Thursday, 1 June 2023

Product Placement #15: Swarfega

We're getting into haymaking season. When I was a kid, that would mean that my dad and my brother would wake the tractor from hibernation and drag out all the other ancient haymaking contraptions. The mower. The turner. The baler. Inevitably, one - if not all - of them wouldn't be in working order, and so began the lengthy process of getting them ready for the job at hand. Although even when they were ready, they rarely lasted. They usually broke down halfway through the job, stranded amid the dusty rows of hay like a ship on a sandbank, waiting for someone who knew more about fixing farm machinery to come and sort them out. 

Afterwards, my dad would return to the house and scrub down his hands with Swarfega, from a rusty square tin just like the one above. Other 80s kids might see green slime and think of Ghostbusters or Tiswas, for me it'll always be reminiscent of summer.

Here are some songs that mention Swarfega, starting with some instrumental try-hardery from a band I never really got...

Kasabian - Swarfiga

Followed by a band who crop up here a lot, even though I like the idea of them more than the reality...

Sleaford Mods - Swarfega

Today's most appropriate song is this one. You'd definitely need some Swarfega after a lawnmower death. And it's surprisingly listenable... albeit only 26 seconds long...

Lawnmower Deth - Swarfega

After all that, I'm crying out for a biscuit. Here's half of one, with a song about remembering you need a tin of Swarfega when you're hiking up a famous Shropshire hill...

Half Man Half Biscuit - Descent of the Stiperstones

Under normal circumstances, that would have been the winner. But then Alison Goldfrapp turned up with an offer I couldn't refuse...

I want to run away with you
Your caravan and rabbit stew
Don't buy me candyfloss or bears
Swarfega fingers, I want you there

Steady on, love. Men of a certain age, and all that. Although it turns out Ms. Goldfrapp was born in 1966, so I'm still young enough to be her toyboy...


  1. "We're getting into haymaking season." Over here too, I've just arranged delivery of 25 bales. €8 each.

    1. My brother could have got you them for 7.

    2. does that include delivery?

    3. Well, he does have a holiday home in Portugal (he's the one with money in the family), so he could drop them off on the way.


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