Boomtown Rats – Mary Of The Fourth Form

9th June 2022 · 1970s, 1977, Music, Punk

The Boomtown Rats enjoyed their second hit with Mary Of The Fourth Form – a song that would surely be judged controversial by today’s standards.

Such is the overpowering ‘personality’ of Sir Bob in his latterday guise as saviour of the world and all-round irritant that we tend to forget how good the Rats once were.

Mary Of The Fourth Form finds Geldof channelling Jagger, right down to the pink suit jacket Sir Mick wore in the Brown Sugar video.

It’s such a good song. I knew I’d liked it at the time but listening to it again now I’d forgotten quite how good it was. And quite how pervy it is.

Especially in the second verse when Mary finds herself alone with the teacher. “She quickly drops her pencil / And slowly bends to get it / Teacher is a natural man / He reaches out to touch her.”

Pretty sure that sort of thing was frowned upon in the classroom. Even in 1977. Still, Bob didn’t go half as far as Sting (an actual former teacher) did in Don’t Stand So Close To Me.