Outside Brixton station. 1pm.
I saw two teenaged boys standing outside Brixton station as I got off the bus. They were wearing matching yellow hi-vis vests and Santa hats, and swinging plastic charity buckets. What I noticed first though were their massive grins – and the fact that they were singing their hearts out.
I stopped to watch them for a few minutes. They had a repertoire of all the hits – ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’, ‘Merry Christmas, Everyone’… er… ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’, ‘Merry Christmas, Everyone’ – which they delivered at full volume, the bells on their red hats jingling along with their buckets.
A few feet to their left, the steel-pan band (a regular fixture outside the garish windows of Iceland) was grooving on a reggae riff that had nothing to do with Christmas. But this didn’t stop our boys, who managed somehow to hold on to their own clashing melody and tempo. If anything they got louder as they egged each other on. They wouldn’t necessarily score big points on Singstar, but their attitude was unknockable.
If teenaged boys can give up their weekends to raise money for charity then there is hope left in this world. I’ll let them sing me out:
Snow is falling (snow is falling!),
All around us (all around us!),
Children playing, having fun!
Tis the season, of love and understaaaaaaaaaanding,
Merry Christmas, everyone!