig Trog) for virtually the same reasons and this post came up in the search, so I just thought you'd like to know you're not the only one with vague memories of a random Christmas play. The production I was part of would've been in 1988 and there are three reasons I remember it- 1) I felt snubbed as the previous year I had been the lead and for Trig Trog I was assigned a less than minor role sitting on the front of the stage gazing adoringly at the main characters 2) the nice enough, but never since heard of songs, one of which was "sing a song for trig trog" and the other being # '"Sunbird" tell me a story; of a place long ago; where the sun left the heavens; and the clouds turned to sno-ow' 3) the fact that in memory it is such a random story to have to the Christmas play.

    1. I can still remember the tune to the Sunbird song - from primary school circ. 1977...!

    2. I can still remember the tune to the Sunbird song - from primary school circ. 1977...!

  2. Ha ha! Brilliant. Thanks for your post. I'm glad my school wasn't the only one that chose an obscure play to put on at xmas!

  3. Hello videomonkey. I was brought to this site by Stella's reference to the song Sunbird. For months now I have been looking for the lyrics as it has great sentimental value to me. So far I have been able to find 4 stanzas. Might you or Stella remember the whole song?

    1. Have just been having a clear-out of my very old Primary School things, and found a copy of "Trig Trog and the Christmas Children". I dimly remembered performing in it, googled the name to find out more about the background to the story, and ended up here!

      In my copy of the book Sun Bird is on pages 8-9 and has only 4 verses so I think you have them all!
      ("Sun-bird tell me the story..."/"To a girl in a village..."/"Then the king had to leave her..." and "For the girl left alone now")

  4. I'm afraid not - I hardly remember the play apart from me having to wear weird shoes and a big hat! Sorry! ;-)

  5. I'm another kid from the 70s who was taught from this song-book, and who has been haunted by the Sun bird song ever since. I'm glad to know that it only has 4 verses so it's only 1 line I've forgotten! The parts I remember go:

    Sun bird tell me a story
    Of a day long ago
    When the sun left the heavens
    And the clouds turned to snow.

    To a girl in a village
    Came a king robed in gold
    They were happy together
    So the story was told.

    Then the king had to leave her
    And he never returned
    But the heavens were shining
    And the golden sun burned.

    For the girl left alone now
    {can't remember this line at all, but it has to rhyme with "song"!}}
    She became lovely sun bird
    And keeps singing her song.

    Can anyone fill in the missing line?

    1. For the girl left alone now,
      Waiting days were so long,
      She became lovely Sun-bird
      And keeps singing her song.

  6. I've got a collection of Time and Tune books from the '70s and '80s, and Trig Trog is amongst them. And yes, Sun Bird is part of it, although that originally featured in the Spring 1973 programme, La Campanelita (a story of two kids in Peru).

    I'm more than happy to upload scans for you?