What Did the Hippie Have in His Bag?

  • songfacts ®
  • The title for this song was taken from the name of a cartoon series Cornershop frontman Tjinder Singh wanted to create. The series never came to fruition, but the name came back to him during an international festival in which the BBC asked artists to do various projects with themes of education and children. Singh volunteered for the project and visited Castle Hill Primary School in Bolton, where he spent three days working with the children, exploring various topics with them through music and teaching them to meditate. He then got the children to sing on the album.
  • So what did the hippie have in his bag? Lots of stuff: German jazz, a dragon that was half Welsh, an ice cream van...

    It's all about imagination. "the hippie is a very loose-thinking, open sort of character," Tjinder Singh told Songfacts. "They're like kids who'll sort of come at you from a different angle. So the hippie idea came from that, and that's why there's children on there as well."
  • Singh talked about creating the song with the children in his Songfacts interview: "We got them to close their eyes and start meditation, and therefore be closer to their own world. So then the creative process was theirs and theirs alone, and then they were asked to explain the little story they made up to other kids.

    So, the process was a lovely little process that hopefully gave the kids an element of being in their own space, thinking for themselves, coming to their own conclusions, which I think is a great skill not just for what we require but for later on in life.

    That's what I do like about the hippie proposition: That one can be open. That openness it can lead to ridicule. The movement itself probably has gone back, but in terms of the ideals, the hippie's a pretty good thing. Hence, liking that sort of thing."
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