Classic ABC Filler Music Videos

This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 23rd November 2010.

In my column last week, I took a trip down memory lane, or in my case, Olola Avenue, Castle Hill, and reminisced about my favourite ABC kids afternoon programs from the eighties. That little adventure awoke another remnant of a memory.

During the late seventies and eighties, the ABC wasn’t the slick operation it is today. There were no promotional ads for upcoming shows, and so the couple of minutes left between programs were filled with early music videos. These videos ran repeatedly whenever there was time, and so I guess over many viewings, they became the basis of my love for music, or at the least, one hit wonders.

All of these music videos are burnt into my brain. I remember the tunes, the words, and pretty much every detail of the music videos. If only I knew the names of the songs.

A little research online gave me the names and artists of each music video, with the exception of one elusive clip. This one was an instrumental, kind of a sea shanty, and the video featured a bunch of women doing some sort of traditional dancing in a white room, while the musicians looked on. Ten points to you if you already know the answer.

And now, direct from 1980 or so, via my rather poor memory, are those pesky music videos that eluded me for so long.

Bright Eyes was the theme song from the 1978 animated film Watership Down, based on the Richard Adams book of the same name. Art Garfunkel, of the little known musical duo Simon and Garfunkel, performed the song in his famous falsetto. The song was composed by Mike Batt, who was also responsible for discovering Katie Melua and writing The Wombles hit novelty albums.

Even today, Bright Eyes haunts me. The book is depressing and sad. The tune is depressing and sad. The video, which features cute animated rabbits happily hopping around fields and then being caught in snare traps and dying, is depressing and sad. As a six year old, the sombre nature of the music video was certainly not lost on me, and I’d often be found sitting in silence, thinking about “those poor Bright Eyes rabbits.”

Love Is All was a popular single from the rock opera concept album, The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshoppers Feast, which was composed by Roger Glover, of Deep Purple fame. With glass shatteringly high lead vocals from Dio frontman, Ronnie James Dio, the animated music video features a cavalcade of animals singing and dancing.

On review, the video is not just animals singing and dancing. The video has serious psychedelic overtones. That’s not just a frog playing a guitar leading the animal parade. That’s a frog that turns into a shrub which then sprouts five singing frog heads. I’m sure some serious drugs were involved in the making of the album and video. Not that I’m complaining. Anything is better than the dead rabbit song.

OK, so I’m sitting in a car with a close friend chatting about these mysterious videos. I mention the elusive mystery one and she pops up with the answer immediately. “Oh that’s Portsmouth, by Mike Oldfield,” she says. Sure enough, there was the video on YouTube, just as I remember it, except for the multiple musicians watching the dancers. Only Mike Oldfield appears in the clip, playing different instruments in different shirts, obviously over multiple takes.

And thus another one of my life’s great mysteries has been solved. If you know of any other music videos from that era, drop me a line via my website. And whatever you do, avoid Watership Down.


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  1. Was just thinking of old ABC filler videos last night, prompting me to Google them (thus finding this page). Nice post, looking forward to reading related ones!

    I still enjoy the “Love is All” clip, and haven’t forgotten it after all these years… but another filler I remember was footage of numerous hang-gliders taking off, in flight and landing; with the backing music of Mark Knopfler’s “Going Home”. Haven’t found that video yet.

    And if memory serves, there was another video comprising of prototype aeroplanes and/or flying vehicles (obviously filmed prior to the Wright brothers attempt) set to the music of “Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines”. Would like to see that one again too!

    And of course there was the one with aerial footage of massive waterfalls, set to either “Superman” or “Star Wars” (memory starting to fail now!)… and another I just thought of, which used various NASA videos (including rocket launches, moon landings, and astronaut and buggy footage) set to another piece of orchestral music. Wish I knew what it was!

    In conclusion, I’m wondering if perhaps I used to watch too much ABC as a child 🙂

    • I definitely remember the hang gliding one! I haven’t been able to find a clip of that one. I also remember the waterfalls, and the NASA one. I can remember the music from the latter so clearly, but I can’t think what it is.

    • I too recall the clip for “Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines” and amazingly, it is online!

      The orchestral piece you’re referring to with the NASA footage I think is, “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss. As I recall, it showed footage of the Apollo mission from launch to lunar landing, including the astronauts enjoying the lighter gravity on the moon, bouncing about on foot and in their rover right up to re-entry and water landing. Unfortunately, I have not found the clip for that one. But keep checking back online occasionally. That was how I found this page which finally answered my own desire to know what the hell that animated guitar playing frog and dancing snail and butterfly clip was I remembered from childhood! Had been searching for its identify on and off for years!

    • The NASA video was incantations by Mike Oldfield and is on You tube

  2. For the NASA footage, try It is another Mike Oldfield tune, Incantations part 4. It seemed like it was on every second night just before the news.

  3. Glad to see I’m not the only one who has these clips fried into memory.
    The other space filler was based around Saturn V rocket launches and
    moon landings. It was, I think, a mashup of various mission footage.
    One thing I remember was the high quality of the video. The music was classical. Like a Strauss waltz or something.

  4. Another is Blue Peter by Mike Oldfield where the clip is of people in a race using different machines (mini hover craft, ultralights, trikes). The video is online but it’s not utube, just search blue peter mike oldfield in google videos. I am in desperate need of knowing one abc filler clip that was an animation of a paper plane going down a river and through a Forrest. That’s my vague recollection.

  5. I remember many of these fillers. Others included Kermit the Frog singing ‘Rainbow Connection’, footage of a steam hauled train on a mountain line, a woman painting garden gnomes, a strange piece about a girl and boy playing with toy soldiers (filmed from the toys perspective) at the end of which they run off hand in hand leaving all the toys behind and footage of a large model railway (I think there was a wurlitzer organ playing a waltz behind this one). I’d love to see any of these again. Anyone else remember them? They would have been from around ’79 – ’84.

    • I am so glad someone else remembers the garden gnome one. I have been trying to remember what that was for decades! The gnomes were in an English-looking terribly green mossy garden, as I recall. I’d love to see it again. ‘Love is all’ remains one of my favourite clips, thank you ABC.

    • Wow – vague memories suddenly resurface: Kermit, the gnomes and the model trains. I must’ve been about 4 years old! Thought I’d dreamed all of these. The mind is an amazing thing!
      Would love to see them again. Does the ABC have an archives dept?

    • Certainly remember the garden gnome one. What is it from? Would love to see it again.

  6. There was a Christmas one, too, involving a live cat and mouse and using Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. ❤

    • please!!!!! Can anyone help me wirh this one….!!!???
      All i remember was a lone guy walking through a park as he sang the song… it got darker..there was a shower of a curtain of fire works behind him as he sang…..then all i remember is that at the end of the song..he goes inside a house…the outside light goes off and then you hear him tripping over something inside the house………..

  7. There was another. A long haired guitarist making a paper plane. He throws it and the plane becomes animated. It goes over fields and floats down a stream and gets relaunched at a small waterfall, to finally return to the guitarist. I thought the guitarist was Mike Oldfield, but it seems not. The music had a classical vibe. Maybe even Vivaldi.
    Does anyone remember that one.

    There was another which was a roughspun guitar track, played quickly, over pencil and paper drawn train tracks – really rough amateurish animation, but matched the music perfectly. Maybe Andrew Pendlebury but maybe not.

  8. There was another of a long haired guitarist who made a paper plane which he threw, turning into an animated paper plane having adventures flying over fields, floating down a creek and flying off a waterfall only to return to the guitarist. The music had a classical feel. All I know it is seems not to be Mike Oldfield.

    There was another of rough train tracks drawn animated on paper, over a rough and ready guitar track – great train vide. Might have been Andrew Pendlebury but maybe not.

    Anyone know who did these?

    • I too want to identify the one with the paper plane! Did the plane get folded from sheet music? I feel it was classical guitar and maybe something like Cavatina but cannot remember more than you describe. Somebody shared a video link for you above, without comment, but it has since been deleted. Will the mystery never end?

  9. I remember many of these.. sadly, my memory isn’t what it used to be.. There was one I remember that hasn’t been mentioned yet, where the footage involved labrador pups playing to some sprightly piano music.. I remember some of the tune, but can’t identify it.

  10. Hello! The Morris dancing one described is Portsmouth by Mike Oldfield. I’m really glad someone else remembers the toy soldiers clip! I thought I must have dreamed it for a while. My earliest memories of television are made up of these filler video clips! 🙂

  11. Great article! thanks, i often think of those clips. There was an art show on abc around the same time, at the end the man closed his studio/apartment building and walked down the corridor. Does anyone remember this show and it’s title? I really liked the music (classical) and I’d love to be able to find it.

  12. My husband and I were both discussing the ABC fillers just this morning while educating our three year old about 80s and 90s cartoons (he loved Bananaman). We remembered the ones of classic disney clips featuring Mickey and Donald but set to disco tunes. Anyone else remember them?

    Oh, and I had forgotten about The Butterfly Ball. THAT IS ONE TRIPPY CLIP :O

  13. They played Tusk by Fleetwood Mac;
    And UK instrumental band Sky did a rock guitar version of Tocatta and Fugue by Brahms;
    I’d like to see the Niagara Falls Superman one again. I wonder if someone can assemble a playlist of all these ABC fillers. The Steam Train one has an old Country music standard called ‘Orange Blossom Special’ playing over it but I can’t find the ABC video anywhere.

  14. “Macho Duck” and “Disco Mickey Mouse” were the Disney songs from memory, the Mickey one had footage from an early Disney film “Through The Mirror”

  15. What was the name of the one with the woman painting garden gnomes, I for the dear life of me have gone completely blank. A friend of mine remembers it vividly ” it was a woman, maybe thirties or so long dark brown hair; painting garden gnomes; she put a handful into a wheel barrow and went walking through a small forest like allotment; filled with hundreds of gnomes; had a pretty catchy background tune”. Any help on locating the name of this or even a video clip would be awesome.

    • Dear god, my mind has exploded. This has explained so many vague memories. I had remembered Tusk, and the morris dancing clip (although I had not been able to find it until reading this page, so thank you soooo much). A friend reminded me of the frog ball a few years ago. But in my head I had merged portsmouth with what I now suspect is the gnome clip that keep’s getting described, as I distinctly remember something that began and/or ended with a mouth harp… I used to walk around the house trying to imitate that sound with my mouth.

  16. I have never forgotten the Love Is All clip (how could anybody?), and Portsmouth has busted my mind wide open, however, there was another piece, classical or at least piano, featuring ballet dancers (possibly just regular dancers) which was always shown either just before or on 8am before Sesame Street, and right after a musical interlude featuring a (for 2015) dated animated clock…

    Any help or ideas what I could be thinking of?

    • Frank Mills ‘Music Box Dancer’ is the classical ballet piece you may be thinking of… 🙂

      • Sorry it’s taken me a thousand years to respond, but this is EXACTLY the piece I remember. Thank you.

  17. I remember one from the mid maybe late 80s that was the saturn v rocket staging, from launch to earth orbit. The same footage you see everywhere from the mercury missions with a mounted film camera. The music i recall was distinctly sounding of a Vangelis track. Does anyone remember this? I have never been able to find it >.<

    • The Vangelis music in the rocket launch clip was Eric’s Theme from Chariots of Fire. I’ve been looking for that clip for a while without success.

      • Thanks for the reply ! For years ive been looking for more obscure vangelis tracks and there it was on one of his most iconic albums !

  18. Frank Mills ‘Music Box Dancer’ is the classical piece that had ballet dancers in the film clip….I remember loving it as a little one. 🙂

  19. My favourites were Butterfly Ball and Tusk, & I love Incantations 4 … I’d totally forgotten about Portsmouth (the Morris Dancers) but it looks familiar now…

    But does anyone remember, there was also one with hot air balloons taking off and drifting over green countryside, with slow, atmospheric music, maybe another Mike Oldfield piece? I can’t find anything.

    I didn’t realise that’s where I knew Macho Duck from, wow I totally remember that clip with Huey Dewey and Louie messing with Donald! Here it is on Youtube (after the German announcer)

    This is a medley, starting with Disco Mickey, Macho Duck starts at 2:50

    • I think the hot air balloon one was to the music “Song for Guy” by Elton John. Loved that one!

      • Thanks – but that’s not the music I’m thinking of, there must be more than one hot air balloon one! The one I’m thinking of was completely orchestral, very stringsy, not piano. (I’m just now listening to Song for Guy played by an orchestra, but it’s definitely not it.) It was more laid back and atmospheric, and more classical sounding. Argh, I can almost-but-not-quite hum it. It’s driving me nuts…

    • I wonder if you might be thinking of the hang gliders one: the music begins very low and slow as the people carry their folded gliders up a bush track to the peak, where they assemble their craft and prepare to fly. The track is the magnificent “Going Home” by Mark Knopfler, the theme from the movie “Local Hero”.
      The video is perfect for the music which, after a slow and quiet start, suddenly takes off, as do the flyers. Magnificent. I’d love to see it again.

  20. Thanks for the nostalgia trip! These music videos are some of my earliest memories. I remember the hot air balloon one – it was one of my favourites! I think the music was Song For Guy (Elton John) – a piano piece:

    Another one was Sheena Easton on the train singing Morning Train (9 to 5) and Juice Newton (Angel of the Morning). I also loved Portsmouth, Tusk and Toccata and Fugue.

    I can vaguely remember the one with the gnomes being painted, as well as the one with the Labrador puppies – hope someone else has some more info on those.

  21. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have searched for the Love Is All clip for over 10 years – and no-one has ever heard of it. It is as fantastic watching it now as it was when I watched it as a girl.

    I’m grateful that there is at least one other person with classic nostalgic taste, in a world where there is too much crap being played.


  22. This is great. These were such a part of growing up in a small town in QLD. Has anyone found the Popcorn clip or the Hall of the Mountain King clip that the ABC played?

  23. As we enter ‘that time of year’, and now that I’m a ‘grown up’ with children of my own, I remember a set of fillers during the late 70’s early 80’s. It was to the tune ‘Musicbox dancer’ and it showed children doing Christmas activities, for some reason I remember it being in Adelaide? Around a large Myer type shop. At the end they open a door on an advent calendar. I always looked forward to this as a little girl, wish I could find it now. Does anyone else remember it?

  24. I have been seeking out the music which accompanied the hot-air balloons for years. I can still hear it clearly in my head.
    Magic stuff, as was the Butterfly’s Ball and Portsmouth etc.
    The music sounded like an originally composed modern piece in a classical style with a little more syncopation, a gentle pace and a full sweepingly majestic string orchestra sound.
    I am beginning to lose hope.
    Well done to all the “finders” above though!

  25. I spoke too soon!
    5 minutes after that post I used these search terms in YouTube: ABC Hot Air Balloons, and found a few seconds of the end of that ABC filler.
    Now, whilst the video gave no further info, one of the comments pointed out that the music was “Chi Mai” by Ennio Morricone.
    So there you go, mystery solved!
    (BTW, you can find various versions of this piece on YouTube, even one that I think sounds identical – memory serving correctly, that is.)

    P.S. My memory wasn’t so great for the music description in the previous post!

  26. Hi
    This was fantastic to have identified Mike Oldfield Portsmouth song. As a kid I used to look at the girls and think “man they look like their really enjoying themselves”. Another that I recently found was Al Jarreau “Morning” where it’s one of those live action animated film clips – easy listening and up-beat.
    if this is also open to shows as well as fillers I’ve been trying to identify a show that I gather was in the 80s on ABC. I remember it as a boy called Sam whose parents die in a car accident and he goes to live on his aunty’s farm and it’s a freaky place. He grafitti’s a rock with his name and it starts to follow him (because it’s been defaced or something) and he meets a pond-monster that spits at him at first and then makes friends and then these underworld creatures steal his uncle’s bulldozer and Sam and the pond-creature go to get it back.
    Driving me crazy what it was called or like Belinda said I dreamed it.

    • The Nargun and the Stars!!!

      • OMG!!!!! Cathy thank you! !! My childhood recollections of bizarre TV shows for kids on ABC is complete. My top 5:
        1. SKY – a bizarre show of an alien that the earth treats as an infection and he has these weird eyes starring Mark Harrison
        2. Come Back Lucy – a little girl moves to a house and meets a ghost girl in the mirror who appears friendly but is actually malicious andtrying to pull her into the ghost world
        3. Dramarama – some very freaky/creepy little vignette shows
        4. (Of course) – Chocky – Ye Gods
        And ( thank you Cathy)
        5. The Nargan and the Stars
        Notable mentions:
        ***–>> You could add several episodes of Dr Who of course –> I insisted on putting a chair against my door because I thought the evil freaky puppet ‘Mr Sin’ (Talons of Weng Chiang) was going to come out and get me during the night -used to lie awake swearing I could see the door moving in the dark
        *** several little parts of Sesame Street –>> ‘Cracks’ an animated song
        –>> the Chinese muppet narrator of the tale ‘The five chinese dragons’
        –>> shady character ‘lefty’
        But this is neutralised by the ‘beat nick’ Jack of jack be nimble jack be quick (Kermit the frog news flash)

  27. Wonderful blog. Fantastic to identify the Mike Oldfield song Portsmouth – I remember watching it and thinking “man those girls look like they’re enjoying themselves”.
    I was wondering if this is open to shows as well as fillers. I’ve been going nuts trying to identify a show which I think was on in the ’80s about a boy called Sam whose parents die in a car accident and he goes to live with his aunt and uncle on a farm and it’s a freaky place. He grafitti’s a rock with his name which then seems to be upset and tries to follow him. He encounters a pond-monster which at first before revealing itself spits water at him but they make friends I think. Then these underground creatures steal Sam’s uncle’s bulldozer and Sam and the pond-creature go to retrieve it?
    Little help?

    • Was that The Nargun and the Stars?

      • Thank you to Gelfling!

  28. When television used to close transmission for the night, they used to play short music fillers before (I think) the national anthem. Does anyone have any clue where you can find this music. Pretty sure it was ABC Regional (Wagga) A very simple piano melody is the one I can’t get out of my head. Argh its driving me nuts!

  29. The ABC also screened Mike Oldfield’s Incantations

  30. is Incantation Part 4

  31. The one that I am trying to remember was regularly on during Heartbreak High in the late 80’s… it was kids playing basketball I think with a guitar that was quite melodic and soft and then went into heavy guitar sounding music. I am stuff if I can recall the music or artist…

  32. The rocket and moon clip is Mike Oldfield’s Incantations part 4 now available on utube

  33. I seem to remember one that was a rolling ball sculpture as well?
    Also one where the music was ‘popcorn’

    it’s all very hazy now….

  34. The one I remember best was the one of 18′ skiffs rscing on Sydney harbour to music from the Vangelis album “China”. Been looking online foie it foe a while with no success yet.

    • I mis-remembered those visuals as fitting Toccata by Sky.

  35. I’m glad I’m not the only one obsessed with finding these clips. I’ve been looking for that Mike Oldfield one for years googling ‘abc fillers Skylab’! (So thanks- I could still sing the tune perfectly too)
    The gnome one- wow have not thought of that for 30 years surely! I remember being impressed with how shiny they were when they got their paint jobs.
    There was definitely Song for Guy too
    What a random collection is was!
    We loved the Butterfly Ball animation.

  36. Hi there, thanks for posting this, only just discovered the post yesterday, was awesome looking back at some of these clips…but what lead me here was a search I have been on for years…there was a filler clip the ABC played regularly in the late 70s (possibly also early 80s) that hasn’t been mentioned here or on other forums. It was an animation, quite surreal and used to freak me out a bit when I was very young. It could have been a film clip to a song…anyway what I recall of it is that it featured a dancing girl and a singing Mount Rushmore. Bizarre I know! But seriously this animation has haunted my memory for years, if anyone knows what it is, or where I could go to find out I would be very, very happy. Thanks! TjT

    • The song/film clip you are thinking of is called Guilty by Mike Oldfield:

  37. Also nobody has mentioned The lonely Shepard or there was another instrumental that was played where you flew over scenery…i am not sure of the name of that one…

  38. Also peoples…does anyone remember the two filler tunes that were played.One was The Lonely Shepherd and there was another one where you flew of beautiful scenery but i don’t know the name of that tune.Does anyone know it please?

  39. and sorry about the third post but does anybody remember that the abc used to play XTC Senses Working Overtime? it was either early morning or late at night..there was also a second song but i don’t remember that song at all..

  40. Woohoo! I’m so happy to have found this – the identity of these songs have been driving me mad for years, especially that Mike Oldfield one (I wouldn’t even know how to begin searching for that…). The others are still so vivid in my memory, probably helped by the ABC’s somewhat repetitive programming (I know they had a small budget, but damn!) and having a young fresh brain back then. Also deeply, deeply scarred by “Bright Eyes” like so many others – no way they’d show that in a PG time slot these days.
    I seem to recall these clips used to come on after The Goodies or Dr Who every afternoon (maybe to fill in before the news?). Was the segment called “Take Five” or something? Two other songs that seemed to always be played were ‘Avalon’ by Roxy Music and ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ by The Buggles, which would have been very early 80’s. Not quite as eclectic as some of the others….
    Thanks for posting, I can die happy now (maybe to the tune of Portsmouth!).

    • I remember it was called Take Five and sometimes the segment even had its own logo and intro music separate from the music video presented (possibly the vocal-only opening bars of One Of Us by ABBA).

  41. in the 1980s just before the 7pm ABC – there used to be a 5min Music clip show called Take Five? Anyone remember it – I am trying to find out the name of the theme song for that prgram

    • It’s ‘Song For Guy’ by Elton John. It’s imprinted into my brain forever!

      • OMG… That’s it… Thanks Matt! It’s actually mentioned in an earlier post, but I must have missed it.


  42. Do you remember the one with 18 foot skifs racing on Sydney Harbour? The music was Vangelis. The first track from his China album. Always was my favourite.

  43. I remember the show Take 5, they used to play kate bush a lot. I’m trying to remember what show used the music from ‘images of heaven’ by peter godwin, not the video but the music, I thought it may have been take 5 ( or maybe I’m dreaming too? I remember the mike oldfield video, and love is all, but the gnomes aren’t ringing a bell – yet! glad I’m not the only person who remembers strange things 🙂

    • And while we’re on the subject of Take 5, does anyone know the them music that played at the start of those clips. I can remember the music in my head, but have never been able to find it.

      • I think it may be ‘and I moved’ by Pete Townshend. It’s on youtube. brilliant bit of piano music.

      • Great song, but alas, no. The song I have in my head is much slower and more sombre than that.

      • It’s “Song for Guy” by Elton John.

    • I can still see & hear The Gnomes clip as clear as the day I saw it on the ABC over 40 years ago in my. Right now I’m humming the tune to it as I type. Strange how no-one’s been able to find the clip on youtube.

  44. Apparently the ABC has a 90-minute tape of old musical interludes, including some of the ones mentioned above. It’s called ‘120475 – INTERLUDES TAPE 1’. I found it via the search function on the ABC’s library sales section of its website, but when I emailed ABC sales and asked if a digital copy of the tape was available to purchase, I was told it is not for sale and is for internal use only. :O(

    • Calvinist, people like you and Cindy (below) doing the research make this thread so rewarding!

      You’ve done well getting that far, pleased to hear they both hold the reel and it is catalogued. Someday it may be available. For now, all archives are under economic rationalist attack, getting an odd victory (Pastures of the Blue Crane’s 2018 DVD release) is very encouraging.

  45. I’m so happy to find this post – and to see it’s still getting responses after EIGHT YEARS, lol. I ended up here when I did an internet search for a “Music Box Dancer” clip. But the one I remember is different to the one others have described. The one I remember was a daily ‘opener’ to the broadcasting – it showed people on their way to work, starting the day, driving across the (Sydney Harbour?) bridge, in a factory, in a bakery…anyone else remember this? Or am I mixing the song from one clip with the vision from another? I was only born in 78 so my memory from that time is a bit of a blur.

    But thanks for this page, that ‘Love Is All/Butterfly Ball’ clip was a real blast from the past!

    • Born in 75, and it’s still so hard to recall what footage went with what interlude. Except maybe the Superman Theme with the Niagara falls footage. I always remember the Music Box Dancer theme with a ballet school, but of course, this would be only due to Mike Oldfield’s Portsmouth video which was also played during the mornings on ABC.

      • This video kinda looks like the one I was thinking of. It’s from ABC Melbourne but I grew up in Sydney so it must have been a ‘generic’ thing shipped out to all stations.

        Starts at around 1:30/40 – but not “Music Box Dancer” like I thought. It uses “Change In Mood” by Kids In The Kitchen

      • Growing up in a small town, apart from the regional station, ABC was the only “big city” station we had. By about 1987, I’d grown out of waking up quite this early on weekday mornings, so it’s kind of weird to see them using the National Anthem, I certainly don’t remember them using it a couple years earlier.

        Good find.

      • I think the waterfalls music was the opening of Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra (also the opening music of 2001: A Space Odyssey). I also remember Paul McCartney singing “Waterfalls” as well as a lot of the others mentioned here,

  46. Loving this blog! Ah the memories. I definitely remember ‘Mornin” by Al Jarreau as being one of the later fillers – but ‘Love is All’ and ‘Toccata’ have got to be my favourites. We just need someone to summarise them all now!

    • Even though my blog is in hiatus, it amazes me how much interest exists for this topic. It might be time for me to create a website about ABC Filler Music Videos!

      • Yes please!

      • Vote !

  47. I remember so many of these, The theme to Superman with the clip of Niagra Falls is also ones that stick in my mind. Please Please construct a web site

  48. So many memories here, and so many answers to life long questions about these clips/music. I certainly remember a lot of these. One was Ennio Morricone, ‘Chi Mai’ with the hot air balloons. Another was Sky, and ‘Cannonball’ where they were playing on a stage on an airstrip….?
    I too vaguely remember a steam train through a rain forest (Kuranda?) with a lot of kids waving etc…. Nice that this thread has continued over nearly 4 years.

    • This is great!
      Living the memories.
      What about the one where there’s a race with weird vehicles like hovercraft, sail buggies etc? A guy in a cowboy hat whipping his vehicle on like it’s a horse?

      • Just found it! After months of searching and moments since posting!

        It’s another Mike Oldfield: Blue Peter

  49. I was searching for a filler that contained a video of movement through a forest where things were uncovered as the video progressed. I’m thinking it was about 1979? I don’t think it’s been mentioned here yet. I thought it was The Butterfly Ball one but that’s just an earworm now that I can’t get rid of.

  50. Looking for a late 80’s early 90’s music video. The last scene is a woman cradling a child, with a tightrope walker above her, a man on a camel passing behind her, and a boat, possibly a sailing boat in the very background. And there may or may not have been someone holding a picture frame in front of the scene, as they panned out. Possibly Enigma or something similar… Asking for a friend whom I may or may not have married.

    • Could this be Sweet Lullaby by Deep Forest? I remember a whispered voice at the end “the world is an amazing place” –

      • That’s the one I was thinking of too. It was an SBS promo/ID/filler in the 90’s and 00’s

    • Sweet Lullaby by Deep Forest? I remember a whispered voice at the end “the world is an amazing place” -

  51. I remember those days of video fil-ins with those terrible tunes on the ABC in the early and mid 1980s only too well. My goodness how plain and ordinary things were! I mean could you imagine a child today seeing these clips between programs they would think this is so lame although back in those days we were so innocent in regards what we watched and was present to us on TV. Still it brings a tear to my eye when I watched that one with the traditional dancers to Mike Oldfield`s Portsmouth tune not knowing what that title was but was a sea schanty reminding me of that pure innocent little boy I was prior to starting school in 1984. The last time they did such clips as these was 1986 as best as I recall. Still they bring back good memories to a large degree!

  52. Wow! Surprised to see this conversation still going! It was a great help a few years ago when I put together this playlist at Youtube:

    Thanks for bringing back the memories!

  53. Hi,
    Thanks for the Mike Oldfield clip. I remember this from my childhood. I also remember a filler like this with garden gnomes. The vision was of one being painted then placed in a wheelbarrow with a bunch of others. Then the barrow would be wheeled down paths in a garden and the gnomes would all be placed in their particular spots on the garden.

  54. Does anyone remember a filler that had scenes from the film “Baraka”. The music featured a single haunting female voice.

  55. I’m thinking possibly later 80’s as I was born in 1981 although my mum would always have the tv on ABC There was a piece of music called “chi mai” and it was heaps of hot air balloons. Also there was Another Mike Oldfield one too musics is called “Incantations” and it was a space scene. I loved Portsmouth too.

    Later in the 80s there was cartoon dogs singing “down on the corner” from credence.

    And I dont know if it was a filler or an actual single but “start trekin” I loved that too. If you could get any video footage of those that would be awesome.

    I think incantations is on you tube. But “Chi Mai” with the hot air balloons I haven’t seen since I was a kid.

    • Yep, “Star Trekkin'” (by The Firm) was an actual single. 1986 or 1987.

      • Hi does anyone know what is the video that has shots of a city on fast speed looks like Seattle , mono rails, space needle music like Jean Michell Jarre music cannot find it if anyone knows it around the maxheadroom time cheers Pete

  56. @Pete

    Sounds like “Koyaanisqatsi” by Philip Glass.

    There are several parts to it, so I won’t post any clips. But you can find it on YouTube. In segments and in full.

    • Scratch that, I should post something:

  57. cheers its close but not the one the clip was one location I think with shops, aircraft comming in etc moves around a bit no vocals thanks

  58. Jean-Luc Ponty – Individual Choice

    • Good find!

    • Thankyou so much, been looking for this for years

  59. Does anyone have the Mirage RAAF interlude to the Superman music?

  60. The balloon one was Chi Mai by Ennio Morricone. quick you tube search will bring it up but without the balloons sadly.

  61. Help. Im trying to find a music clip filler. Its of animals singing in the woods. Leading is a frog (i think) playing a guitar like instrument. Possibly wearing an Edwardian style of clothing. The other woodland animals are following in pied piper style, possibly faeries are there too. Its definitely not the butterfly ball…love is all. I believe its a Ballard. Not a psychedelic clip. The colouring is more pastel style not extreme colour. The frog is walking and hum like, such as the frog in the butterfly ball. Any help would be great

  62. Love Is All by Roger Glover. I have the CD.
    Here’s the clip:


  63. I have contacted NFSA (National Film & Sound Archive) to find out if they can assist with finding the rarer clips.

    • Cindy, people like you and Calvinist (above) doing the research make this thread so rewarding! The broadcast logs are held by the National Archives in Chester Hill; they should be online.

      • Hello Martin
        National Archives advised me to contact ABC. I was then referred to Karen Williams from ABC & told me she wasn’t able to assist with my enquiry. So where do I search next if National Archives & ABC aren’t able to help?
        Because the music filler videos were so popular & are still talked about today, I reckon the ABC could quite easily make a DVD of all the music videos mentioned in this thread, or as you said, at least make them available for all to watch on Youtube & other online media.

      • ABC goes through swings and roundabouts in releasing archival material; we are seriously lucky they put as much effort into Rage as they do. The fact you and Calvinist have made any inroads at all is to be lauded — and accept they will probably not be interested in this particular project.

        By way of example, Pastures of the Blue Crane (below) was set up to be an impossible task, contact all the stake holders. Eleanor Witcombe gave her assent and died a month later. To the fans’ frustration ABC have sold out stock and are not doing a second pressing (as of today).

        The discussion I was participating in when I found this thread.

  64. I’ve been looking for the clip mentioned earlier with the guy playing a guitar to the paper plane that returns to him and it turns out to be sheet music. Anyone have an update. Even if you know what it is called?..

    • Kevin Peek – Sailplane. I remember the clip but cant seem to find it anywhere.

    • Kevin Peek – Sailplane

  65. Cloudbusting by Kate Bush was another one. Donald Sutherland was in the film clip.
    Waterfall by Paul McCartney. As kids we thought it was funny after all the lights went out at the end and then there was a huge crash like he fell down the stairs or something….

    • Another couple of clips they used to play ALOT on Take Five were “Coming Up” (also by Paul McCartney) and Godley & Creme’s “An Englishman in New York” – both vids were kind of similar and equally disturbing (for an 8-year old!)

      • This has been on fire tonight!

        So, the broadcast logs exist. Do we agree they should be online?

      • Yes, for sure!
        Everyone who’s commented on here should be entitled to see all the mentioned clips again.

      • Has anyone had any luck contacting the ABC archives? I know which reel some of these are on but they do not come back

      • I contacted ABC & was referred to Karen Williams. Took ages to hear back from her & when I did receive a response, she said she wasn’t able to help me.
        I can’t understand why it’s so hard to access these filler videos!
        Why can’t they be put onto DVD for everyone to re-live & enjoy?

      • Not to be negative Nelly, but two reasons — copyright and political.

        The copyright to the videos should be easy. The copyright owners like licensing content. The Videodisc/Take V credits would be copyright to the ABC so no problem there.

        The more serious one is political. ABC has an ebb and flow attitude to their release policy, they have to build up a head of steam to even get to the point where they’ll consider it.

        What we can do is access the broadcast logs at NAA. You can plain old walk in and check out what was on in that filler spot, and they can also be digitised and placed online. I should declare this is the kind of thing myself and my friends are doing; I wrote up a broadcast history on The Goodies looking for the lost version one of Kitten Kong. Given enough time and someone’ll do this, it’s just low on the list of priorities for the moment. I’m a big fan of lists and television, published listings are great.

        Abra-ca-bloody-dabra; the first listing for Videodisc via Trove. Wednesday 8 October 1980 Victor Harbour Times weekly guide for broadcast Monday 13 October.

        They have access to copies in the compile and can probably get fresh clean digital prints if they want. Check out Rage’s period clips of All You Need is Love, off the Intelsat/ATS satellite link up for Our World, or the censored Ballad of John and Yoko and Snoopy VS The Red Baron.

        First Videodisc opening, plus The Monitors – Singing In The ’80’s (1980).

        Second opening.

      • They were quite happy to provide for about $350 as long as they were not shared. I’m after the RAAF Mirage aerobatics set to the Superman theme.

      • TP, you say you know the reels, you’ve got a quote — in short, you’re doing grand work yourself.

        So, I’m going ahead and trying the John Williams fan community. It may be common, who knows? To memory it featured aerial shots of a waterfall? I don’t recall it on Videodisc, one of the other fillers they played.

  66. Second Videodisc opening is M – Official Secrets.

    M’s (Robin Scott’s) That’s the Way the Money Goes was on Videodisc, not sure about Pop Muzik. I recall a third clip featuring him being followed by the camera perspective and throwing a handful of cards into shot, but have never seen it again and don’t know what it was for.

  67. The steam train one still eludes me. Possibly Kuranda…? Looked lke old cream and red rail coaches with kids hanging out the windows waving. Have found pretty much everything else here which is awesome. I wonder if Peter considered, that when he posted this it would still be going over 11 years later….

    • Could the one you’re thinking of be Morningtown Ride sung by Judith Durham?

      • Here’s a clip of Morningtown Ride, poster suggests it was filmed in 1991.

      • I have been looking for one for ages. The music is “Going Home” which is the theme from the movie “Local Hero”. The music is by Mark Knopfler. The music track is almost exactly 5 minutes long and the sound begins very softly. The video begins with some people backpacking their hang gliders through some native heath to the crest of a hill where they unpack and assemble their ‘wings’. The music is introspective until around the 2.28 point when the gliders launch into the sky. Love it. I would be delighted to see it again if anyone can find it.

        Jane Richter Triple UFM Shoalhaven Community Radio Nowra and Milton, NSW

        On Thu, Feb 3, 2022 at 12:24 PM Peter Young Writes For You wrote:

        > Martin Dunne commented: “Here’s a clip of Morningtown Ride, poster > suggests it was filmed in 1991. >” >

      • Yeah, remember it, very much like cigarette commercials in-between “stop glamorising smoking” and “y’know what, how’s about just stop altogether?”.

        So, I see someone asking this question on Reddit from two years ago, probably not available, possibly only made up by ABC itself out of stock footage. I got a response from Robin Scott on Official Secrets being used for Videodisc, above, And I see Knopfler has a site, the social media manager may have suggestions if you try there.

  68. So many memories here from my after school TV fix! The clip with the gnomes might have been Hot Butter – Popcorn, could be wrong but this music was definitely one of the interstital tracks used by the ABC in the 1980s. I heard it sampled in Tove Lo’s track, 2 Die 4. Which sent me down a rabbit hole, landing me here!

  69. The Gnome lady- please!! She painted them, put them in a wheelbarrow & distributed them throughout the Forrest…. Please!
    What was that!? What is is called and how do I find it!???
    Please and thank you from a 1976 baby. Xxx

    • Hey Lisa; wish we could help. Keep bumping this and someone who recognises it will get it.

  70. My mistake above, Superman theme with the waterfalls not Richard Strauss. I don’t recall the Gnome Lady or some of the others at all! There were obviously a lot of them! I do recall the 2 Mickey Mouse Disco ones (Macho Duck and Disco Mickey Mouse) and many of the others. It wasn’t ABC but does anyone recall an old kids’ show from the 1970s called The Yellow House? Online information on it is VERY scarce.

    • National Film and Sound Archive have 69 holdings; episodes, elements, documentation.

      A NFSA write up.
      > The Yellow House was based on a concept of Van Gogh. The project was conceived by Eric Porter after discussions with a major US toy manufacturer. The series contained animation and puppet segments as well as ‘live action’. Australia’s top TV choreographer, Ross Coleman, worked with children who appeared in the series. Other live performers included radio man John Martin, and internationally known clown Viv Weeks. The children’s musical group, The Koalas, were signed en masse to appear in the series. Special music was written by Jack Grimsley and lyrics by Alan Kitson. Two of Australia’s top award winning cameramen, Gary Hansen and Phil Pike filmed the program. Interior and exterior sets of The Yellow House were designed by Ray Frost. The interiors were built in Australia’s largest sound stage, the 100’x100′ Stage C at the Film Academy in North Sydney. See publicity files in Documentation for further info.

      A thread.

      On Eric Porter.

    • Sorry dude, written my response out twice, leave it a day and see if it gets approved this time.

  71. .

  72. I was able to get a copy of some interludes but I can’t share as I had to sign a waiver. The clips and songs are:

    1. Rafting down the Snowy River – Scheherazade, OP.35: II. The Kalender Prince
    2. Steam Train – Breakaway – James Clarke
    3. Kids playing with toy soilders – Ceili Jigs 1 113
    4. Coal Steam Train – Life is a Lady /Holiday – Santana
    5. Sydney Harbour – La Manana (Allegro Pastorale)
    6. 18Ft Skiffs Sydney Harbour – Jacaranda – Sailor
    7. Sydney Hobart Yachts Sydney Harbour – Gismo My Way – 10CC
    8. Sydney Hobart Yachts – Sail the Summer Winds – John Barry
    9. Windsurfers on Sydney Harbour – Don’t know the song – guitar Instrumental
    10. Rowing – Born Free – American West Orchestra
    11. Water Falls – Stars Wars Opening theme
    12. Toy Train set – Come Risen Lord and Deign to be our guest – John Keys
    13. Vintage cars – Sogni D’oro (not sure about that)
    14. XPT Train – Orange Blossom Special – Living Guitars
    15. Sailing in Gippsland? – unknown music
    16. Hot Air Balloons – Chi Mai – Ennio Morricone
    17. Tiger Moth Aircraft – Unknown guitar tune
    18. Seal training at Taronga Zoo – Crazy Rhythm – Pierre Micelot
    19. RAAF Mirage Fighter Jets – Superman Theme
    20. 18ft Skiffs Sydney Harbour – Chung Huo – Vangelis
    21. Water Skiing – Wipe Out – The Surfaris
    22. 18ft Skiffs Sydney Harbour – Ballade Pour Adeline – James Last
    23. Imagine by John Lennon with images
    24. Wind Surfers – Jump – Van Halen
    25. Gliders – Lake-song – Dave Grusin
    26. Rocket to the moon – Eric’s Theme – Vangelis

    • That’s unreal TJ — guessing it’s the same interlude tapes I alluded to, any more on the source/how you did this? Keep trying to identify those unknown songs, it’ll come to you.

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