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”!
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!