sometime in the eighties

Harry’s mate is hosting Eurovision. Think we’ll win? asks mum
The war? asks dad, from behind the sports pages.
Can I play with the music box? I’m told to ask my sister.
Don’t touch, just listen, and she opens the little red case.
The needle moves and the Human League sing along,
to my sister’s rendition of Don’t you want me.

The country’s going to war, led, dad says, by an iron lady with a battleaxe.
While we are going to the south of France, on holiday. Hopefully.
Driving in My Car. Abroad. For the first time.
Ever. Madness.
Mum said we are going on a big fairy,
Shalamar says it will be A Night to Remember.

Scuffed, school shoes shined, hands and faces scrubbed for church.
Keep the soldiers safe, the vicar prays. Amen.
Let us go on holiday, I pray. Amen
My sister prays for an ant. Amen
Mum and Dad stay at home and listen
to Duran Duran’s Save a Prayer. Amen

Chocolate crêpes and ice-cream parlours,
Topless beaches and moonlit discos, the war’s forgot’.
Too young for the disco, I’m left behind
By pubescent teenage girls, singing out of tune
Come on Eileen

Twelve months pass and we return,
Nothing’s changed ‘cept the war’s been won and the ‘vision lost.
But my sister cries
‘Cos I’m no longer to be left behind,
And Dexy’s been forgotten with the help of
Red Red Wine.

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