Friday, 2 July 2010

Cilla Black-La La Lu (i love you)

Its 1989, and I'm 12 years old. Despite constant begging and promises not only to wear my thick green and white jumper, but my blue cagoule as well, my mum wont let me go out and play football. "its not REALLY raining" i tell her. But when her voice edges into geordie i know im fighting a losing battle. Feeling like a baby, i send my friend Martin away from my front door. He pretends to be cool with it, but as he walks away, casey under arm, i know he doesn't. Not really.

Its still too early to watch the results come in on the mini printer on Grandstand, so resign myself to a film on my mums recommendation. I enjoyed Grease, but pretended i didn't due to its girly sing-along nature. "A bit wimpy" i told mum. Not that she believed me. I lay in front of the big faux mahogany and grey Thorn 1500, on my stomach, head lifted by elbows.

And waited.

"Please Sir!" was written by script writers John Esmonde and Bob Larbey in 1971 as spin off to the successful TV show. The film starred the proto-Hugh Grant John Alderton and to my mind, the most underrated English Actress ever Joan Sanderson as the sour faced yet golden hearted Miss.Ewell. The plot revolved around the sandpaper rough 5C, a north London class of delinquents and misfits and their efforts to get one over their fresh out of college teacher and Potter, their 'ex desert rat' caretaker played sportingly and rather brilliantly by Deryck Guyler.

As i lay on my belly that ached from laughing and elbows lifting my head that was confused to why all the school girls looked about 27, i felt a bit sad as the title credits ran. I lifted my hand to turn the channel. But an odd thing happened. I was paralysed by the song. The one that started as the kids shimmyed their way through the end of camp disco and ended as the list of cameramen, gaffers and best boy's scrolled ever upwards. That song, that song.

'La la lu (i love you)' was released as a B-side to Cilla's 'Something tells me(somethings gonna happen tonight). It reached the top 5 in the UK charts in 1971. Its also my favourite song ever. Yes, ever. Even next to the Beatles, the Beach Boys and B&S. Even (and i cringe as i type this) next to(go on, go on, type it!) The Smiths. There is no song in the world i would rather dance to. Its not the most indie-cool of choices. But its honest.

Of course its not the BEST song ever(it would sound plastic put next to, say 'Days' by The Kinks), but its the song i love the most. I love the way it manages to convey a whole kitchen sink drama in two minutes and forty seven seconds. I love the way the lyrics are super important, and at the same time nonsense. I love the way its framed in a certain time, both musically and lyrically. Who would 'sit in the kitchen, sit in the hall' these days? I love the way the orchestra ghosts in barely noticeably, like a ninja. I love the way it finishes twice as sonically as it starts.

Its just wonderful. Full of joie de vivre and teenage angst in equal measure, its the sort of record that is like a shot of rum to the soul.

Saturday afternoons would never be the same again.

La la lu download

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