It was partly as a result of the shelving of their first record that The Goons decided to secure a recording contract with Decca in the spring of 1956. Their first recording session took place on 24th May 1956, soon after the sixth series of The Goon Show had finished.
"Im Walking Backwards for Christmas" had originally made its debut in the programme "The Great Tuscan Salami Scandal" (recorded on 21st February 1956) during which The Goons were without their usual orchestra and musical interlude performances from Max Geldray and The Ray Ellington Quartet due to a strike called by the Musicians Union. To fill in the three minute interludes from the storyline, Spike Milligan performed this classic song accompanied by Peter Sellers' "unique" piano playing.
The song proved a highlight of the show and prompted its re-recording for Decca. As a B-side to the single, the equally splendid "Bluebottle Blues" provided the young cub from East Finchley with his first vocal outing on record.
Released on 25th June 1956, the record soon entered the UK singles chart, reaching a height of number 4. Surprisingly, Decca's US subsidiary London Records also released the single in August 1956, but it failed to make any impression on the American charts.
I'm walking backwards for Christmas, Across the Irish Sea, I'm walking backwards for Christmas, It's the only thing for me
I've tried walking sideways, And walking to the front, But people just look at me, And say it's a publicity stunt
I'm walking backwards for Christmas, To prove that I love you
An imigrantal lad, loved an Irish colleen From Dublin Galway Bay He longed for her arms, But she spurned his charms, And sailed o'er the foam away
She left the lad by himself, on his own All alone, a-sorrowing And sadly he dreamed, or at least that's the way it seemed, buddy, That an angel choir for him, an angel choir did sing
I'm walking backwards for Christmas, Across the Irish Sea I'm walking backwards for Christmas, It's the finest thing for me
And so I've tried walking sideways, And walking to the front. But people just laughed, and said, "It's a publicity stunt"
So I'm walking backwards for Christmas To prove that I love you.
Spike: Thank you for the encore... Bluebottle: 'Ere, I didn't think much of that. I think my side was better. Spike: Get that child out of here! (sound of Bluebottle getting kicked out)