Extracts of Blagg's football blogs as he follows West Ham United and England through the usual series of near disasters.

Featuring links to the Annual Billy Blagg Advent Calendar of Christmas Songs.

Also featuring guest appearances by 'Captain Olympic'.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Day 11 - 'Gabriel's Message' - Sting

Do they still have teachers who double-up on lessons?

We had a French teacher who also taught Religious Instruction (Mr Pilkington: ‘I don’t want you to take this literally, boys’ – he was an oddly elongated man who, rumour told, had been stretched by the Japanese during WWII, a rumour I’m ashamed to say I believed). Also, Mr Lemon who taught Music and P.E. meaning that he would often pound the piano keys while wearing a purple track-suit.

As is the wont of P.E. teachers he had a nasty streak in him that meant if you didn’t vault a horse or climb a rope properly, you were made to hang from the wall bars in a scene reminiscent of the end of Monty Python’s ‘The Life of Brian’ (but without the jolly song).

As you dangled there like some cockney version of Jesus, you would try and rest your aching arms by putting your feet on a bar. At that, Mr Lemon would whirl round and flick your legs with a towel or once, as I bitterly recall, produce a steel ruler from his pocket. He’d probably be arrested today.

Anyway, it was Mr Lemon who had us singing this Carol from about September until the performance in front of all the parents at the School Carol concert in the week before Christmas so the cherubic, angelic-faced Blagg is still able to warble this to great effect.

Of course, admitting you quite like a Sting track is almost the same as admitting to enjoying bestiality porn but this was originally a ‘B side’ to Sting’s ‘Russians’ so probably comes from the ‘Blue Turtle’ sessions; the last time I think it was OK to say you liked the former Mr Sumner. Which reminds us that Sting was himself a former teacher – I wonder if he ever doubled up on lessons? If he still carries a steel ruler in his pocket it would reveal much about why he always seems so smug and annoying.

Hear it here: Gabriel's Message

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