Monday, September 12, 2005

barmy army 

Well we won the Ashes, it was hard work for a supporter.

Went to the Oval for the 4th day of the final test (with Matt). Lack of light prevailed, but we still saw a lot of action.

I'd heard the Barmy Army chant many times at games, or on the radio and TV. In it's simplest form the words 'Barmy Army' are spread over two beats of four, the last two beats being clapped or left silent. Given enough participants this chant can last for many minutes, typically half an hour or so.

But what are the ways into the chant? It is not possible to just pick up the chant from cold.

I'd always been aware that a protracted version of the chanted dialog: "everywhere we go, people want to know, who we are, where we come from..." presented an opening into the Barmy Army chant. I wasn't aware until recently that there were others.

From my limited research I am led to believe that it is possible to reach a Barmy Army chant via other routes (although these may no longer be in common use). Here, for example is a innocent four line poem that can easily lead you into a fourty minute monster:

When I was six, I had no sense
I bought a flute for fifty pence
The only tune that I could play
Was Michael Vaughan's Barmy Army........ Barmy Army.(3).(4) Barmy Army.(3).(4) Barmy Army.(3).(4) Barmy Army.(3).(4) (repeat)

Not having studied literture, I don't know the techichnal term for the verse and metre used in the "When I was six.." poem. I do know however that it has the same metre as A.A.Milne's 'Teddy Bear'. Now Bethan as a child learned this poem, and would recite it to our parents as we lounged in beds and pajamas on weekend mornings.
I also know there are such things as 'epic poems' I'm not sure if 'epic' refers to scope or length (but I assume scope dictates length).
So what I would like from our friends in the Barmy Army is an introduction to an epic rendition of Barmy Army that is epic in itself, maybe 40 verses in rhyme, a detailed narrative of the history and current test series in verse to lead into it. A history of all Ashes matches including references to other historical events (world wars etc).
This would give us non participating fans a true appreciation of what is to come, and a justification for the monotony of the eventual chant.

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