Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Leave them burning and then you're gone



With Britain's newspapers in some kind of frenzy - again - about the prospect that two hot days together somehow constitute a "heatwave", so our thoughts once again go hurtling back forty years, to the "greatest of all heatwaves", the long hot summer of 1976. In this month, the UK was on full red alert as the drought and glorious sunshine continued - many parts of the country went 45 days with no rain, and water rationing was endemic. [The best school holidays, ever, as most of us who were kids then would recall :-)]

Also in the news in August 1976: Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan led the first demonstration by "Women for Peace" in Northern Ireland with 10,000 Protestant and Catholic women in attendance; the fall-out of the John Stonehouse scandal and trial continued to raise eyebrows (the former Postmaster General, on the run from fraud allegations, had pretended to have committed suicide on Brighton beach but was arrested in Australia and jailed for seven years); in the ascendant were the Viking 2 probe (which entered into orbit around Mars), the Ramones (who made their début at CBGBs club in New York) and Gerald Ford (who beat Ronald Reagan to become the Republican Presidential candidate), but Big Ben (the Great Clock of Westminster) was damaged and went silent for nine months; there was a coup in Uruguay; Jacques Chirac resigned as Prime Minister of France; and the first known outbreak of Ebola virus occurred in Zaire. On telly: Call My Bluff, Michael Rodd's Screen Test and the departure of Amy Turtle from the soap Crossroads. In cinemas: Harry and Walter Go to New York, Land of the Minotaur and Bugsy Malone.

In our charts this week four decades ago, the inexorable domination of Elton'n'Kiki and Don't Go Breaking My Heart continued, holding off all comers including Dr Hook, David Dundas, Johnny Wakelin, Wings, Tavares, Jimmy James, 5000 Volts, the Bee Gees and Cockney Rebel. But lurking in the wings, having just made its first appearance in the upper echelons of the Top 40, was the song that was going to knock it off its perch...

Here (of course) is Abba, with their timeless classic Dancing Queen [and what queen, to this day, cannot sing every word to this one?]:



You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music's high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen

You're a teaser, you turn 'em on
Leave them burning and then you're gone
Looking out for another, anyone will do
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen


"The time of your life", indeed.

2 comments:

  1. My favourite line is

    " You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen "

    because I was and I 'came out' at the end of that year too. Oh happy days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Looking out for another, anyone will do" - another phrase that applied at the time too, I bet...

      Delete

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