Friday, June 1, 2012

1977: I mean it

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but let's cast our minds back to the Silver Jubilee of 1977.

The run-up was of course dominated - to me and all my friends at least - by the question of whether the Sex Pistols would be No.1 for the Jubilee. No one I know had ever heard it, let alone bought it, and only when I told someone I'd seen the words in either Disco 45 or Record Mirror did it all become clear as to just why this song might not be suitable for radio. Of course today you hear it on Radio 2, but back then, it was the biggest deal.

I had imagined it went 'The Queen's a fucking bastard/Da da da da da/The Queen's a fucking moron/Da da da da da' to the tune of Remember You're A Womble, but though not far off with the moron thing I couldn't have been more mistaken.

Someone at school discovered I knew the lyrics and I was quizzed by a group as to how they went. Still not ever having heard the song I could quote the lyrics, but I didn't know what a fascist regime was or why the Queen was considered a potential H-bomb, but I just went with the flow.

Browsing in our local record-cum-gift-cum bookshop, the quaintly named Acorns, one day, a man was going through the singles and pulled out a copy of God Save The Queen and mentioned to shop assistant that he was surprised to see they had this in stock. The assistant replied that they 'had to, really', and I think I know what she meant. What sort of record shop would this be if they censored their stock to placate the national mood?

Anyway, I wish I'd bought it. But I had bigger fish to fry as we were off to Cornwall for Jubilee week, so no street parties for us, even though one was planned in our road. Thankfully it pissed down so much that we came home early, just in time for the party. I had had my birthday in St Ives (and yes, it's next Tuesday in 2012), and the week continued overcast but fair and we all enjoyed the party. All I recall is Uncle Tony getting tight in a deckchair and collecting a potato salad from the old bag we called Crabstick and taking it to the central food dispensary at Dr Buchanan's house.

I'm sure we had fun. The Sex Pistols weren't number (or were they?), and here we are 35 years later with that same Queen on the throne, Vivienne Westwood now has time for her and Johnny Rotten advertises butter. Perhaps because he 'has' to.

*I did do a similar entry but who'll ever remember, eh?


  1. Happy Birthday then!

    My only memory of the silver jubilee is our field party (much easier than a street one) occurring and getting given mug and coin/medallion thing.

  2. We went to Windsor Safari park, which seems a bit of a lame compromise for a Republican family. I got bitten by a goat, right through my imitation Starsky cardigan.