Thorbjörn Egner

This is what Icelandic kids get for a birthday present when they’re young. Egner is this ideologist guy who made plays for children, on the same tip as Winnie The Pooh, I’d say : the Taoist tip, if you want. The songs are full of anarchy, like ’fuck parents, fuck teachers, fuck policeman, I can bring myself up’. One song is about the animals who live in the forest who decide not to eat each other, and become vegetarians. It’s a bit of a heavy moral message for five-year-olds.

Basically, it’s all about these two Icelandic trolls, Karius and Baktus, who were the first punks, so I was introduced to punks about 10 years earlier than you lot. Anyway, they live in your teeth, and if you eat sweets, they’re really hardcore punks, so they like to puke and spit like punks like to, and then they really hit your teeth, and shout. There are brilliant sound effects on this (impersonates tooth decay). It’s a bit like Igor Stravinsky for kids, with brass and string instruments. There are happy songs and sad songs, but it’s all very dramatic. It definitely made you think that authority was a bit dodgy. I think it’s a bit of the Bohemian Scandinavian over-socially aware thing, the idea that kids can sue their parents, which has gone out of date now. I must admit, I thought twice before I played it to my son. Fairy tales are cruel, aren’t they ? The wolf was eating the grandmother, after all.

Q magazine, october 1993