MICHAEL GALLAGHER WRITES

Track 10

I once provided the voice-over for Mr Punch in a short film that premiered at the NFT (the National Film Theatre in London...sorry to disappoint anyone who perked up at the thought of tokens, fungible or otherwise). The role was another thing from my bucket list, and I fought tooth and nail to get it.

Whilst I was recording my lines, the production crew started talking about Greensleeves, the jangly theme played by an ice-cream truck that featured in the film. “Does anyone know the actual words?” someone asked.

I blinked. “Doesn't everyone?” Apparently not, when they're half my age. And so I got to sing the opening titles acapella.

“We've got (cites a long list of musical genres),” joked one of them. “The only thing we don't have is a jazz one.”

I raced home and started working on a 5/4 time version, which frankly my PlayStation was never set up to do. It started as something that sounded like a live performance (think Dave Brubeck's Take Five) but with the audience clapping along.

Though they never used it for the end credits, I produced dozens of versions, including this one.

The truth is I'm a much better writer than I ever was a musician. Have you read Oh No Octavius? Is it something you might enjoy?

The well-heeled residents of Highbury have a problem: the Reverend Allaston Burr, the rector who’s been foisted upon their congregation by an ancient yet legally-binding right known as an advowson. When a final appeal to Queen Victoria—as the head of the Church of England—fails to remove him from his post, they turn to Gooseberry for help.

Join fifteen-year-old Octavius and his ragtag bunch of friends as they investigate the detested cleric, only to discover that someone has a far more permanent form of removal in mind.

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