I went to see the latest Harry Potter film with my two older children this evening; one of the ads had as its theme “When Johnny Comes Marching Home“. And it took me back years. All the way back to Class 2C at St Xavier’s Collegiate School in 1966, “Small School” as I knew it.
It brought to mind some of the other songs I was taught that year, songs I still remember verbatim:
- McNamara’s Band
- Oh Susanna
- The Happy Wanderer
- Molly Malone
- There’s a Hole in my Bucket
- Que Sera SeraÂ
What a strange collection. A song from a 1950s Hitchcock film. A Harry Belafonte children’s song. An original postwar German song. A Stephen Foster “gold rush” song. Another from the American Civil War. An Irish anthem. And a Bing Crosby popularisedÂ ballad.
All this in Calcutta, in the mid-sixties, in a Jesuit school.Â Strange world. I wonder what they sing in Small School now. [Incidentally, I hadn’t realised that Park Street had become Mother Teresa Sarani. Or that the school year had been changed from January-December to April-March].