Scared Shitless

School days

Ahhh, schooldays. The happiest days of your life.

Apart from the bullying, violence, constant fear, latent homosexuality, raging hormones and verbal and physical abuse, my teachers were all great. And I won’t even talk about my classmates.

I went to a well-respected secondary school. We had a world-renowned choir, a planetarium (Oooooh!), a swimming pool and yet we still had an ice-cream man threatening children with a hammer (Good lunchtime that one) and a CS gas cannister being let off in the Geography department. But I’m not going to talk about my secondary school. I’m going to talk about my primary school, and the most terrifying thing I encountered while I was there. Assembly. And, specifically the assemblies where we had to sing the hymn ‘Lord Of The Dance.’

That jolly lovely song with the diddly-dee tune, all nice and bouncy and upbeat and… well you know it. Sung with a lovely smile on your face ‘Dance dance wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance said he…’

A friend of mine always thought it was ‘I am the Lord of the Dance settee’, but I digress…

You know. Settee? Like sofa? A song for the head mack daddy of DFS? But I digress…

I mean. What the fuck is a dance settee anyway? I mean. Surely. Work it out! Listen to the lyrics, it’s ‘SAID HE’, not ‘settee.’ But I digress…

The lovely hymn that my school used to roll out at Easter, sung as a joyous celebration of a special time… which USED TO SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF ME.

There was dissonance. A terrible conflict in my head between the lovely jaunty, dancey, jolly traditional tune and the lines;

I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame
They ripped, they stripped, they hung me high
Left me there on the cross to die

Hang on a motherfunning minute. Jaunty tune. Sung gleefully and the words ‘ripped’ ‘stripped’ #Saucy ‘hung’ ‘TO DIE.’

Woah there. Yellow card.

I danced on a Friday when the world turned black

Yeah. Stop singing now. It’s getting grim.

It’s hard to dance with the DEVIL ON YOUR BACK

Right. That’s it. Red card offence. I’m not singing anymore. I’ll just la-la-la and see if I can get away with it? I can? Oh good. And I la-la-la’d for most of the time I was at that school when they rolled out this particular barrel of cheeky monkeys. No-one knew. I used to scrunch my eyes up so I didn’t have to read the lyrics on the acetate on the overhead projector as Miss Honey (True name, music teacher, gorgeous, my first crush, I was 8) banged away on the piano.

Wonder what happened to Miss Honey? Anyhow, I digress…

I hated this song. I hated Kumbayah too but at least it made sense. Kinda. Ish. It certainly didn’t bring to mind images of horrific torture, death, gloomy black clouds as God makes his judgment and Satan.

Silly really but I had a vivid imagination and some of my family were religious, my grandfather and my mother, but my gran wasn’t. My mum always got a banging donk on around Easter and used to love telling me the story of the crucifixion. The betrayals. The fact Jesus was abandoned by his crew. ‘Imagine it Spencer. Imagine having NAILS banged into your hands and feet and being HUNG on a CROSS.’

‘I’m going to bed mum.’

How proud she was when the school asked me to sing ‘Lord of The Dance’, solo, at our Easter Assembly accompanied by Miss Honey on the guitar (I wondered what happened to Miss Honey). There she was, smiling in the front row, while I sang a song that scared. Me. Shitless.

If I knew ‘FML’ when I was 9 I think that’s what I would have said. FML, sideways.

What scared you about school? I know mine’s a bit random but please share yours with the group. What did you love, hate, fear or loathe about your time at school. Slot one into my comments hole before the end of the day or it’ll be detention. And then, we’ll all look at your answers and LAUGH IN YOUR FACE. Just like the old days.

Oh, and thanks for reading.


32 responses to “Scared Shitless

  1. Easy. primary school (again), singing (again), in ROUNDS! – that one about London being on fire and pouring on water. They all LOVED it, but it just sounded, to me, like a load of scribble. *covers ears*

    • Singing in rounds! FML I hated…
      Singing in rounds! FML I hated…
      Singing in rounds! FML I hated…
      etc etc 😉
      Thanks for reading. And sorry for bringing back any traumas.

  2. Oh you’ve taken me right back. You’re right, the words of Lord of the Dance were really creepy for little children to listen to. Mind you, in secondary school we had a nun who played the guitar to all those folksy hymns and she had a beard. That was pretty unsettling.

    In primary school I was scared of having tongue for lunch. Every couple of weeks it would turn up on the menu and I’d freak out.

    • One of my favourite comments of all time. Mentions a nun with a beard and tongue. And you don’t get many comments like that to the kilo. WELL PLAYED!
      And thanks for reading.

  3. Infants school. Dinners. Cold, lumpy rice pudding. If everyone on the table cleared their plate, everyone got a reward. If one person left a mouthful, everyone got nothing. So, eat something that makes you want to vomit or have no friends because they’re all pissed off at you because you’re the one that left a bit. I had few friends. I still loathe rice pudding.

  4. Made me laugh out loud there a few times. A++
    My music teacher’s name was Miss Bell. Yes, Miss Bell. She was so lovely. She took us all up to London one to see some orchestra play something somewhere. Wish I could remember who, what and where. It was brill.
    Erm, my best memories of school are the smoking-in-jubilee-park-in-a-free-period memories. Great daze.

  5. Oh, and totally agree about Lord of the Dance. In fact anything that starts Lord of the… Whatever tends to be sinister. Lord of the Rings. Tick. Lord of the Flies. Tick. Lord of the Dance. Tick. Sinister.

  6. FML sideways Spence – you have a way with words……….. a little bit of red wine has just dribbled out my nose!!!!!!!!!!!!!! x

    • Oh no! That’s a lot of shame.
      My cousin did maypole dancing at his. I still remind him of it because I’m a complete shitbag.
      Thanks for reading and for sharing your pain. 😉

  7. Haven’t heard that song for ages. It all sounds a bit wrong now. The thing I hated about school was the bread and soup. I’ve never tasted anything so vile. And the wee pricks that would put salt in your water. Boaking.

  8. EVERYTHING! It all scared me, James and the giant peach!! Charlie and the chocolate factory! Scary shit!

    Mrs Fry! She was my teacher for a whole year when I was 7, the year the bullying started (meh, I’m over it, but pretty poor life timing!) she was EVIL! She once kicked a child in the head! She says it was accident, we knew otherwise.

    I could reply all day! I should probably get my own blog. Haha. 🙂

  9. A friend (who was bigger than me) made me go into the stock room and steal stuff. So not only was I absolutely bricking it for the rest of the day but I was also walking weirdly due to a shed load of pens, rubbers etc stuffed in my knickers!!

    • Friends eh?
      *Laughs and laughs and laughs at the stationery in the knickers story*
      No. I’m calm now. What a friend eh?
      Thanks for sharing your story and, obviously, thanks for reading.

  10. Never even paid attention to those lyrics before – now my mind is scarred… Some thing that made me nervous every Monday morning at school in 6th Form – assembly. For some weird hierarchal reason we would sit on the stage facing the rest of the students sitting on the floor. Last to enter the hall, we would have to parade past the juniors, up the stairs to the stage and along the narrow path between the chairs and the edge to find our seats. Fine line between a catwalk and a wipeout.

  11. At primary school we didn’t have a canteen so meals were served in the classroom. I remember one day being made to spend my afternoon with the remains of my cooked lunch sat in front of me because I refused to eat the sprouts. It was years before I ate another sprout.

    The toilets were located outdoors as well, and as the school was sat pretty much on the edge of a cliff on the North Norfolk coast going to the loo in the middle of January was a far from pleasant experience!

  12. I loved that song! But I agree it sounds a bit sinister. Incidentally, I also thought it was Dance Settee. I made the very silly mistake of telling a school full of children that when I did an assembly once, and now they all sing it, and now I am not in the Headteacher’s good books any more….!

  13. Dodgeball. There was one particularly sadistic girl who whipped the ball at your bare legs. I was the class nerd, so it was pretty much wholesale carnage during gym class. And Mr Moss. He had orange hair. I was standing in line, wearing new trainers, waiting to go into class one morning. ‘Shiny new shoes, eh?’ he asked, looking down at my feet. I nodded. Then he stepped on my toe and whispered. ‘Not any more.’
    (I grew up in Canada.)

  14. My RE teacher. He chanted for the whole lesson and got erections while he was doing it. I sat in the front row and his crotch was in my face. I was about 11. Sinister. Even worse, the other kids used to encourage him to chant because it stopped him teaching RE. More boners for me then YUK.

  15. I had a weird childhood, it seemed happy on the surface but had a dark undercurrent. I loved Lord of the Dance from a very young age precisely because of the dichotomy between the lyrics and the music. That to me summed up my childhood in a way.

    I had much to fear when I was a child, but never remember feeling particularly fearful, I had to be strong. Sad really.

    • I think that’s something I found. Something jarred with me. The happy on the surface (tune) but dark undercurrent.

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  16. At middle school it was country dancing. Bad because I would ALWAYS end up being made to partner with the girl that no one else wanted to partner with. And she had really rough hands. But worse because we were made to do it in our pants. With no tops on (boys) and leotards for girls. Why? WHY?

Please leave a comment. Thank you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s