The Bunjies Test

by Philip Jeays

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about

This is my equivalent of a ‘Kickstarter’ album which is not actually on Kickstarter (I’m not going to come round to your house and play for you or offer to clean your windows or make your tea) - it’s just here to try and raise some funds for my next CD - minimum charge is £5, but if you are able to pay a bit more then please do. If you can’t afford £5 let me know and I’ll send it to you for free.


THE BUNJIES TEST

There used to be a venue called Bunjies Folk Cellar on Litchfield Street, off the Charing Cross Road in London. It was absolutely tiny, and yet over the years it played host to many of today’s most respected musical heroes, amongst them Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Jeff Buckley. I used to play there many years ago as part of the various acoustic club nights, and it was there that I first met William George Q, John Peacock and David Harrod (who have been the backbone of my little band for many years) as well as many other singers, writers and performers, such as Dave Russell, Peter Cadle, Chris Schuler, Woodstock Taylor, Pat Orchard, Ann Dalton, Geoff Allnutt, Ed Seyfried, Jamie West, Noel Le Bon, Simon Scardanelli, Ian Coles and Roger Jolly - there was also an old man known only as Smiley, who would turn up (often wearing slippers) to perform. Even though he couldn’t actually play the guitar he would just hit the same note over and over again whilst half singing, half speaking the cover-version of his choosing. Seeing him sing ‘Yesterday’ like this was actually quite moving. Other songs fared less well.
One of the organisers of these nights was the late, lamented, unforgettable and irreplaceable PJ Fahy. I always wanted to play better for PJ, he made me feel like I was good, like I had something to offer, but I think he did that for everybody, he called us all ‘geniuses’ and made us all feel special. He is sorely missed.

There was a group of us who would meet up at least once a week at Bunjies as well as other venues around London where we would try out our songs - but while most venues offered some form of amplification Bunjies was so small that not only was there no need for amplifiers, there was barely room for more than one performer at a time, meaning that most songs comprised of just voice and instrument (usually guitar), which in turn meant that each song was pared down to its barest components - chords and lyrics. When we met up we would talk about various singers and songs, maybe something classic from the past or something in the current charts, and we would ask ourselves how any particular song might fare if it was stripped of all extraneous backing - no drums, no electric guitar solos or orchestra or whatever - if it was reduced to nothing more than words and chords, the way we had to do it at Bunjies, how would it get on? This became known as ‘the Bunjies Test’.

Hence the title of this album - these are all new songs except ‘This Is Your Life’ which is very very old - and all of them have been recorded very simply, just guitar and vocals, using only one microphone and with no overdubs - apart from ‘Waterloo’, which, as a nod to Smiley, has a single note played repeatedly throughout the entire song. It’s a C# if anybody wants to play along.

Please buy it and encourage everyone you know to buy it too. I need to raise about £1500, so I’ll need a maximum of 300 nice people.

Thank you.

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released June 9, 2014

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Track Name: Waterloo
WATERLOO

Walking down from Waterloo
I saw them hug as lovers do
Along the river bank
And I would just have passed them by
If something had not caught my eye
That made me wander back
And getting close as I could get
I saw that both were soaking wet
Both soaking to the skin
And that their hug was less to love
And more as to some drifting wood
To which drowning sailors cling

They held each other in their arms
The way slow dancing lovers dance
Just rocking to and fro
And on their arms home-made tattoos
Whispered all they had to lose
Was lost long long ago
And as a couple turned away
I overheard the woman say
He’d pulled her from the Thames
And there they stood, lost and naive
Like children who still believe
Love songs with happy ends
As in defiance or self defence
She begged him

‘Will you love me
Every second of every minute
Of every hour of every day
Will you fight for me
Will you spit in angels’ faces
Will you curse love’s holy scriptures
Would you die for me
Will you find me in that darkness
That sunlight never creases
Will you breathe for me
When we are old and we are tired
And there’s no more breath inside me
Will you hold me when I am broken
Will you know me with words unspoken
And if the monsters come again
Will you lead me safe away
Will you hold me close and say
All our dreams will come true
Like you promised them to’
In Waterloo

Then one by one the people cleared
And as for them they disappeared
Alongside the river wall
Leaving as they walked away
Just a puddle there to say
They were ever there at all
And suddenly it seemed to me
Like she was you and he was me
And we were drowning just like them
Clinging just to stay afloat
Clinging still to every note
Of love songs with happy ends
So in defiance or self defence
I’ll tell you

‘I still love you
Every second of every minute
Of every hour of every day
I will fight for you
I will spit in angels faces
I will curse love’s holy scriptures
I would die for you
I will find you in that darkness
That sunlight never creases
I will breathe for you
When we are old and we are tired
And there’s no more breath inside you
I will hold you when you are broken
I will know you with words unspoken
And if the monsters come again
I will lead you safe away
I will hold you close and say
All our dreams will come true
Like I promised them to’
In Waterloo
Waterloo
Track Name: Summer
SUMMER

In the distance church bells ring
The dying hours of the spring
And summer dawns
The sunlight blankets through the trees
And forces picnics to their knees
And summer warms
A tablecloth drifts so serene
And spreads across the English green
Of summer lawns
And bodies sink with backs laid bare
Their bellies belch too full to care
And summer yawns

And in the heat of too much wine
Some smiling girls whose eyes meet mine
And summer spins
They lie half naked ones and twos
That offer all they have to lose
And summer grins
My first advances you dismiss
My failed attempts at our first kiss
And summer stings
Till in the seas of sprawling grass
We somehow find our sails at last
And summer wins

And air so thick it drowns the town
In choking veils of eiderdown
And summer storms
The rain clouds break across the grass
And pavements bounce and gutters dance
And summer roars
And how once all your dress concealed
Is now quite beautifully revealed
As summer clings
And in my room as daylight goes
I help you out of your wet clothes
And summer sings

And in a meadow’s lengthening shade
Some wild flowers slowly fade
And summer sighs
And autumn scratches on the breeze
And pulls the leaves from off the trees
And summer cries
And we both turn our heads away
Then look back once again to say
Our last goodbyes
I watch the train that carries you
Until it disappears from view
And summer dies
Track Name: This Is The Age Of The Naked Emperors
THIS IS THE AGE OF THE NAKED EMPERORS

My ten-year-old nephew name of Thomas
Ironically left us with no doubt
In him the devil was upon us
And that that devil was devout
When he began to scream and shout
And streams of filth came pouring out

We tried to bribe him into silence
With threats of Santa's non-compliance
But that just deepened his defiance
He said 'Open your eyes
I know it's dad
You fucking twats'

This is the age of the naked emperors
The psychic conjurors
The Jungle and X Factor
This is the age of the aura therapist
Your devils are all cock now please get dressed
We're not impressed

And so to calm his disposition
And help take his mind off everything
We took him to an exhibition
Of those artists that are 'in'
Where people nod and stroke their chin
At those great artworks housed within

But as I gave an explanation
Of just what made an installation
He cut across my ostentation
He said 'Open your eyes
It's just a bed
You fucking twat'

This is the age of the naked emperors
The psychic conjurors
The Jungle and X Factor
This is the age of the aura therapist
We've all looked at your cock now please get dressed
We're not impressed

I said 'My songs will make me famous
I'll get rich and have you cured abroad'
He said my claims were quite outrageous
And that my evidence was flawed
My songs left everybody bored
And I was hated or ignored

I said 'No, fame will be the answer
It will bring me love and cash and laughter
And then I'll live happy ever after'
He said 'Open your eyes
It isn't real
You fucking twat'

This is the age of the naked emperors
The psychic conjurors
The Jungle and X Factor
This is the age of the aura therapist
We're voting off your cock now please get dressed
We're not impressed

So then we came to this decision
To place him in the hands of God
The vicar said an exorcism
Would soon put right the little sod
We gave the reverend the nod
'Don't spoil the child or spare the rod'

But there before the congregation
As people prayed for his salvation
Young Tom cried out with indignation
He said 'Open your eyes
There's nothing there
You fucking twats'

This is the age of the naked emperors
The psychic conjurors
The Jungle and X Factor
This is the age of the aura therapist
Two thousand years of cock now please get dressed
We're not impressed

So finally we took him to a clinic
To see what the doctor could explain
She looked him over for a minute
Then she said 'You've come in vain
He isn't ill he's got a brain
And that's what's driving him insane'

And so, good people, in summation
Don't give your kids an education
Intelligence just breeds frustration
When you're living in a world
That's fucking full
Of fucking twats

This is the age of the naked emperors
The psychic conjurors
The Jungle and X Factor
This is the age of the aura therapist
Just put away your cocks and please get dressed
We're not impressed
Track Name: Kiss Me
KISS ME

I know
The lightning comes and goes
I’ve seen the way it throws
Its light and goes

I hear
The thunder drawing near
The mix of thrill and fear
That holds me here
Like a child caught in wonder

I see
It all in front of me
The days of agony
The hours spent
Breathing life in every shadow

Each night
Replayed in black and white
While somewhere out of sight
The silent bullet
Travels in slow motion

The kiss
I know will lead to this
The torture and the bliss
The time of Valentines
And still believing

The ways
The weeks will pass like days
The days I’ll catch your gaze
And be amazed

The time it takes
To light a wish
And float it on a dream
And you’ll be gone
And I’ll go on
Like nothing was
I’ll carry on
But until then
For right or wrong
Kiss me

How soon
Your ghosts will fill this room
With each forgotten tune
Each faded bloom

Each day
I’ll feel you slip away
With every word I say
To make you stay
Just pushing you a little further

See how
The twilight changes now
The colours break somehow
The darkening sky
Turns shades of grey and yellow

I’m cold
And tired of feeling cold
And tired of keeping hold
And tired of being tired
And tired of wanting

The rain
Comes thundering down again
As I breathe on the pane
And write your name in love’s
Fleeting graffiti

I know
The lightning comes and goes
I’ve seen the way it throws
Its light and goes

The time it takes
To call your name
And slowly fall apart
And you’ll be gone
And I’ll go on
I’ll stand up tall
I’ll carry on
But until then
Oh my love
Kiss me
Track Name: We Are Many, They Are Few
WE ARE MANY, THEY ARE FEW

They take away your money
For the spare room in your home
You might be old or disabled
In the only home you’ve ever known
Then you get in rent arrears
While they rent out their second homes
And they get rich
While you get payday loans

They say that inequality
Will motivate the poor
You have to give them less
If you want to help them soar
Yet to motivate the rich somehow
You need to give them more
Cut their taxes
And let them bank offshore

Chorus:
But you don’t have to take it or give in boys
You don’t have to kiss that diamond ring boys
You don’t have to sing the song they sing boys
Just because they let you sing at all

The evidence of poverty
Is too great to ignore
They told us we should judge them
On the welfare of the poor
Well now we’ve got more food banks
Than we’ve ever had before
And the Red Cross
For the first time since the war

And zero hour contracts
Mean workers live in fear
Never knowing if they’ll still
Have a job this time next year
So nobody complains
When injustices are clear
But better this they say
Than no career

Chorus

Of course you can protest
But it isn’t like before
‘We’ll try to fit you in
Between half past three and four
But be sure to keep the noise down
Or it’s against the law’
Then they’ll tell you
This is why we fought the war

They’ll film and photograph you
Be sure they know your face
Try to intimidate you
With their national database
The bully boys of Bullingdon
Their golden thrones in place
Sit and lecture us
On thrift and waste

Chorus

And how the Tory voters
Yelped at what they saw
When the frackers came a-fracking
Right outside their door
Well it’s profit over people
And it’s what you voted for
You never cared
When they did it to the poor

Now they’ve sold off all the silver
Which wasn’t theirs to sell
They sold it to their friends
On the school tie carousel
They spoke of competition
When they meant to say cartel
And now everybody’s doing
Very well

Chorus

‘Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you
We are many - they are few.’*
Fight back!

*From Shelley's 'The Masque of Anarchy' (though Shelley says 'Ye are many' instead of 'we')
Track Name: There Will Be Jazz
THERE WILL BE JAZZ

There may be mourners milling,
Distant, but duty-bidden,
Offering splints of alibis and hush;
The scent of dreams downtrodden,
Tales taller with each telling -
Poverty parading as panache.

Alone and pale and loitering
Beyond the realms of breath;
Who knows what clothes will clothe us then,
The naked and the left?

Decent suburban people
Content with life eternal
Sand their griefs with lullabies and toil,
There, where, beyond my funeral
Splintered around a table
Exes mix, with drinks and beans to spill.

Alone and pale and loitering
Beyond the realms of breath;
There may be angels bathed in light,
There may be everlasting night,
But in the raging halls of death
No matter what is left -
There will be jazz.

What of the life worth living?
Brackish coin of the breathing
Spent like balm across unbroken skin
Beyond the sight of grieving;
In the park, where children swing,
Or lovers sit, waiting for a sign.

Alone and pale and loitering
Beyond the realms of breath;
There may be brimstone, there may be flame,
There may be judges call my name,
But in the velvet halls of death
No matter what remains -
There will be jazz.
Track Name: This Is Your Life
THIS IS YOUR LIFE

This is your life
These are your days
Whether you fight
Or walk away
Whether you love
With lies and such
Whether you lose
By loving too much
This is your life
Be all that you will
Fill up your cup
And drink of your fill

This is your life
To walk or run
Under the stars
Or under the sun
Every step
Is yours to take
Every regret
Every mistake
This is your life
Tread where you choose
Whether you win
Or whether you lose

This is your life
Be wild and free
Be rabid and mad
As any lover could be
Take your life
To the edge of it all
Whether you stand
Or whether you fall
Take it all
In your stride
Live with a passion
More than a pride

This is your life
So don’t be told
Who are the fools
And what is the gold
Dare to be free
Dare to be wrong
Spit at the clouds
And bark them your song
This is your life
These are your dreams
Be strong and true
And let them see
This is your life

Whether you lie or tell it all
This is your life
Whether you stand or if you fall
This is your life
Whether you run or if you stay
This is your life
Whether you fight or walk away
This is your life
Track Name: Love Dies Young
LOVE DIES YOUNG

Love dies young
In the eyes of seventeen
That flit from dream to dream
On the beaches in July
Love dies young
Like the melting of the dew
Like Winter wading through
The gardens of Versailles
Love dies young
When words once whispered
Soft on summer nights
Are mocked by airport tannoys
Giving their last rites

Love dies young
It walks away into the night
So my darling come and die
A little here tonight
Love dies young
So what more can lovers give
Than let love live
For love dies young

Love dies young
In the arms of twenty-one
When you’re looking for ‘the one’
Or just anyone in reach
Love dies young
When love is just the name
You give that stubborn stain
That dawn awaits like bleach
Love dies young
When promises you
Banked go overdrawn
When all those words you said
Lie dead before the morn

Love dies young
It walks away into the night
So my darling come and die
A little here tonight
Love dies young
So what more can lovers give
Than let love live
For love dies young

Love dies young
In the heart of evermore
When you’re no longer sure
Or not as certain as before
Love dies young
When you’re too set in your ways
Too familiar to amaze
Each other anymore
Love dies young
When habit reigns and
Silence turns the screw
When thoughts of greener grass
Haunt everything you do

Love dies young
It walks away into the night
So my darling come and die
A little here tonight
Love dies young
So what more can lovers give
Than let love live
For love dies young
Track Name: Mavis
MAVIS

There’s a black girl on the corner
By the old newspaper stand
Wearing headphones, eating cherries
She spits the stones into her hand
Nodding to the music
She sways and taps her feet
Dancing in the early
Evening heat

And milling on the pavement
Boys stand around outside
Thin and sharp as razors
But still trying to look wide
They tense like drivers waiting
For the lights to change
But they’re just going through the gears
And back again
Though something of those feelings
Still remains

The black girl eats her cherries
Then she throws the stones away
She walks down through the market
As it folds itself away
She teeters on the kerbside
As she waits to cross the road
And she smiles at the man
Who lets her go

The faithful march to prayer
Clinging on for all they’re worth
They know their gods are dying
As they retreat they scorch the earth
They blame the gays and godless
For the famine or the rain
But they’re just going through the gears
And back again
Though something of those feelings
Still remains

The black girl meets her boy
And she greets him with a kiss
And watching I remember
It was on a night like this
When we were just teenagers
How Johnny took this piss
The night when I first
Kissed you Mavis

I think that I last saw you
At the end of Connaught Road
Just before they pulled the house down
When the cracks already showed
And I told you that I loved you
And we never spoke again
You were just going through the gears
And back again
Though something of those feelings
Still remains

The black girl walks away
Arm in arm with her beau
Through the warm Whitechapel evening
Heading down the Mile End Road
I watch them disappear
Laughing as they go
Waiting for my own true love
To show

And picking at the stitching
Of those battles lost or won
The memories unravel
As the years come undone
Sally sitting on the jukebox
As Joe Jackson plays again
French cigarettes, French kissing
Mavis dancing in the rain

And suddenly you’re standing there
All Monday eyes and lazy hair
And I’m still that teenage boy I was
Standing here tongue-tied because
You are so beautiful
What else can I say to you
I love you
I love you
I love you
Track Name: High Windows (December)
HIGH WINDOWS (December)

Watching from high windows
Will be my likely end
A tin of peaches Sundays
A funeral now and then
When every cough and splutter
Will sound a trigger pull
Till the spin and click of years
Shall find the chamber full
Till then how every moment
Your words will haunt me still

And as young lovers shared a cafe creme
Not watching us not seeing them
Beneath December skies
We struggled with goodbyes
Still trying to pretend
We’d meet again

Watching from high windows
The red brick rosaries
Fingered or not fingered
By post or milk or keys
I will still remember
Fate shifting like quicksand
My words clumsy as crayons
Held in a child’s hand
Your voice that cracked and faltered
‘My love, you cannot understand...’

And as young lovers shared a cafe creme
Not watching us not seeing them
With tears in our eyes
We told each other lies
You said ‘it’s for the best’
And I said ‘yes’

Watching from high windows
A time when I was young
Ask them and they’ll tell you
I could have been someone
Or maybe someone better
Or just someone better cast
But folding time has creases
That hold us to our past
These dreams of untapped blood
Like blisters trapped in glass

And as young lovers shared a cafe creme
Not watching us not seeing them
When I tried to leave
You reached and held my sleeve
And when I took your hand
You turned and ran