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First Impressions, Summer 1963.

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Exhausted limbs lay spread on grass
Both from the choir school and ours
As the battle fought extracted heavy toll
One never knows the kind of feeling
Until the senses tired and reeling
Find that extra yard from deep inside the soul.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 We ached like hell they did as well
But stuck it out to tell this tale
Of that summer day we clashed when in our youth
The smell of freshly mown green grass
Where flowers bloomed in Battersea Park
Beside the fountains, that caressed both teams with spume.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 We’d heard them sing in choir at mass
In Westminster Cathedral by the sacristy
They certainly knew their Latin off by heart
We’d been invited to a game
By a kindly priest, I forget his name
Though I can’t say in our togs we looked the part.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 As our mums and dads were tight for dough
The nuns at St Vincents pulled a stroke
In asking God to send us ten blue shirts
So with five in plimsolls, six in boots
We sent our team to play this school
Of kids who’d ironed creases where it hurts.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 We thought them toffs, they seemed all right
Thought they’d be soft and melt like ice
It’s funny how first impressions can be awkward
Coz when the game had run its course
The whistle blown, three cheers endorsed
They certainly weren’t backward coming forward.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 They shook our hands, like we were mates
The battle fought seemed far away
We laughed and joked as youngsters often do
In our dressing rooms with shiny showers
There stood a hamper deemed as ours
Which we didn’t quite get the gist of, us to you.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 On fields of green, with cake and pop,
Then sandwiches we rashly scoffed
We lay flat out and dreamed the dreams of kids
The sun beamed down on our elation
The Thames rolled by The Power Station
Would “being grown-up” mean the end of days like these?

12

Notes

As its freezing cold here in North West London as I write. I’ve tried to cheer me self up by writing about warmer and happier times as a kid growing up in Pimlico, South West London.

At the time and quite wrongly as it turned out, we thought that the fee paying Westminster Choir School would be an arrogant bunch of posh boarding school kids who would look down their noses at us convent school kids from across the road?

Not a bit of it, real eighteen carat gents they were, fine sportsman with a great humility and the hamper full of grub left in our dressing room after the match by a kindly priest (Bless You Father!), endeared them to us even more as did the post match banquet!

This past Christmas Eve I watched as the very same choir school, with different kids obviously, sang the whole of Midnight Mass in Latin live on the telly from Westminster Cathedral, and blown away I was too. It was wonderful. So I’m off to buy a few of their cd’s with me Christmas money as soon as it warms up a bit as my way of saying thanks for the great memory.

This is just a little re-collection of one of them days from an enjoyable childhood that on days such as this really do warm up the cockles of the heart and leave one feeling blessed at having been there, having witnessed it.

Peace.

Kev.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/first-impressions-summer-1963/?shared=email&msg=fail