Lyric Sheets

Bleeding Irrelevant*
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The Independent Culture
Sir Cliff Richard, who led Wimbledon fans in a singalong in 1996 during a rain-break, refrained from doing so this year. Asked if he planned to sing on Centre Court again, he said he didn't think so

I won't say much about it now

except that we got

wet, or rained on and anyway

someone told someone

that they were leaving if

there was any chance

that Cliff would be singing or

doing a spot

running away seemed like a

good idea at the time

a small price to pay when you

say, God no,

it sounds like his voice. So we

went. Like a shot.

And the next thing I knew

was this rush

towards the exit that is: away

to the hills

except that there are no hills

in Wimbledon

and swarming back in - to

avoid the crush

we could not help but hear

old bachelor boy

strutting a medley of his

more popular hits

which boiled down to an all

too familiar mush.

There were other people

there too but they stayed

a coachload of ladies from

Stoke-on-Trent who

arrived that morning with

their hampers, flasks

umbrellas and butterfly-

frame glasses, had paid

and were only too glad of the

entertainment.

Having seen Heathcliff that

Christmas, they sent him

a little Edwardian toilet-roll

cosy that they'd crocheted.

Three years on, we walk

round in circles, to buy one

Independent from the on-site

newsagents - no luck

so we make do with a

Telegraph. You know how it is.

Then slither back to our seats

to read Boris Johnson

the rain still pelleting down

on to our rented cushions

but this year he did not sing,

not a single old song

although we feared that he

might well have done

I mean: as if there weren't

enough things to blight

the summer as it is, the

bloody rain, traffic jams

the price of everything and

the bloody rain

I'm sorry that's twice I've

said that - you're right

We have to live in dry-

mouthed fear that we'll be

exhorted to sing a reluctant

mumbling "Livin' Doll" with

four-hundred rabid blue-

rinses and pop's first knight

*In the style of the Poet Laureate's `Reading the Elephant'

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