Hark now hear….!

15 Dec

As I begin this article it would only be fair for me to say that I’m not altogether sure where it will be going!

This is largely because, while I do have a storyline and a not quite unrelated “punch line” that I wish to link together, I am currently suffering from an uncharacteristic fuzziness of mind and don’t know quite how I’m going to achieve that linkage. I don’t THINK I have Swine Flu but more likely a heavy cold that is manifesting itself mostly in my throat with the result that every time I fall asleep I cough and wake up.

Consequently I am writing this on the afternoon of Tuesday 15th December 2009 having had 1 hours sleep on Saturday night, 5 hours on Sunday and 3 hours last night so I doubt that this will be either one of my best or longest pieces. That’s TOTAL sleep each night not necessarily continuous!!


In my post of 6th December 2009 I mentioned that from 1976 I frequently indulged in a certain amount of “creative lyric changing” of hits of the day. Somehow, I managed to convince myself that this was a new thing for my circle of friends to be doing.

It was only last Sunday when the dear old BBC did what amounted to a “Songs of Praise Christmas special” concert from the Royal Albert Hall that I realised how stupid I had been in that way of thinking.

Incidentally, before proceeding I should just mention that the official title of the concert that was being shown in the “Songs of Praise” slot was “The Big Sing”. Unfortunately someone in my household had been messing about with the aspect ratio of our TV. This resulted in the amusing situation of Aled Jones, a fervent Christian, apparently hosting the programme in front of a banner proclaiming it to be called “The Big Sin”!

Christmas Carols!

Who among us can put our hands on our hearts and say that NEVER EVER in our schooldays did we sing “While Shepherds washed their socks by night” in a school assembly? Not many, I bet, and not me either, I must confess.

Oh, and we mustn’t forget “We three kings of Leicester Square, selling ladies underwear”, must we?

I do have a memory from my schooldays of at least one assembly each year in the approach to Christmas being stopped because too many people had the same silly idea and those lyrics became audible to the teachers up on the stage. Our headmaster, “Batman” (after the way he would sweep through the school at high speed wearing old-fashioned robes) would gesture to “The Wombat” (the art/music master and resident pianist) and the music would stop followed several seconds later by a fading out of the singing!

We would then be subjected to a tirade on unacceptable behaviour and threatened with a “full school detention”. This ultimate punishment was actually only given once in my five years at Copleston (formerly known in these articles as Prospicimus) Secondary Modern School for Boys and THAT was nothing to do with Carol singing. But the story of the pipe bomb in the waste incinerator will have to wait for another posting!

And what exactly was the event that inspired all of the above?

Well it wasn’t quite a Christmas carol but certainly a Christmas song – Boney M’s rendition of “Mary’s Boychild” to be exact.

I was driving back from the Chemist’s with the latest load of cough and cold remedies for Faith and myself when a Squirrel ran across the road in front of the car ahead of me and I experienced the best bit of lyrical synchronisation I have ever known!

Here follow the words of the bit of the song that was playing when he braked hard and for (as it appeared to me initially) no particular reason – the lower case bits came out of the radio speaker, the uppercase bit came out of me with somewhat more force!

“….. a new King born today, And Mary’s Boychild JESUS CHRIST! was born on Christmas Day.”

No, I didn’t go up the back of him and that was EXACTLY how the words came out, honestly it was!



Posted by on December 15, 2009 in Schooldays


5 responses to “Hark now hear….!

  1. richard haxell

    December 16, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    You must not publish the pipe bomb story..they are still out there looking for us..the file has never been closed…They’ll do a Dr.Kelly on you..beware.
    Happy Christmas from Paranoid Dick

    • littlealfie

      December 20, 2009 at 12:41 am

      Hmmm! You always seem to get a little rattled whenever either our “Old School Thai” or I mention that bomb! I’m starting to wonder why now!

      Were you anything to do with the theft, in our time, of Northgate Grammar School’s radiation source box?

      We could have had some REAL respect if we’d gone NUCLEAR!And so could the East Anglian Nationalist movement!

    • theworldaccordingtomorpheus

      January 6, 2010 at 7:13 am

      Remember the “Honest (someone)” taking odds on what Ken was looking for, on the blackboard, when he announced he would (absurdly belatedly) SEARCH the school if the guilty party/ies didn’t own up?

      We all added suggestions – “A Cheap Thrill – 10:1” – “A Growing Practise – 25:1” – the HILARITY that day – then Chenery came in – LAUGHED – and ordered us to wipe it off, saying “I don’t think Ken’s in the mood right now!”

      Great times!

  2. theworldaccordingtomorpheus

    January 6, 2010 at 7:08 am

    I remember one year just a FEW of the older boys sang “While Shepherds Washed Their Socks” and Ken halted the proceedings with a threat to CANE everybody who sang it.

    The piece then restarted and EVERYBODY sang “While Shepherds Washed Their Socks” – Ken pretended not to HEAR it! (Even HE would not have had the nerve to cane 550 bums – think of the story that’d’ve lead “The Evening Star” that night!!!)

  3. Vincent

    July 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Oh bum! This is the SECOND time I’ve DUPLICATED a piece (well, okay – it was a COMMENT – and on another site) – but I had COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN it!

    And LAST time, it was an INTENTIONAL rewrite – I just wanted to see how a piece I’d written on one site would come out, when written by one of my alter-egos.

    But THIS time I have NO such excuse! I’m DEFINITELY getting OLD…


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