Back in Nineteen Seventy Six


When the Hot Sun baked the broiling Bricks


And Denis Howell MP for Small Heath


Was ‘Minister for Drought’ in the searing heat


He urged us all to bathe together


And not run round ‘Hell for Leather’


I went from Birmingham Grammar School Boy


To the University in Edgbaston with Unbridled Joy


This Bright but Callow Bearwood Lad


Became a Birmingham Undergrad


Studying B.Com in the Muirhead Tower


Where The Paternoster Lifts ran Hour after Hour


Perpetual Motion taking ‘Tortured Souls’


To jump off this Brutalist Muirhead Coil


When Exams in Accounts became too much to Toil


Doctor Peter Cain my ancient Tutor


Urged this Fresh man to use the first Punch-Card Computer


This Student donned a Great Coat and Scarf


And would do anything for a ‘Belly Laugh’


Like Read the Communist Manifesto


At Peter Cain’s educated behest….Oh!


Marx and Engels to the Fore


As all us Students fought ‘The Class War’!


David Lodge’s ‘Nice Work’ if you can gerrit…..?


Made University Life seem so decrepit


To study Accounts was my Forte


Or so I often thought…..Eh….?


But when The Doubts began to creep in


And my ‘Number Blindness’ started to seep in


To my youthful callow consciousness


With such dire unfortunate consequences


My exam time worry started to show


And I was struck such a Mortal Blow


When I failed my Exams in Stats and Maths


But Tutor Cain set me on a Different Path


To study Law and forget the Math


Peter told me I still had a Bright Future


No longer for me the Statistical Torture!


For this Rugby-Playing Muddied Oaf


On the Bournbrook pitches…. I used my Loaf


And played for the University First Fifteen


As an Eighteen Year Old Flyaway Flanker


I made my debut for my Alma Mater


Where my Rugby defined me as a Young Man


Without any sort of discernible plan


The First Fifteen I played in October ‘76


Before I even made my debut for The Old Dix!!!!!


Julia Honeychurch was my squeeze


Back in Strathcona we ‘Shot the Breeze’!


Mick’s Café’s Race and Carnival


Was what defined me as a pal


A ‘Belly-Buster Breakfast’ and a pint of Guinness


The aim not to throw up at the Breathless Finish


A Two Mile Run from the Student’s Union


Down to Heeley Road and a date with Oblivion


Where Bacon and Egg were downed with Glee


Before running back to ‘The Mermaid in The See’


That’s when it all went ‘Pete Tong’ for me


As I threw up and my Salad Days


Became Carrots and Peas


And I was in an Alcoholic Daze


While on my knees


All good fun to raise ‘Cash for Carnival’


I was no longer a ‘Freshman Virgin’ in High Hall….!!!!!



Keith Bracey