While I was in SUMS, we got given the possibly-enviable task of bulking out the Sydney Phil for the Olympic Games opening ceremony. The ceremony itself was magnificent, and one of the great experiences of my life, but the preparation was handled with almost breathtaking incompetence by organisers who couldn’t arrange a boont in a brothel. Ric Birch, now thankfully forgotten by history, was the Chief Wally in charge of the ceremony. This is to the tune of Jerusalem. For the aftermath, see the Post-Olympic Anthem.

[August 2000]

And did Ric Birch, in ancient times,
Think it would a piece of cake
To get ten thousand volunteers
To suffer all for SOCOG’s sake
And did he hope we’d proudly wear
Beige ponchos and ill-fitting hat
And sit in patience, endlessly,
And not to tell him he’s a prat.

Bring me my mat of close-cell foam
Bring me my brooch that breaks on sight
Shove me around then send me home
To miss the last bus for the night
I will not miss a single call,
I shall not whinge, through wind and rain
For after all, I volunteered
Has anybody seen my brain?