Sunday, 25 January 2009

1980 St Winifred's School Choir: There's No-one Quite Like Grandma

Ah, the broadest of all barn door targets; volumes and tomes could be filled with the outpouring of bile and hatred vomited in the direction of this song over the years, but I'm afraid I'm not inclined to add to it. How could I? Only the most calcified of hearts could take aim and offence at a troupe of primary school children whose only sin is to love their Grandma. And at Christmas time too (a similar sentimental seasonal bullseye had already been scored by Clive Dunn in 1971 with his 'Grandad').

If this was sung at the school Christmas concert then it would have brought the roof down; is it the fault of the kids that they were ushered into a recording studio and made to commit to vinyl what should have been a transitionary moment between them, their parents and their parent's parents? Is it the fault of the kids that the resulting effort was given a full commercial release and let loose into the national charts where it kicked John Lennon off the Christmas number one spot? No and no. And that's kind of my point - this sort of thing works perfectly well when kept in the family dynamic; just as holiday snaps or baby photos bring hours of delight to parents and close relatives, they bore the pants off the rest of us when the 'golden moments' are shared wider. No, if you want to blame anybody for this, then blame the writer, Gordon Lorenz who saw the chance to make a quick buck from a cute, gap toothed girl and her mates, and then blame the one million slack jawed, sentimentally overdosed punters who fell for it and, in confusing treacly sentimentailty with festive spirit, were only too happy to make him rich by buying it. A plague on all their houses.

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