Plus ça change

When I did a search to find the lyrics to the cod reggae song ‘If I Had Words’ to accompany the Babe-Saint-Saens musings, I was rather surprised to discover that it’s not ‘If I had words to make your dream come true’ as I have always thought,  but ‘If I had words to make a day for you’. I shouldn’t have been surprised, because the faulty eyes and ears have been carving out their own unique version of reality for 44 years now. The only songs I know the correct words to are hymns, and the Singing Together international folk songs I learnt in Primary Four, both of which came with a handy accompanying book.

In my later school years, during my myopic final days of spectacle evasion, I was forced to mouth my way silently through singing classes, because the words were written on the blackboard and I couldn’t see it. During a tuneless and limp group rendition of Burt Bacharach’s Close To You one day, my dying salmon mouth movements proved to be the last straw for the long-suffering Mrs Vickers, who unlike me had very acute vision. Just before I could finally join in properly at the wordless “wooh-oo-oo-oo-ooh…” bit, the piano lid was slammed down with a thud. There was a loud scrape of piano stool on the floor and the words “YOU! You at the back, out here AT ONCE!” shot from Mrs Vickers’ highly trained operatic lips. A ripple of excitement spread through the group at the prospect of an imminent public thrashing, and I screwed up my eyes to see who the unfortunate victim was. There followed an ominous silence.

“Did you hear me!” roared Mrs Vickers, “Get out here NOW and take that stupid look off your face!”

Crikey, someone’s really in for it now, I thought, before Mrs Vickers swooped from the mist like an eagle, and plucked me from the room by the shoulder of my already pubertally overstretched pullover. I was absolutely mortified. My classmates, on the other hand, thought I had done it on purpose and were impressed by the uncharacteristic display of bravado from the quiet girl known as ‘The Haystack’ on account of her hairdo. I basked in the glow of my new found street cred for a full hour, before blowing it again on the way home by putting my hand out at the bus stop for an approaching bin lorry.

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1 Response to “Plus ça change”


  1. 1 kentigern August 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Hey is that what French OMO Omnibuses put on there windaes like, plus sha shange get aff


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