I failed most of my O-levels because I listened to far too much music, although I did think it would help with my revision.
Listening to the O’Jays’ “Love Train”, as they mentioned England; Russia; China; Africa; Egypt and Israel (too), would have been helpful had I not been meant to be revising the physical landscape of Canada.
Learning the very descriptive lyrics to Boney M’s “Rasputin” would have been constructive had I not had a series of questions about Gladstone and Disraeli during my History exam.
I knew little about trigonometry and knew even less after constantly listening to Barry Manilow’s “Bermuda Triangle”.
A favourite song to listen to was Jane Birkin’s “Je t’aime” – again a waste of time as the question with the highest marks was: “Write to your pen friend in Antibes about your summer job” – had I have worked as a high-class prostitute, I’d have got full marks. It did help a bit with biology, though.
I feel I could have done even better with science should My Chemical Romance have been around.
The set work for music was “Ceremony of Carols” – this, I discovered, when the results were out, was by Benjamin Britten and not, as I’d written, Neil Sedaka.
However, I do know what a slide rule is for: it is for neatly underlining your name, date and subject of your exam. Also, as this was the summer of ‘73 (almost another good song), you could use it to swot away flies – although this was Clapham and not Rwanda.
You can turn your papers over now.