The Singing Schoolteacher

from by Vinny Peculiar

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The Singing School Teacher that shaped my history
Taught us English for a year his name was Clifford T
And on the last day of term he walked to school with me
The both of us just couldn’t wait to leave and be free

If you don’t like poetry you can take yourself away
Do a little private study in the Lemon Tree cafe
Stay only if you want to read the sonnets and the prose
And begin to appreciate the significance of the rose as a romantic metaphor…

John Dunn, Wordsworth and the Bard were soon ignored
We just listened to stories of Bronco and Dandelion Records
We didn’t do a lot of poetry
He set the homework but homework was the enemy
Homework was the enemy… and the NME

When he appeared on TOTPs it was like all our dreams had come true
Glued to the TV with our parents too who
Collected cuttings from the Bromsgrove Messenger
About the Singing Schoolteacher the way that parents do

The Singing School Teachers career stalled
It’s a fickle business come the rise and fall
I followed him from a distance footnotes in NME
Another MOR singer now a Punk Rock casualty
Then I moved up north and it all just drifted away from me

My mother called and asked me did I know? I said no?
She’d heard a tribute on the Terry Wogan show
Clifford Ward passed away well I thought you’d like to know
Well he was someone I really wish I’d got to know
After school but I never did he was an inspiration when I was a kid

And he still is…


from Return of the Native, released June 1, 2018


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Vinny Peculiar Worcester, UK

Vinny Peculiar variously described as – ‘An under sung national treasure’ [UNCUT Magazine 2014] – a warm hearted Morrissey [Q Magazine 2014] and the missing link between Jarvis Cocker and Roger McGough [Irish Times 2014]. THE ROOT MULL AFFECT is a compilation -
‘The missing link between Jarvis Cocker and poet Roger McGough and some of the wittiest lyrics this side of Wreckless Eric’ IRISH TIMES
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