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Guest Post: 7 Reasons ‘Red Light Spells Danger’ By Billy Ocean Should Be Used As An Educational Tool

Posted on March 12, 2011 in Guest Posts | 0 comments

Today sees the sofa experiencing something it would rather not. A Babylon5 marathon. But that is the price we pay for guest posts and at least we know it will come back in a good condition. Last week I had to scrub it clean with my Aston Villa shammy leather cloth after it had been infected by a Birmingham City supporter. Anyway, viewing Babylon5 – until the rugby starts – is Rob Lee. Or, if you prefer, Wobbly. I, incidentally, am Jelly. I often feel our double act days could have been so much more. Right, enough reminiscing, here’s my brother who ain’t heavy.

Billy Ocean
Billy Ocean

1.  ‘Red light spells danger’. This says it all really. The red light that says don’t drive when stopped at traffic lights, the red light that tells you not to cross the road at inappropriate moments, the red light that warns you not to press the large, round flashing button attached to all that sophisticated computing equipment and large missile. It teaches children to fear red lights, and this is good, because red lights spell danger.

2.  ‘Red light means warning’. Teaching young children is quite often based on repetition – clearly Mr Ocean was in touch with such modern teaching methods when he wrote this in the 1970s, as not only does he teach that a red light spells danger, but also that it means warning. This is very effective teaching – the children believe that they have been taught two different pieces of information, thereby preventing them from becoming bored, whilst they have in fact had the same important message twice drilled into them. Red lights mean danger. And Warning. Which are sort of the same thing. Sometimes.

3.  ‘You got me on a ball and chain, doin’ things I don’t wanta’. Despite his lack of grasp of the correct grammatical use of the English language, which is not setting a good example I’ll admit, our education-minded singer is in this instance warning of the uncomfortable experience going to prison would result in. Not only being tied to a ball and chain, but also having to do things you don’t want to; traditionally this might be breaking large rocks into smaller rocks – this is of course bad for your teeth, so the lyric contains a valuable lesson about not eating too many sweets as well.

4.  ‘Hold on, heaven guide me’. This is clearly a teaching about the importance of having faith. If you believe in that sort of thing, if you don’t, well, holding onto things is usually a useful practice too. Especially eggs, not holding on to eggs means you drop them, causing a mess, and then you’ll have to clean them up. Cleaning up a mess is probably something you don’t want to do, and as the previous point, erm, pointed out, doing things you don’t want to do isn’t much fun, and can be bad for your teeth. Anyway, if you do believe in heaven, then letting it guide you is a good thing to do, and if you don’t, holding onto things will suffice.

5.  ‘I always used to kiss and run’. Having given it much thought, Billy also decided to include the rules to a common playground game in his song. Although, on reflection, the objective of kiss-chase was always to run after someone and then kiss them, not kiss them and then run away. Mind you, that might depend on whom you kissed. After all, running up to Big Ron, the class bully, and giving him a quick peck on the cheek might not be a clever idea, so, in fact, Mr Ocean is providing useful instruction on what to do should you run after the wrong person and kiss them. (N.B. this also applies in adult life, not just the school playground. Besides, kissing probably isn’t allowed in the school playground any more, for health and safety reasons.)

6.  ‘I can feel the heat is on’. here we move to the significant element of home economics (that’s cooking lessons to the uninitiated). Checking that the heat is on in your oven is sound advice, since otherwise that cake you’ve just made won’t cook. It will sit in the oven, but without heat it will remain a mass of uncooked cake mixture. If you check first whether the heat is on, you’ll know when to put your mixture in the oven, and, therefore, end up with a delicious treat rather than a sickly pile of goo. However, as with all electrical or gas based equipment, you must naturally check that the red light is not on. Because red light spells danger. And warning. Just in case you weren’t sure the first time.

7.  ‘Can’t hold out, I’m burning’. Many people believe that they should suffer in silence and not inflict their problems on other people, especially in these trying times. This is why they don’t walk around with a red light displayed on their head. In certain areas of the city there is another reason why they don’t wear a red light but we won’t go into that. Anyway, the point is, Mr Ocean is telling pupils not to remain silent if they are, in fact, burning, but that they should tell someone. Preferably a teacher. Lesson 7 – If you find yourself on fire, always tell the teacher. If you can’t find a teacher, display a red light. Because red light spells danger, and fire is quite dangerous.

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