Accent’s and Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’

“All in all I’m justa! Another brick in the wall”

(Choir of Islington Green School 1979.)

My favourite blogger LA over at wakingupthewrongsideof50 has been discussing accents, by that I mean the spoken accents we all have, either a product of the surroundings we were brought up in, or a particular way of speaking imprinted upon us by our parents. As for myself and thanks for asking I have a regional shires accent, Oxfordshire to be more exact and more than a little rural when played back to my listening ear………….. and for some reason or other a Polish lady I work with has trouble understanding what I say? Makes me laugh anyways as she leans in because I just know she’s having problems! 

I haven’t posted on this Blog for months now though I do avidly read the latest thoughts and writings from bloggers I’ve followed for many months, even years! But as for me I’ve kinda fallen out of love with life, I’d suggest the fragile human spirit isn’t strong enough having to live through Britain’s Brexit debacle, so much so I rarely watch the News anymore which isn’t a healthy way to live and guess what? I’ve started receiving Party political junk mail through the post………………….. can anyone tell me if there’s an election on the way?

(So unfortunately Boris didn’t die in a ditch after all!)

Oh yes returning to accents or the distinctive way of pronouncing language.

Reading through comments also replies to LA’s recent post on the whole written by Americans, I was struck by the number of commenters who were of the same opinion, namely we’re elitist towards certain groups of people based solely on the way that they speak. Yes we do judge one another’s intelligence dependent on their accent and yes regrettably we do assume certain regional accents are superior or inferior to our own, and I’d suggest will have a part to play on how far we progress in life, or our ‘given choice’ of employment. 

Although distinct British accents are perhaps disappearing I have my favourites also those that grate on my ear so to speak. Sad to say I’m lol neither a fan of the ‘Liverpudlian’ or Birmingham’s ‘Brummie’ accent which does come across as slightly dim witted (awful to admit), though I do love the broad Yorkshire accent of my Grandfather and have a particular soft spot for a North Londoner’s accent………. cockney is a little tooo comedic for my ears and by that I’m not referring to Dick Van Dykes laughable rendition in ‘Mary Poppins’, no I have to admit I do love a North London.

So why have I attached Pink Floyd’s iconic video ‘Another Brick In The Wall’, to a post themed accents? Listen to this brilliant song and in particular to the chorus rendition sung by (and starring) a London children’s choir, and those attuned to British accents will recognise their North London pronunciation…….…. though lol I fear those ‘across the pond’ won’t think it particually noteworthy.

(As an aside I was their exact age back in 1979!)

Band Engineer Nick Griffin recorded the children singing the verse at Islington Green School, close to Pink Floyd’s studio. Alun Renshaw, head of music at the school, said later: “I wanted to make music relevant to the kids – not just sitting around listening to Tchaikovsky. I thought the lyrics were great – ‘We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control’ … I just thought it would be a wonderful experience for the kids.”

Renshaw apparently hid the lyrics from the headmistress Margaret Maden, fearing she might stop the recording. Maden said: “I was only told about it after the event, which didn’t please me. But on balance it was part of a very rich musical education.” Renshaw and the children spent a week practicing before he took them to a recording studio near the school. According to Ezrin, when he played the children’s vocals to Waters, “there was a total softening of his face, and you just knew that he knew it was going to be an important record”.

In exchange for performing vocals, the children of Islington Green School received tickets to a Pink Floyd concert, an album, and a single. The footnote to this tale is following a change to UK copyright law in 1996, the children’s choir members became eligible for royalties from broadcasts, and after royalties agent Peter Rowan traced the choir members through ‘Friends Reunited’, they successfully lodged a claim for royalties with the Performing Artists’ Media Rights Association in 2004.

So if there’s any conclusion to be made from this afternoon’s post, we all have our favourite spoken accents, we shouldn’t (but do) judge a person’s worth and intellect by the way they speak and yes Islington’s North London children’s choir is awesomely fabulous…………………. I do hope you listened!

A. Shepherdson 2019 

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