Monday, July 11, 2011

Schooltime Chronicle

Smiley Culture has been dead now for three months and the circumstances of his death remain unexplained. The Campaign for Justice for Smiley Culture are doing a sterling job keeping up the pressure for answers, as well as raising the wider issue of deaths in custody.

Smiley Culture's Schooltime Chronicle (1986) was a 12" single released on Polydor records. In my view it's not one his best tracks musically, but it is all about going to school in South London - specifically Santley Primary School in Clapham and Tulse Hill Comprehensive School (as did his friendAsher Senator and, previously, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Ken Livingstone).

Lyrics in full:

Big request to Miss Crane, Headmistress off Primary School. And massive respect to Mr Evans Principal of Secondary. Wherever they may be./

Me junior school was Santley, me secondary Tulse Hill. If I could turn back the hands of time I would be going to them still. Yet to miss couple day dem deh time it was a thrill./

So don't be like me a fool, Youth man go to school, youth man go to school, don't be like me a fool. And tek in dem ya style ca you know culture rule. This ah me school time chronicle. Me school time chronicle Lord /

As a youth in Primary School me used to play marble, conkers, football and even scrabble. The youth that used to lose would always grumble. But tru dem know how me stay dem hav to humble. When play time done teacher blow the whistle. Me come from behind prickle just a kiss up dimple. And me reach a classroom feeling comfortable. So me never used to give the teachers too much trouble. Still the worse time inna me school chronicle. Might sound funny now but to me was terrible. Me did a run down the stairs holding on not to stumble. Should of guessed somebody spit on the staircase handle. Before me coulda say elyak hear the whole school./ El el el el Smiley's got the fever. We're gonna tell the teacher. Injections all over. Can't say we never told ya/

Me school time chronicle. Me school time chronicle Lord /

Ner na ner na ner na Smiley's got the fever. Injections all over. Can't say we never told ya/

Me school time chronicle. . . /

Now to start secondary say it was pure trouble. Cause every school I wanted to go to was full. Stockwell Manor Kennington all had too much pupil. So for Tulse Hill Comprehensive I had to settle. I heard the big boys there were very brutal. But when me reach on dem handle me respectful. With me blazer, shirt and tie me did well official. Every day was the same nice and simple. But the worst thing throughout me school chronicle. El.... was the dinner it was terrible. And every lunchtime this is how the cooks would grumbled/

"I tell you Smiley in our days in school, All we got was a bowl of 'Gruel'. And when we were finished or even before. We'd be going up asking for more". 'MORE' I'm cool! But don't be like me a fool. Youth man go a school. Youth man go a school. Don't be like me a fool. Cause I don't want you to come turn out like me. A hard working raggamuffin M.C. Get intelligent and now run the country. Listen to your teacher go to school weekly. And take little time and think wisely. About your school time chronicle.

Me go a P.E. everything PHYSICAL. Touch a Science Lab me ramp with pure CHEMICAL. We did leve me R.E. because me mind BIBLICAL. Inna Maths everything was MATHEMATICAL. But down ah Computer Studies me did well DIGITAL. Inna English everything was ALPHABETICAL. It might sound like history but it's not HISTORICAL. That me only left school with one O'level

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