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Who was Melody Lee? 
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Mr Valeera
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On another board, we have received the following plea

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Hi all,

I've a sneaking feeling this may have been asked before but could anyone provide me with a copy of the Bunty issue/s in which the above character appeared?

Thanks for any pointers - it may well have been Mandy or June.

Many thanks in advance

stoofer


Any help as it is not a character that I recognise.

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Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:07 am
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Some info here after a quick Google search,ColCool: http://www.geocities.com/ladyrant/020402.html

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Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:07 pm
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She was the main character in the BUNTY serial 'Melody Lee - a dancer she'll be!'. The story started in issue 1030 (Oct. 8 1977) and ended in 1067 (Jun. 24 1978). It ran for more than eight months, a highly unusual event in any Thomson girls' paper.


Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:38 pm
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I wonder if Melody Lee was a reprint of part of the long Dancing Life of Moira Kent series from the late 1950's and early 1960's under a more trendy title? It would be interesting to know.


Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:15 am
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A love of ballet apart, the two girls are as different as chalk from cheese, Ray. Melody-Lee Roberts was abandoned as a baby and spent her childhood moving from one foster home to another. One day Mary Ogden, a Salvation Army officer, who had originally found and named the baby, sees her begging in the street for money to pay for her first ballet lessons. She is a natural, but she comes across as common, speaks in a slovenly and aggressive manner and has some serious chips on her shoulder. However, when she hears children calling her ‘carrier bag kid’ she realises that she isn’t an orphan, as she has been led to believe. Mary Ogden is forced to explain that she had not been dumped in a carrier bag. Her mother had actually left her well protected in a pram. Melody-Lee now has only three aims in life - become a ballet star, find her mother and, in the meantime, live with Mary, even though the authorities turn down Mary’s application to adopt the girl. A top ballerina, Alla Lanova, watches Melody-Lee dancing in the street and decides to pay for her lessons in a decent ballet school. She also decides to adopt the girl, a decision that is splashed across the nation’s newspapers. Melody-Lee is confused, and even more so when she receives a letter on her 12th birthday purporting to come from her mother. Following this up she finds the woman is in prison. This opportunist turns out to be her real mother’s sister and the woman who had originally stolen and abandoned the baby in an act of revenge. Mary Ogden and Miss Lanova then find Melody-Lee’s mother running a dancing school as Madame Martell. Mother and child are reunited and Melody-Lee's ultimate success would now seem to be assured.


Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:21 pm
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There was certainly a lot of suffering for the sake of your art in the girl's comics, Phoenix! And thanks for clearing up my Moira Kent musings.


Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:10 am
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Hi all
What can I say? My sporadic search for this information has borne fruit. I gave up searching ages ago, as I had failed to find anything, and while I remmber posting the original request and checking back for replies I'm amazed that it's come to light after all this time on what, I am sure, is a different forum.

Thank you everyone!


Mon May 20, 2013 9:21 pm
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Welcome to Comics UK, stoofer. :)

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Tue May 21, 2013 9:23 pm
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I had never heard of this strip and only checked as this is the name of a song by the Damned. I assume it's based on the comic anyone know?

Melody Lee, a broken mind and a broken dream
A burst of speed, a change of heart
Your life was cruel, they called it art

Melody Lee, you need a mirror to set you free
You know you can't cheat tomorrow
If you hide, it'll end in sorrow

Melody Lee, you gotta find your secret enemy
You're on the road with nowhere to go
If you die, there's no one to know

Forget your heart, you need not stay
A second longer than today

Melody Lee, a broken mind and a broken dream
A burst of speed, a change of heart
Your life was cruel, they called it art


Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:45 pm
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Album 3; Machine Gun Etiquette, 1979....


thanks, Jap!

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Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:44 pm
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japandroid wrote:
I assume it's based on the comic, anyone know?
If we compare the song lyrics to the plot I outlined earlier in this thread, we would be really hard pressed to see any meaningful link.


Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:21 pm
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This topic has also been discussed by fans of The Damned. According to a post at http://damnednonsense.yuku.com/topic/58 ... 9IS0nhwaM9

"...The booklet from the [Machine Gun Etiquette 25th Anniversary CD sheds a bit of light on it and quotes Captain talking about the song: "I'm surprised I got away with that one. I took the lyrics straight from Bunty comic. Melody Lee was a character, it was 'Melody Lee a dancer she shall be'. She's being trained by a failed ballerina who was scarred in an accident. All the lyrics came straight from the speech bubble in the cartoon strip."..."

So I guess all it takes now is for someone who owns the right issues of Bunty to compare song with script. Any volunteers? :)
Captain Sensible, AKA Ray Burns, who wrote the song, was a big fan of Bunty. He also wrote The Four Marys Go Go Dance All Night At The Groovy Cellar, which was the b-side of the single There Are More Snakes Than Ladders. He also made use of the cut out dress-up doll idea that appeared regularly in Bunty. Obviously a man of good taste.


Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:34 am
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davidandrewsimpson wrote:
I guess all it takes now is for someone who owns the right issues of Bunty to compare song with script. Any volunteers?
Responding to David's request for a volunteer, and as it is more than eight years since I posted the summary above, I have carefully reread 37 episodes of the 38-instalment story Melody-Lee - A Dancer She'll Be, paying particular attention to the speech bubbles. I have been forced to conclude that Captain Sensible's memory, as far as his recollection quoted by David is concerned, and when taking into account the lyrics posted by japandroid, was defective. At no point in the serial do any of the lyrics appear in that form. If on the other hand we look at words and phrases separately, some do resonate, but we would then need to reconsider his comment All the lyrics came straight from the speech bubble in the cartoon strip.

As they aren't from one bubble, perhaps he has taken some word-pairings piecemeal from several bubbles, and cobbled a song together from a hint here and a suggestion there. Some though are either completely wrong or don't relate in any way to the story. For example, Melody-Lee never suffered from a broken mind. There was always a singlemindedness of purpose about her. She knew that she was destined to be a ballet dancer from a very young age, and therefore found an inner strength to overcome the name-calling, the cruelty of her various foster parents, unfair or unfeeling treatment, and all the disappointments and reverses along the way. For the same reason she never had a change of heart. She did need a burst of speed from time to time when running away from an authority figure, and there were occasions when she had a broken dream, principally when she thought her mother was claiming her, only to find that it was her aunt, the one who had stolen her and dumped her in the first place. She did need a mirror to set her free, that being the big one in the ballet school, but the idea of cheating would never occur to her. But a couplet like Forget your heart, you need not stay / A second longer than today makes no real sense in terms of the story, and the more I think about this, the smaller the link between the serial and the lyrics becomes.


Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:50 pm
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This is cool, I thought there had to be a connection. Sensible is a total card, he once said that he wrote the Machine Gun Etiquette lp by playing European advert jingles backwards. He has been often called one of the best guitarists of all time and by some the best. When you consider that he was a non song writing bass player on the first two lps and then came up with third on his own it's a spectacular achievement. Here's a cracker of a virtually unknown bside with Sensible on fire, he can shred without sounding in the least bit metal;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lib7_K3-OYs


Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:19 am
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I'd take the comments with a pinch of salt, even if it weren't a twenty five year old recollection. It's entirely possible he took some lyrics from the comic and filled in the rest to suit. Clearly there is some connection to the comic, it's just a matter of how closely they are linked.

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Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:39 pm
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