Before you take a trip down Memory Lane, why not see how much you remember?
The Herbs was a charming stop animation children’s program from 1968 to the early 70s. It was a product of the London-based animation studio Filmfair. It was written and created by Micheal Bond, creator of Paddington Bear, directed and animated by Ivor Wood (The Magic Roundabout, The Wombles), and narrated by Gordon Rollins. I remember it fondly; every episode would start by opening the door to the Enchanted Herb Garden with the magic word Herbidacious! Inside was a raft of characters named after herbs and introduced by their own little song. Each episode features a different herb as the main character but with Parsley The Lion, the central star, with his little friend Dill The Dog, who was always chasing his tail (I recently saw a Cockerpoo doing this. It reminded me of Dill ). Later, there was also a spinoff series called “Parsley The Lion” in which Parsley and Dill got proper voices.
Here’s an episode with Pashana Bedhi, the snake charmer – I used to love him.
Here’s each character’s songs 😁
Where Can You Watch The Herbs?
You can stream both series The Herbs and Parsley The Lion on Amazon Prime. You can buy per episode or purchase the entire series. You can also buy the complete collection of The Herbs and Parsley The Lion on DVD from Amazon.
YouTube has a lot of free content – Just Search for “The Herbs”.
Parsley The Lion
He was the friendly Lion that welcomed the viewer into the Herb Garden. He was the given more prominence in the subsequent series called “Parsley The Lion” in which he is the main character and is given a voice.
Parsley has lots of different songs depending on the situation he finds himself in. Here are some of the lyrics to Parsley’s songs:
Parsley The Lion’s Song Lyrics
"I'm a very friendly Lion called Parsley with a tail for doing jobs of every kind but I mustn't treat it roughly or too harshly for it's such a useful thing to have behind" "I'm a very friendly Lion called Parsley I am always very glad to see you wave but please don't shout or speak to me too harshly because I'm not particularly brave" "I'm a very friendly Lion called Parsley I really don't like climbing things at all so please don't shout or speak to me too harshly I am sure you wouldn't want to see me fall" "I'm a very friendly Lion called Parsley I'm supposed to pull this rope and ring the bell though I try to pull it gently never harshly I'm afraid that I'm not doing very well" "For today I'm known as Doctor Parsley because the Chives have aches and pains and chills if I treat them very gently never harshly they will very soon be cured of all their ills" "If you take advice from Doctor Parsley you take camomile for colds and tooth ache too if you find your skin is itching rather harshly then some marigolds the very thing for you" "I'm a very friendly Lion called (sniff,sniff) but sometimes I feel very very (sniff) so please don't shout or speak to me too (sniff,sniff) for I'm sure you wouldn't want to see me (sniff)" "I'm a very friendly Lion called Parsley I must try to keep the water in the hose But it won't have any trouble getting past me Or it seems to me I'm running out of toes" "I'm a very fearsome Lion called Parsley You can tell because I lash my tail and roar I stamp feet and even shout quite harshly You have never seen me do these things before" "I'm a very worried Lion called Parsley I pretended to be fierce and in a rage Now I'm sorry I was rude and spoke so harshly I feel so unhappy locked up in this cage" "I'm a very friendly Lion called Parsley I had hoped my singing voice was like a bell Though I try to sing so sweetly never harshly I'm afraid I didn't manage very well" "I'm a very friendly Lion called Parsley I'm so happy doing jobs of every kind Although this time Mr Bayleaf hasn't asked me He's be so surprised if he should look behind" "I'm a very nervous Lion called Parsley If Sir Basil starts to fish again today You will see me disappearing rather smartly As I feel that it is time that I was in my way" "I'm a very friendly Lion called Parsley with a tail for doing jobs of every kind If I draw these curtains gently never harshly You will be surprised at what you see behind" "I'm a very friendly Lion called Parsley I can't make a speech but I would like to say It is very kind of everyone to ask me Thank you very much for coming here today"Verse
Dill The Dog
He is a small hyperactive dog who is always chasing his tail in a circle. He’s Parsley’s best friend and sidekick who sleeps in a kennel in the garden, dreaming of bones. Here are some of the lyrics to Dill’s songs:
Dill The Dog’s Song Lyrics
"I'm Dill the dog, I'm a dog called Dill I'm rather small and furry and I'm often in a hurry" "I'm Dill the dog, I'm a dog called Dill Though my tail I'd love to get I have never caught it yet"
Sage The Owl
Is a grumpy owl that spends most of his time asleep in his nest, which he frequently falls out of. He hates getting his feathers wet, and so he has an umbrella to keep him dry. Here are some of the lyrics to Sage’s songs:
Sage The Owl’s Song Lyrics
"I'm a rather fat feathery owl called Sage I'm not at all happy in fact in a rage It's bad enough having ones home all upset But to make matters worse all my feathers are wet" "I'm a rather fat feathery owl called Sage Let me tell you I've never set foot in a cage To be truthful I've not got the slightest desire To be covered in wood, held together by wire" "I'm a rather fat feathery owl called Sage Let me tell you I've never yet earned any wage and truthfully I've always found it was best to sit up this tree in my second hand nest" "I'm a rather fat feathery owl called Sage I've had to sit still for simply an age to be truthful I'm not fond of hatching out eggs there is so little room I get cramp in my legs"
Bayleaf The Gardener
He is the hard-working gardener / odd-job man in the Enchanted Garden. He keeps the garden tidy and plants and grows many of The Herbs. He speaks in a broad West Country accent. Here are some of the lyrics to Bayleaf’s songs:
Bayleaf The Garderner’s Song Lyrics
"I'm Bayleaf the Gardener I work from early dawn you'll find me sweeping up the leaves and tidying the lawn"
Is the bumbling Aristocrat who owns the Enchanted Herb Garden. He’s your typical English aristocratic stereotype with a red nose (presumably from too much port), monocle, and deer stalker. His hobbies include shooting and fishing, and he’s constantly carrying either a shotgun or a fishing rod. He thinks he’s in charge but is very much under the thumb of his wife, Lady Rosemary. Here are some of the lyrics to Sir Basil’s songs:
Sir Basil’s Song Lyrics
I am Sir Basil, the King of the Herbs and I'm very often in trouble I'm not very good at sorting things out and often I get in a muddle" "I am Sir Basil, the King of the Herbs and I'm Hunting and Shooting and Fishing But when there is any hard work to be done You'll notice I'm generally missing"
She is Sir Basil’s prim and proper wife who wears the trousers and is constantly sorting him out whenever he gets into trouble (which is often). Here are some of the lyrics to Lady Rosemary’s songs:
Lasy Rosemary’s Song Lyrics
"My name is Lady Rosemary you will find you can't fool me I have eyes both sharp and quick to help me see through every trick" "My name is Lady Rosemary I am tall and willowy Though my manner may seem cold I really have a heart of gold"
Mr And Mrs Onion And The Chives
Mr. Onion is the father of The Chives and the husband of Mrs. Onion. He’s got so many children that he took it upon himself to teach them, donning a stereotypical teacher outfit of grey suit and mortar board. However, his teaching style is more in kin with a drill sergeant than a teacher. Mrs. Onion is the wife of Mr. Onion and the mother of The Chives. Being an onion, she spends most of her time crying. There are at least ten Chives and are the children of Mr & Mrs. Onion. They don’t have individual names and are treated like soldiers by Mr. Onion, their teacher.
He is the resident policeman who constantly patrols the garden to keep law and order from his perceived misdemeanors, for which he notes down the names of the offending Herbs in his notebook that he constantly carries. Here are some of the lyrics to Constable Knapweeds’s songs:
Constable Knapweed’s Song Lyrics
"I am Constable Knapweed and I keep Law and Order I watch to see that all is well along the garden border"
He is an Indian Snake Charmer dressed in a loin cloth and turban and sleeps on a bed of nails. He plays a magic pungi to charm the snakes, which he once left lying around for Parsley to make mischief.
She is a friendly old Aunt who likes nothing better than to sit in her rocking chair and knit something for the other Herbs. Although she is very fast in knitting, she is constantly falling asleep mid-knit before she finishes.
Tarragon The Dragon
Tarragon is a friendly dragon hatched from an egg at the top of a beanstalk-sized tarragon plant that grew after Bayleaf accidentally spilled paint food on it. As a dragon, he breathed fire, instantly vaporizing anything it touched with unfortunate consequences. Here are some of the lyrics to Tarragon The Dragon’s songs:
Tarragon The Dragon’s Lyrics
"I'm Tarragon the Dragon, I'd better make it clear that nothings safe when I'm about things seem to disappear"
Belladonna The Witch
The evil Belladonna is a witch who hates all the other Herbs and tried to turn them all into weeds by drinking her magic brew. Dill famously thwarted her, the herb often associated with warding off witches in real life.
He is an Italian Opera singer who was trying to teach Sage and Parsley unsuccessfully to sing.
She is a fussy middle-aged woman who stays with Sir Basil and Lady Rosemary, always complaining so much that Bayleaf grows her a husband to rid of her.
Good King Henry
Husband of fussy Miss Jessop, he was grown from seed by Bayleaf to marry her off.
There were 13 episodes in the original Herbs Series and 32 in the follow-up Parsley The Lion.
The Herbs Episodes
|Episode Number||Title||Original Air Date|
|1||“Parsley’s Tail”||12 February 1968|
|2||“Sage’s Nest Blows Down”||19 February 1968|
|3||“Belladonna the Witch”||26 February 1968|
|4||“Tarragon and the Eggs”||4 March 1968|
|5||“The Chives Catch Colds”||11 March 1968|
|6||“Pashana Bedhi the Snake Charmer”||18 March 1968|
|7||“Miss Jessop Tidies Up”||25 March 1968|
|8||“Parsley and the Circus Lion”||1 April 1968|
|9||“Sage’s Singing Lesson”||8 April 1968|
|10||“Strawberry Picking”||15 April 1968|
|11||“Sir Basil’s Fishing Expedition”||22 April 1968|
|12||“The Show”||29 April 1968|
|13||“Parsley’s Birthday Party”||6 May 1968|
Parsley The Lion Episodes
|Episode Number||Title||Original Air Date|
|1||“Cowboys and Indians”||6 April 1970|
|2||“Aunt Mint’s Barbeque Party”||7 April 1970|
|3||“Toothache”||8 April 1970|
|4||“Dill’s Who’s Who Entry”||10 April 1970|
|5||“Parsley’s Invention of a Mechanical Dog”||13 April 1970|
|6||“Holidays at Home”||15 April 1970|
|7||“Parsley at a Loose End”||20 April 1970|
|8||“Dill’s Restaurant”||21 April 1970|
|9||“Sage’s Birthday”||22 April 1970|
|10||“Buried Bones”||24 April 1970|
|11||“The Conch Shell”||27 April 1970|
|12||“Putting on a Show”||28 April 1970|
|13||“Works of Art by Dill”||29 April 1970|
|14||“The Crystal Ball”||1 May 1970|
|15||“Dill’s Day”||4 May 1970|
|16||“The Quiz”||20 July 1970|
|17||“Dill’s Television Set”||27 July 1970|
|18||“Eggs and the Golf Ball”||3 August 1970|
|19||“On Strike”||10 August 1970|
|20||“The Pop Group”||17 August 1970|
|21||“Mahatma Dill”||24 August 1970|
|22||“The Art of Self Defence”||31 August 1970|
|23||“Parsley’s Insomnia”||7 September 1970|
|24||“Parsley’s Car”||14 September 1970|
|25||“Dill Learns French”||21 September 1970|
|26||“School Prize”||28 September 1970|
|27||“Dill’s One Dog Show”||5 October 1970|
|28||“Dill’s Garage”||12 October 1970|
|29||“The Endurance Test”||19 October 1970|
|30||“Ugh Day”||26 October 1970|
|31||“Taxi Service”||2 November 1970|
|32||“Old Memories”||1 February 1971|
Where To Find Out More?
If you really want to dig deep into the Herbs, then head over to this encyclopaedic fan site on The Herbs or to this fantastic site dedicated to Ivor Wood, the creator of The Herbs and other classic animations.