The Bunjies Test

by Philip Jeays

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1.
Waterloo 04:16
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
2.
Summer 04:40
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
3.
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
4.
Kiss Me 05:11
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
5.
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')
6.
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.
7.
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
8.
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
9.
Mavis 04:47
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
10.
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

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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Philip Jeays Bognor Regis, UK

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