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Playlist from Sadism, Songs and Stolen Liberty

 My Boy Lollipop – Millie

There’s always something there to remind me – Sandie Shaw

Baby Love – The Supremes

To be a Farmers Boy – Traditional English folk song

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez

Que Sera Sera – Doris Day

Yeh Yeh – Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames

Mr Tambourine Man – The Byrds

Help – Beatles

California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas

La Mer – Charles Trenet

Holy Cow – Lee Dorsey

Yellow Submarine – Beatles

Underneath the Mango Tree – Film Dr No

We gotta get out of this place – Animals

Three Blind Mice – Film Dr No

Homeward Bound – Simon & Garfunkel

Floral Dance – written by Kate Emily Barkley Moss

Mingulay Boat Song – written by Sir Hugh S. Roberton

The Skye Boat Song – Scottish folk song written by Sir Harold Boulton

Island of Dreams – The Springfields

Whiter Shade of Pale – Procul Harum

Itchycoo Park – Small Faces

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding

Sugar Sugar – The Archies

Those were the Days – Mary Hopkin

Close the Coalhouse Door – Alex Glasgow

The Internationale – Socialist Anthem

Something in the Air – Thunderclap Newman

Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks



I took my book to HMS Ganges

I visited the site of HMS Ganges in Shotley Gate recently and took my book with me. Although the old training ship is in a state of disrepair bordering on ruin there was enough left to remind me of the horrors of the place and it still sent a shiver through me to be back there.

me at ganges with book

We’ve gotta get out of this place!

Extract from Chapter 25 – The Bermuda Triangle

After a day at sea following the hurricane we returned to Bermuda where we spent our final week there anchored in the harbour at Hamilton, the island’s Capital. There was a radio station broadcasting from Hamilton that we received on our ships radios. It was a good station playing pop music and requests and whilst working in the Galley one day enjoying the songs the radio station’s DJ read out a request from two sailors on board HMS Hecate for the Animal’s single, “We’ve gotta get out of this place.”  “I hope they don’t mean Bermuda,” said the DJ.

Listening to the radio the next day the DJ said that he had received over twenty calls to the station saying that none of the sailors on board HMS Hecate wanted to leave Bermuda; it was the Royal Navy they were referring to! The DJ also imparted to us the information that the Animal’s song was especially popular among United States Armed Forces serving in the Vietnam.

Enjoy the song by clicking here:

Always something there to remind me!

On my first night in the Annexe at HMS Ganges I was in my new mess where we were told we had to make our beds, properly stow our new kit into lockers and were given various cleaning materials to clean the decks, windows, heads, dustbins, everything in fact that didn’t move. I was given a tin of metal polish and told to buff up the mess dustbin until I could see my face reflected in it. As I rubbed and polished away at the dustbin the radio was on and Sandie Shaw was singing her song, “There’s Always Something There to Remind Me” but for me there was nothing there to remind me anymore. My clothes, my last link with the world I had left behind, were on the back of a lorry making their way back to my Mum and Dad’s flat in London and my hair had been swept up from the barber room floor and thrown away. I was miserable.

Nevertheless, to cheer myself up I gustily sang along with Sandie Shaw as you can now:

My Boy Lollipop

The first chapter of my book Sadism, Songs and Stolen Liberty is called My Boy Lollipop. Chapter One describes my short time at a firm called Holloway Engineering where I worked whilst waiting for my start date to join the Royal Navy.

To my surprise and delight I discovered that Millie had worked there. Once I knew that and for the rest of my time at the firm, along with a lovely sixty year old Jamaican woman named Hyacinth who worked next to me on the assembly line, we couldn’t get the words of Millie’s song out of our heads and every day we joyfully sang “My Boy Lollipop.” Hyacinth though would make me blush when she looked into my eyes as she serenaded me with the song.

See the book here:

or at the VFP shop here: