Maggie May is an iconic song, loved and cherished by all of a certain generation. On Friday I probably scuppered that for a lot of people when I rearranged it as a song for a retirement party.
I’ve been a governor at my son’s former primary school for quite a few years now so I was invited to the retirement do for our Bursar, Margaret. We were having a hog roast in a marquee at a local hotel and, on speaking to one of the teachers, there didn’t seem to be anything silly planned regarding the speeches. I thought this was a shame as Margaret/Maggie was always game for a laugh and was such a warm, well-regarded lady, she needed a bit of a send-off.
I’m not sure what possessed me to take it into my own hands to come up with a little ditty. Acutally I do know. I have always loved doing this kind of thing. When I worked at John Lewis I could always be relied upon to drag up people’s past misdemeanours in the form of a song or poem. The Spice Girls Wannabe and Bobby Vinton’s Blue Velvet are two I remember though I have no idea what my lyrics were – should have kept copies.
So I sat down on Thursday looking at the lyrics of Maggie May and made up my own version. It was quite handy that the original words say, Wake up, Maggie, I think I’ve got something to say to you, It’s late-September and I really should be back at school. All I needed to do there was change it to mid-September, say you really should be back at school and it fitted the bill exactly.
The rest of it was slightly more difficult but I managed to get in a verse about how she always used to email the governors attachments without ever attaching them (getting that to scan was a bit of a bugger) and how we had to check our diaries as the dates frequently didn’t match.
I cobbled it together, typed it up, and shoved it in my pocket on Friday evening. The invitation said “between 7pm and 10pm” so we arrived, fashionably late at 7.20pm, only to find the whole thing had begun, including the speeches. As other governors snuck in behind us, I told Dougie that I couldn’t stand up at the front and perform straight away so I would see how the evening panned out.
In the end, about 9.15, pudding finished, the time seemed ripe to do my bit. I stood up, piece of paper in my hand, and tried to guess what key I should begin the song so I didn’t have to sing down in my boots. I guessed it about right, gave it my best shot and, I have to say, it went down remarkably well.
I heard later that one teacher had remarked to the people on her table:
“Wasn’t Trish great? She wrote it herself and sang it a capella!”
To which someone on the table had replied,
“Yes…and with no music or accompaniment!”