Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The Architect

Having told you last time that comic verse is what I do best the first rhyming stuff I produced was a batch of song lyrics.
In 1973 Jack, a friend who played guitar in a group had written a tune and wanted lyrics to it. I didn't have the tune in my head then so I wrote lyrics with a view to Jack writing a tune around my lyrics. I'd write lyrics to his tune once I knew it... which I subsequently did..altho' I don't think Jack liked those
I was working for Northumberland County Council based in Newcastle upon Tyne and was in Byker where the old terraced houses were still occupied but rising up nearby was a huge concrete pile which became the Byker Wall. ( The picture above is not of merely illustrates the ...the new moon Wi'the auld moon in her arm)

Here's the lyrics

The Architect

Rows and rows of terraced houses
No one here ever grouses
They don't mind their sooty flues
They don't mind the outside loos
"Slums, decayed with neglect"
So says the architect

They're just slums, he'll pull them down
They don’t want their two-up, two-down
Flats in blocks of four
Blocks with one front door
With walls of plastic glass
And lawns of concrete grass

His birth was pre-destined fate
His father had a big estate
And he may have been a perfect fool
But he went to public school
Where he was taught to decide
Where the people should reside

They’re just slums etc

His mansion is Edwardian style
His garden stretches half a mile
His wife wears a mink fur
And she is a Councillor
In chamber walls of wood veneer
She helps to further his career

They’re just slums etc

Does he like coloured plastic
Concrete and bitumastic?
Would he swap his silk and lace
To live in a place
That he says with all his pomp
It's what the people really want

They’re just slums etc

Now, the Council all applaud
They've won a Civic Trust Award
No more pop-in neighbours, passers-by
Just concrete walkways in the sky
Who cares if the rents have soared?
Who cares if the bairns are bored?


The Byker Wall was awarded a Civic Trust Award was I prophetic or what?
In 1974 T Dan Smith the leader of the Council in the 1960's was tried and found guilty of accepting bribes from architect John Poulson. Many blocks of flats and walkways in the sky were pulled down because they were social failures, vandalised, riddled with condensation etc. never part of the original lyrics, I subsequently added the following

The plastic faded, the work was shoddy
And now, you can't find anybody
Not from the Council, nor the folks round here
That thought them flats were a good idea
They've all var nye disappeared
With huge Ratepayers' debts, still uncleared

They've got their houses back, no sooty flues
With centrally heated inside loos
When I think of all that condensation
They got no money, but the compensation
Is that the Architect that screwed this town
Was still banged up... when the flats came down

Jon Bratton copyright 1973-1993

So tunesters, if you've written a great tune, but you can't write the words you're come to the right place. These song lyrics and others in subsequent postings are free for you to use for your own tunes
All these until now unpublished lyrics are free to use with your music until royalties, or money is derived in any way from the song, become payable. Use the comments facility on each blog to say which lyrics you are using and leave your contact details
You compose the music and use my free lyrics to complete your song and when the song earns any income you need to share the royalties appropriately, per industry standards
All lyrics remain the property of the copyright holder Jon Bratton.

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