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This is a question School Assemblies

Our school assemblies were often presided over by the local vicar, who once warned us of the dreadful dangers of mixing with "Rods and Mockers". One of the cool teachers laughed. Tell us about mad headteachers and assemblies gone wrong.

Inspired by the mighty @Rhodri on Twitter

(, Thu 13 Jun 2013, 12:43)
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It was still better than the Lord's Prayer
Back in the heady days of early 1991 I was a young first schooler with a terrible, terrible secret. Id spent the previous summer on a couple of camping and caravanning holidays (thats not it), often with extended family including aunts, uncles, grandparents & cousins. It was one of those cousins that I can now blame for planting the seed of my downfall.

Linda was 3 years older than me and to my eyes was probably one of the cooler people that I knew. The knowledge that over the summer holidays I would be able to hang out with someone older and cooler than me while hopefully learning something more about life filled me with joy. What I didnt realise was that I was being unwittingly guided down a path that would lead to me to both embarrassment and debasement.

Time on those holidays was mostly spent playing some classic summer sports; swingball and boules, Scatch and Aerobie, interspersed with some casual sitting around on tree stumps listening to one of those new fangled Walkman devices. Linda had a canny little collection of cassettes to listen to on those long summer days as well! A mix of Top 40 recordings taken from Radio 1 on a Sunday night, NOW 19 featuring some early Massive Attack (I didnt like them much aged 7) and the Holy Grail Queens Greatest Hits 1 and 2!!
Id never heard such wondrous singing in all my years, what with the looping harmonies and flat out hollering of Freddie, fat-bottomed girls left, right and centre, bicycle races ring ringing in my ears and the one from that sci-fi film with a booming Brian Blessed. However, it wasnt any of those virtuous verses that captured my imagination at first but the incessant beat of We Will Rock You, the penultimate track on tape one. I could see how I might be that boy on the street; I probably did have mud on my face while kicking my can all over the place. And so it was that I started on my not so epic journey to stardom.

Once back home I dutifully sent a couple of blank cassettes over to Linda and asked her to tape me a copy of my new favourite albums. When returned, with the painstakingly handwritten track listings that used to be an art-form, I settled down to learning and transcribing the lyrics to We Will Rock You. For the remainder of the summer I was a one man Queens army ready to perform at any given opportunity. With some thigh drumming and overhead clapping providing the beat Id sing/shout my heart out to anyone listening whenever Id not already been given a clip around the lug and/or stern instructions to shut the hell up.
Obviously my parents grew weary of the warbling within a working week but there was still another week or two left of the summer holidays before back to school time. I hatched a plan and with the help of some willing and not so willing school friends I embarked on a series of gruelling rehearsals to form a new band; a more modern take on Queen, where the band members were more likely to be wearing a Gola shell-suit or some knackered Hi-Tec rather than the natty yellow get-up that Freddie seemed to favour.

We got back to school in early September and I was already itching to speak to my new teacher and ask how the school would feel about a break from the normal assembly structure. Would they really be willing to let a four strong band of 7 year olds perform without any teacher guidance or control?! Of course they would!! Looking back now I can see that I wouldve done exactly the same since Im sure it gave the teachers enough mirth to last for the entire school year.
Both me and the rest of the band were excused from our lessons early and went to don our outfits for the big performance in what was a generally unheard of afternoon assembly. The clock ticked and the school hall PA system quietly hummed while the rest of the school excitedly filed into the hall to be greeted by a blank stage and a twitching curtain. The remaining four of us hidden behind the curtain holding our breath, this was going to be our/my big performance. We were going to nail it!

That was until the curtain pulled back, the drumming started and we saw the hall jam-packed with over 300 kids, teachers and some sneaky parents here for a laugh. My Brian May, my Roger Taylor and the other one all promptly scarpered, literally exiting stage right as fast as their little legs would take them. I was bereft but there was only one thing I could do and that was to go for it! (The show must go on etc.) Ive got no idea how long the performance lasted but Id say that it felt like a lot more than one lifetime. Overhead claps and slapping of thighs do not a good performance make even if my squeaky 7 year olds voice is probably the closest Ive ever sounded to Freddie Mercury. Id also like to say that I left the stage to a standing ovation but that would be a bit of a fib. I was met with a generous smile from a friendly music teacher tucked behind his electric organ but apart from that, nothing, nothing but a sea of suppressed giggles and the general apathy of kids whod rather be playing on the one and only school RM Nimbus!

Funnily enough Ive not been much of a performer since those days and We Will Rock You is no longer my favourite Queen songI do still remember the words though!

tldr; Dancing queen ruins assembly
(, Tue 18 Jun 2013, 12:07, closed)

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