'In the late Seventies, Boney M had had some wonderful hits, including a version of Psalm 137: ‘By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion.’'
Sitting as the court clerk in a London Magistrates’ Court on a wet winter afternoon, with only a stipendiary magistrate and a couple of police offers for company, used to make me feel that I had been banished from the rest of the human race. When the job in hand consisted of several hundred summonses for unpaid television licences, the heart sank and the feeling of being an exile deepened – especially as there was no natural light in the courtroom and no indication of when the working day would come to a longed-for end. Once, halfway through these dank proceedings, a vision shimmered in: she was a member of Boney M, the Caribbean pop group – tall, black and beautiful, and dressed to kill in clothes sparkling with a thousand sequins. I was obliged to communicate to her some unfriendly information about the utterly trivial offence. What I wanted...
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