#261: 1988, The Mighty Lemon Drops, Inside Out

by Ray_North on August 18, 2011

It’s ‘A’ Level day. Bloody hell. Takes me back. It’s now twenty odd years since I waited for the slip of unfeasibly thin paper that would seal my fate.

I remember the day so well. My sisters Renee and Charlene had come home especially for the event, which annoyed me, I mean the pressure was already massive without my uber-succesful sisters coming home to share in what I had decided was bound to be my abject academic failure. I needed BBC to get into LSE (I note that BBC wouldn’t get you into my local primary school these days, but this was a different age); it meant everything – BBC meant freedom, excitement, adventure and fun, anything less meant Sunderland Poly, which, with every respect to Sunderland Poly (or whatever it is called these days), wasn’t the same.

I got pissed the night before – and came home and rowed with all my family, said a few things I shouldn’t. It was my fault. I admit that now.

The next day we all piled into my mother’s Austin Metro. Why was everyone coming with me? It didn’t take all bloody four of us (my Dad opted out) to get my ‘A’ level results. The drive was tense, silent, last night’s drunken words still hung in the air. We arrived and I begged my family to stay in the Metro. They did. I made the short journey into my school hall (it’s an ASDA now, bastards). I needed BBC, all would be fine with the world if I got BBC. Mrs Griffiths, who’d once unsuccessfully tried to teach me French was handing out the slips.
She was grinning at me. Fucking brilliant.

There were hugs and smiles. My family forgave me. I forgave them. I met up with friends and those of us who’d succeeded sang Fiesta by The Pogues, then I walked home, put on my walkman and listened to this song by The Mighty Lemon Drops – even now, twenty odd years on, the jangling guitar with steel strings and Paul Marsh’s rather non-descript vocals takes me back. It was the best of times, it was the start of everything that was to come.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Geoff Elliott August 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm

That was cathartic Mr North. You should have got it off your chest years ago. You’d have saved yourself all sorts of bother.

Good song too.

I’m not qualified to comment about Sunderland having only been there once to visit the dog track, which surprisingly enough was not a local night club. Vaux ales I recall.


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