Aged about eleven I must’ve had a sweet little voice because the local vicar called in to see me mum with a proposition.
There were two secondary modern schools in the neighbourhood, but to get to ‘The Archbishops’ you needed to be a churchgoer; we weren’t. The vicar wanted me in his church choirs (several of them!); the conversation went along the lines of:
“If you send young Graham to Sunday school and let me have him in the choir, I’ll fix it so he gets into Archbishops.”
“But he’s not been christened.”
“Not a problem; I’ll do it this weekend.”
“But he’ll need to be confirmed…won’t he?”
“Not a problem, the Archbishop of Canterbury is due at the cathedral in a couple of weeks time; I’ll get him to do it.”
And so the deal was done; sadly, the only time I’ve been headhunted. I’ll tell you what though, my mate Ron and I learned how to spot dodgy vicars and stay out of harms way; one of life’s more useful lessons! Mmmm… on second thoughts, maybe that eleven year old’s voice wasn’t that special after all…
Anyway, forward fifty years and just after moving to Devon I joined a community choir. It felt great to sing again and also presented an opportunity to make some new friends. And then it snowballed.
One of my new mates suggested that we could form a shanty group. It sounded like a great excuse to drink beer and have a few laughs so I readily agreed, thus ‘The Jurassix’ (it started with six of us) was formed. Also, as a teenager I’d had a stab at playing a guitar but with little success, so for the next forty-five years my guitar was just an ornament. However, an internet search for ‘songs about the sea’ unearthed a rich source of lyrics together with accompanying chords, so I picked ‘old faithful’ up again and thus began another obsession.
The Jurassix had a busy schedule of gigs immediately prior to the global pandemic and associated lockdowns. I’m missing the singsongs with my mates, so have had to resort to solo efforts at ruining a few classic songs with spoof lyrics. This wasn’t a ‘song about the sea, but hey… it could’ve been! Sorry Gordon 🙂