Wenlock and Mandeville

from Run V​.​T. by Ian Evans

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about

This didn’t need much effort to write and stayed quite simple. It’s about the London 2012 Olympics, which I unexpectedly really loved! I usually either dislike or am ambivalent about sports. I’m pretty happy with the distortion on this, which is really raw. The drums were my first attempt at recording my new, electronic drum kit and sound slightly odd, although I don’t mind them now. I got a Roland drum kit delivered the day before my son was born so, inevitably, didn't get to play it much.

lyrics

I was all cynical - with so many sports kid bullies
(Molten rings forming out the logo)
And penalties used to cause cancellations on TV
(It’s a shame that they praised immoral school sports)

But Danny Boyle came, with a cynicism busting show…
(Yes he did! With Bean, Brunel and Poppins!)
He opened with routes of the Thames and its source marker stone…
(You Go! Wenlock and Mandeville!)

Poppins fighting Voldemort is ironic to Alan Moore
(Please refer to L.O.E.G. Century 3!)
A Tardis noise sounded out for a few seconds corridor
(Straight on till morning - it’s absolutely amazing!)

Unlike Beijing, where they highlighted order and law
(Marching stiff, although they do have more inventions)
In Britain we move by ourselves and so made it all fun
(Bouncing beds and Voldemort and laughing!)

Once you’ve seen your Queen act with Bond, you know that things rock
NBC were unaware of Tim Berners-Lee and were judged
David Cameron should get no good associations - being an enemy of the NHS it celebrates
Even the 2012 sit com now seems mean…
It’s proof that musical theatre is much better than sporting

References:

* Cynicism – Most Londoners were cynical about the 2012 Olympics beforehand, as the transport network can barely cope on a normal work day. In the end it was fine, as most Londoners went away or worked from home. It was unexpectedly easy

* Sports kid bullies – Although I didn’t like sports anyway, literally *everyone* I met at school who enjoyed sports was a bully. When I went to university, I was amazed that a new friend did athletics, as I couldn’t associate it with him being such a nice person! Athletics does seem to attract nicer people than football (as some people pointed out during the olympics) but I am now a lot less bigoted against sport

* Molten rings forming the logo – It’s worth watching the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, which is surely one of the best pieces of theatre ever created

* Penalties used to cause cancellations of TV – Argh!! When I was a kid, extra time in football matches often caused my favourite TV shows to be postponed or cancelled

* “Immoral school sports” – In the Olympic closing ceremony, Britain’s compulsory sports lessons in schools were praised… I genuinely think the opposite and that making sports compulsory creates the majority of bullying. It’s great to do sport if you like it but making it compulsory makes it into an entirely poisonous thing, until you finally get older and can play with people who aren’t horrible

* Danny Boyle – The director of the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, as well as Trainspotting and 28 Days Later. All very good

* “Cynicism busting” – The opening ceremony was such a movingly fun and emotional performance that it made me immediately get into the whole thing. I think it was probably the best bit of theatre I’ve ever seen and the perfect match of being respectful and self mocking

* Bean – Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean character was featured in one sketch

* Brunel – Genius engineer of the industrial revolution, who was played in the ceremony by Kenneth Branagh. It’s worth watching it all

* Poppins – Mary Poppins was also featured, fighting Voldemort from the Harry Potter books! Too good

* The Thames – Britain’s largest river, which was featured in the opening video clip

* Source marker – A stone (which I presume doesn’t exist in real life?) marking the tiny trickle where the Thames starts

* Wenlock and Mandeville – The mascots of the 2012 Olympics, which were one-eyed creatures, made from the left over metal of the stadium. Mandeville represents the Paralympics and is named after the Stoke Mandeville disabled hospital. Oddly, this was the site of one of Jimmy Saville’s crimes (Jimmy Saville is also mentioned in the song W12 7RJ, as he was in the news all the time as I wrote this album)

* “Poppins fighting Voldemort is ironic to Alan Moore” – In Alan Moore’s wonderful comic, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Century volume 3) Mary Poppins fights a demonic version of Harry Potter! It’s odd that it mirrored the Olympics opening ceremony

* L.O.E.G. – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

* Tardis noise – The Tardis from Dr Who did feature in the ceremony, but only as a sound effect

* Straight on till morning – A Hammer horror film

* Beijing – Before the 2012 Olympics, I’d thought the previous opening ceremony in Beijing would be hard to equal. After the London one, I re-watched a video of it and couldn’t believe how much more inventive and touching the British one was. Not just a little, but by 100’s of times! It was mostly because the British one was informal and funny, instead of a display of strict organisation. It made me really proud of my own country. I always love it for being the place that fits my interests a lot, but I rarely think that it’s better than another country

* “Marching stiff, although they do have more inventions” – The Chinese invented so many things. If they’d done a ceremony to show of those, they’d have done much better. Being able to march in an orderly way is not such a good thing!

* Bouncing beds – Another feature of the London ceremony – Great Ormond Street patients bouncing on their beds

* “Once you’ve seen your Queen act with Bond, you know that things rock” – The actual real British Queen appeared in the ceremony, doing a comedy sketch with James Bond! Jesus – what kind of country is Britain that we’d actually do that?!? I'm so proud

* NBC – An American TV channel

* Tim Berners-Lee – The British co-inventor of the internet, whom the American CNN news programme didn’t recognise. Other Americans criticised their news coverage, on a few chat rooms I read

* David Cameron – The British prime minister at the time, who was sadly one of the most right wing leaders of all time. He got rid of a lot of services to poorer people, who desperately needed them, under the pretence that funding was tight. He quite happily gave extra money to banks and business men

* The NHS – The British healthcare system, which David Cameron partly privatised

* The 2012 sit com – This was a sit com about the run up to the 2012 Olympics. It was really funny, but seemed less so after the Olympics turned out to be a real success

* Musical theatre is better than sport – I liked the ceremony more than the games themselves and I guess I couldn’t resist another dig at sports fans. I must get over the chip on my shoulder

credits

from Run V​.​T., released August 4, 2015

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Ian Evans UK

Pop/experimental/rock musician and songwriter from London

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