Sandy Sandfield at CYTRICON IV, 1958. (photo Norman Shorrock album)

Parodies of well known songs with their original lyrics sharply and wittily reworked to be comments on SF and/or fandom are often referred to as “filk music”. The term came from the US apa, SAPS (Spectator Amateur Press Society), during the mid 1950s. As Harry Warner Jr explained in A Wealth of Fable:

“SAPS accidentally helped to popularise a new fannish term when it refused to distribute one publication. Lee Jacobs manuscript on ‘The Influence of Science Fiction on Modern American Filk Music’ was rejected by Wrai Ballard as unmailable. The publicity from his decision helped to put into general fannish use the typographical error, ‘filk’ for ‘folk’. Fannish poems set to pre-existing tunes were known henceforward as ‘filk music’.”

Presented here is what appears to be the earliest filking fanzine published in the UK, which is dated August 1957. It was published by Eric Bentcliffe, reworked lyrics were by Sandy Sandfield, and artwork by Eddie Jones.

The final song, Space Club Drag, is inspired by The Space Club, a clubroom for London fandom that Helen Winick had tried to establish around the turn of the year.