Time and Tune: Scenes from The Wind in the Willows

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started7th Jan 1986
ended18th Mar 1986
last rpt22nd Mar 1988
3 school years
duration20 mins
subject 🎶MusicMusic
age rangeAge 7-9
languageenIn English
Time and Tune cover spring 1988.jpg
Time and TuneHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: Alvida and the Magician's Cape Next unit: Over the Moon HierarchyNext.gif

Scenes from The Wind in the Willows is a unit of the BBC schools radio series Time and Tune

An adaptation of main storyline to Kenneth Grahame's famous book The Wind in the Willows. The episodes were presented by, and the story narrated by, Douglas Coombes.

Mole meets Water Rat and discovers the joys of living on a river bank. Their friend Mr Toad shows them his horse-drawn caravan, but soon decides that he prefers a motor car. Mole goes to explore the terrifying Wild Wood and has to be rescued.

Toad escapes from his friends and goes on a series of amazing adventures (all covered in one action-packed song) before returning to deal with the invaders who have taken over Toad Hall.

The theme tune for this unit was a special song, the Prelude to The Wind in the Willows performance played on recorder, glockenspiel and triangle:

Theme SongPrelude to The Wind in the Willows

The wind in the willows is calling to me:
'Come play in the Springtime, how happy we'll be.'

Time and Tune revisited The Wind in the Willows for a completely new production with different songs in spring 2003.


All seven songs from this unit, with a short extract from each. The words for all songs are by John Emlyn Edwards, and the music by Douglas Coombes.


Springtime! Springtime!
Is a happy song-to-sing time.

SongThe River Bank

Glint! Gleam! Sparkle!
Oh, what a sight to see.

SongThe Vintage Car

Beep-beep! Beep-beep!
Beep-beep! Beep-beep!
With a fizz, and a wizz, like a shooting star.

SongWild Wood Song

Voice of wind through branches humming,
Mm, song of the wild wood.

SongNever Touch a Motor Car Again

But you must never,
But you must never,
Never touch a motor-car again.

SongMr Toad's Adventures

I'm a master of disguise,
I've a thousand tricks to play.

SongThe Wind in the Willows

For mine is the rose in the wild wood,
And mine is the bird in the sky...

As well as the above seven songs and the Prelude, there was also a musical piece on the Terror of the Wild Wood, played on xylophone and cymbals:

SongTerror of the Wild Wood

Wee-hee! Wee-hee!
Beware of Ferret and Fox...


Pamphlet illustrated by Martin Ursell
Scenes from The Wind in the Willows words by John Emlyn Edwards
Scenes from The Wind in the Willows music by Douglas Coombes
Producer Douglas Coombes


This unit consisted of 10 episodes, the final 2 of which were a full rehearsal and performance of Scenes from The Wind in the Willows.

They were first broadcast in the Spring 1986, on Tuesdays at 11:00am on BBC Radio 4 FM. Recordings of these episodes were repeated in Spring 1988, also on Tuesdays at 11:00am on BBC Radio 4 FM.

Recordings of all 10 episodes are held in the BBC archives.

# Title Broadcast
1. Broadcast eleven 7 Jan 1986
2. Broadcast twelve 14 Jan 1986
3. Broadcast thirteen 21 Jan 1986
4. Broadcast fourteen 28 Jan 1986
5. Broadcast fifteen 4 Feb 1986
6. Broadcast sixteen 11 Feb 1986
7. Broadcast seventeen 25 Feb 1986
8. Broadcast eighteen 4 Mar 1986
9. Broadcast nineteen 11 Mar 1986
10. Broadcast twenty 18 Mar 1986


The unit was accompanied by a 24-page pupils' pamphlet containing the words and tunes to all of the songs and some rhythm exercises, which were referred to in detail during the broadcasts, and an A4 booklet of teacher's notes.

These resources were originally published for the 1986 broadcast, and they were reprinted without modification for the 1988 broadcast. Originally this unit built on the work of The Tailor of Gloucester from autumn 1985, which used 'cat', 'mouse' and 'tai-lor' as names to help children learn the basic musical notes. When it was repeated it built on the work of the new unit The Musicians of Bremen from autumn 1987, but things were orchestrated so that this new unit also used 'cat', 'mouse' and 'tai-lor', however relevant to the story, so that the reprinted publications for Scenes from The Wind in the Willows would still make sense.


Sources & References

  • BBC (1987a) BBC Radio and Television for Primary and Middle Schools 1987-8. London: BBC.
  • BBC (1987b) Time and Tune pupils' pamphlet, spring 1988. London: BBC. ISBN 0 563 33985 3
  • BBC Programme Catalogue online (no longer available)
  • Recording of Time and Tune: Scenes from The Wind in the Willows Programme 19
  • with thanks to Robin Carmody


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