A Gropeof Foolish Poke Songs

by Jim Bryce

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All these songs were recorded at various times and in various circumstances. Consequently, the audio quality is variable, so listeners tolerant to anything less than top-notch excruciatingly expensive hi-fi quality will just have to put up with it.

A word on the title:
The story goes that there was once a BBC Radio 3 continuity announcer who had an absolute horror of pronouncing the name of a certain Russion composer. One day, he was faced with the prospect of a whole half-hour of this gentleman's music, so he prepared himself by means of deep breathing, articulation exercises etc and as the time approached, terrififed, he watched the minute hand creeping up to recording time.The green light came on, and, with as much professional aplomb as he could muster, he announced.
“....and that was the Amadeus Quartet playing Beethoven's quartet in D minor. Now... we present.....a concert of piano music by..................
He breathed a sigh of relief.
However, all things must end, as this concert had to. At the end of the programme, sweat running off him, he watched the minute hand again creep towards continuity time. The green light went on and he announced,
“That was Vladimir Ashkenazy playing a some piano pieces by Kh...Kh...KHAKHATURIAN!”
Free of his mental burden, he continued with the next item on the agenda.
“And next on Radio 3, a grope of foolish poke songs.


released April 19, 2019

Mastered by the Indefatigible Gerry Callaghan.


all rights reserved



Jim Bryce Edinburgh, UK

Has written music for theatre, concert hall (squeaky and non- squeaky), film and the under nines. One musical to his credit which was the showcase production at Pitlochry in 2014. His music ranges from rockish to folkish to jazzish ot music-hallish, with great lyrics. ... more

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Track Name: The Alopecia Stroll
These are the roots of Alopecia:
Your models, they all seem to disgrace you,
Slap your face and then they praise you.
No wonder you're soiled! Your head has been boiled!

These are the first drops of dysmenorrhea:
You want to make society freer.
You pay in endless hope and fear,
and in the way of the West, you pay up with interest.

You've had advice, be nice, think twice, poltergeists injected in your brain.
Free love, Pavlov, bog off, Molotov - And that's what you call sane?

This is society's affidavit:
Find your goal and try to save it.
The more you reach, the more it depraves.
You know what happened to that cause? Everlasting menopause!

©James Bryce
Track Name: Talkin' 'bout You
I'm talkin' 'bout you, my love, how I never get close to you.
But when we're in the street walkin' hand-in-hand,
All I want to be is you lovin' man.
All te reasons disappear and it all seems so clear again.

We just gotta pack our bags and go away for a while.
Just rest our heads and rest our beds just once in a while
Instead of talkin', always talkin',
Forgetting all the rules we made and wanting answers ... always answers.

Sometimes I wish that this would end and time would disappear,
But you put on your magical smile and confusion reappears,
So we just start talkin'.
Just to keep this voice from drivin' us crazy:
It says "Answer!'
Track Name: Rap 2
(two singers, A&B)

A: I'm not the kind to complain that I've never known the score before.
I'm sure I'm fairly realistic:
Toss me a question, I'll give my impresh on this mortal lot: philosophically got, religiously undershot,
so frank it would make you hot, Right to the point.
And when it's all been made clear, I will go and decompose in style

B: That's vile!

A: I really must admit it.

B: It's just the result of some morbid conditioning in your youth!

A: Ah well, the main thing,it's truth.

B: Oh, yeah? Remember when we could stand the strain of thirty?

A: When doubts refrain!

A/B: But oh! You should have seen us in our long johns
Jogging ourselves to the ground in the heat of the day.
And oh! You should have seen us dirty weekend,
flushing away our frustrations in Ilfracombe Bay.

A: It's a drag those passing years:
slowly shrinking our frontiers.

B: But don't worry! No more fears!
Come tomorrow, no more

A/B: tears!

And so we'll all sail away to our happy haven in the sky.
Byebye! We won't live to regret it.

A: It's one of those syndromes you find in retirement
with chits and bowls,

B: Tea

A: Double U R V S (W.R.V.S.) roles.

B: clean shirts to disguise the moles

A: Grandchildren to make us old.

B: Too bad the cost!

A/B: And when our trous have rotted away, you'll hear us from the grave

A: Do what you like!

B: Be what you like!

A/B: It's only Life's Sweet Song!

A: Stop me if I'm wrong!
Track Name: Oink!/Rosie
A) Oink!

[Three singers; Narrator, Government, the Populace.]

NARR: Oh, the KIlburn ladies sing this song “Hoodoo! Hoodoo!”
The Kilburn men are never wrong, they tell you every day.

GOV:“Gonna kill the reds! Gonna kill the I.R.A!
If we don’t stuff this country soon, somebody’s going to pay!”

NARR: Piggy stands by the byre watching the fields get plastered with manure:
GOV: "Impure stuff I always think It stinks!"
POP: "But not as much as Mabel Thorndike*"

NARR:Watch her stuff you in bins without a hint of compensat-i-on.
POP: "Not on! What the hell they at? No fat?"
GOV: "Don’t care ‘cause it don’t matter to me!

Give us the coffers and we’lll make you an offer that you can’t refuse.
Trade you in dues.
Cut you in easy [pieces
Fry you in queasy greases qv EEC. So easy!"

NARR: Piggy says:
POP: "Stab me with morphine, enbalm me in margarine.
Kick all the old ones out on their face.
Cleanse me with Stergene! Pregnant me with blue genes!
Anything you like, get me out of this place!"

GOV: "Na! Na! Na!
Ooh! Tasty bacon!"

NARR: Piggy stand by the byre watching the fields get perfumed with manure

GOV: "Na! Na! Na!"

NARR: How can we be sure?

[Note: *Mabel Thorndike=Maggie Thatcher. These days I use whoever is the Prime Minister, or at least the most objectional of the Government.
Track Name: Murphy's Song
Isn't it enough to make you sick?
No matter how you try to change, the same old labels seem to stick.
They say each social pariah always has to climb up higher
But they don't say how or where or when.
Till then, my furlined friend,
Please give this poor old bugger some relief
(Just one cast-off smile wild do, and I'll make my one brief).
Assure me there's a God in Burton's and I'll keep my Oxfam shirt on
Till you've sorted your priorities, your needs and your beliefs.

When the stars hang dimly over Brixton,
When the pub doors darken down in Penge,
When the light of the day drop its pink negligee
Will you still make no amends?
When the "War Cry"s* echo to a murmur.
When your Good Shepherd's sheep are all shorne,
When all your intent and your good-will's be spent,
Will you still cry out for more?
Your old labels and old scores bring me lower and lower.
Please don't leave me waiting at your door.

Isn't it enough to make you spit?
You get so smothered up with charity, your body just won't fit.
They say the Western panacea's going to bring Paradise nearer
But they won't say when it will, or if it's here, or is this it?
Oh, never mind you morals and your pap!
If you haven't got the heart, then just fling tuppence in me cap.
It won't upset your Christian conscience.
Christ's too busy for that nonsense
Slugging White Tornadoes** on his own beneath Westminster Bridge.

* The "War Cry" is a Salvation Army publication which, in the days of 10pm pub closure, the Salvation Army used to sell in pubs around 9.30

** White Tornado: ginger beer and hair-spray.

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