Monday 19 March 2018

Ruth Dudley Edwards: We're bruised and battered but we're up for the fight

There are many reasons to be cheerful despite what was our annus most horribilis, says Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

I WAS a great fan of rock-and-roller Ian Dury, whose zest for life permeated all his stomping performances and surreal lyrics. Although he came from a broken home and was crippled by polio, he fiercely rejected being cast as a victim.

In 1981, during what he felt was the profoundly patronising International Year of Disabled Persons, his song Spasticus Autisticus ('So place your hard-earned peanuts in my tin/And thank the Creator you're not in the state I'm in') was so vicious and politically incorrect that the BBC banned it.

Among the many classics he left us was Reasons to Be Cheerful ('Something nice to study, phoning up a buddy/ Being in my nuddy/ Saying hokey-dokey, singalonga Smokey/ Coming out of chokey'), an eclectic hymn to the many pleasures of life.

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