Vicky said we should see how many times we could sing, "Rock around the clock". It was the end of the 1950s and we were in the domestic science rooms at school in Belfast.
There's a thought. Domestic.....were they planning that we should only end up as housewives?
Was learning to wash lettuce and make porridge really a science that our mothers hadn't already invited us to participate in?
My mother had regularly invited me into the kitchen for one science or another. Washing up was well on it's way to a degree, if not an MSc by the time Vicky suggested this latest idea.
Elvis was hot news in 1956. Not that he or his music were played in my home nor I suspected...Vicky's.
Ungodly I think would have been the comment from my brother... older than me.
Anyway, I don't think I could have wound up my parent's gramaphone fast enough to keep a record playing long enough to be able to dance....that is gyrate...to the end of the song.
Can you remember the words?...one o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock...oh you remember.
I was nervous. It was always difficult to say no to Vicky.
She wasn't exactly a bully, but let's just say extremely persuasive. And I wanted to stay in with her as she also led the little gang of teenagers who gathered on the beach near where we both had family caravans.
Oh my...there's another tale to be told. The caravan.
Anyway I seccumbed to her hissing persuasion and chanted "Rock around the clock" quietly under my breath. My hesitancy was not only fear of being heard in the class...but also because I had already been in trouble with the headmistress.
Looking back now it seems ridiculous, but the wrong v-necked sweater from the wrong shop, the tilt of a beret on the back of the head rather than pulled well over the ears, or the length of hair touching the collar of the blazer, could get you hauled into her office for another lecture on "Unacceptable uniform".
I 've forgotten how many times we sang though Elvis's rock anthem. I would think Vicky with her uncanny ability to miss out on the lash of "miss's" whip like tongue, kept going the whole hour of the lesson. Then the bell would have brought me blessed relief.
The hour is imprinted deep in my memory bank. A bank that seems to have deposited some memories deep in a vault slammed the door and gone and lost the key.
Elvis's music and his Lemur-like hip gyrations were a turning point for a whole generation that was moving rapidly away from all the deprivations that period of our history brought with it.
And as the alternative in Ireland was either "Diddley da" music or Irish style country and western with those singing... slurring over both the words and melodies...Elvis and all that followed were a breath of fresh air.