Linda West recently discovered
recordings her father made of songs he wrote during his time as a POW in Formosa
and Japan. Whilst sorting through 100s of his old tape recordings of jazz she
discovered recordings her dad had made, self accompanied on the organ in his mid
70s, of songs he'd written during his time as a POW.
The Dawberry Swing, Singapore 1942
First tune I wrote. Dawson played Drums and I played piano,
Hence the Drawberry Band was formed
Were in Trouble Again, Singapore 1942
Signature tune for the double act of 'Berry & Berg' (Harry Berry and Danny Goldberg)
Song without Words, Taiwan 1943
Easily 'Top of the Pops' in the Taihoku and Omori POW Camps
Ijo Arimasen [Everythings OK], Tokyo 1944
My translation may not be all that correct
The Bucket Swing, Tokyo 1944
We always hear when the daily ration of rice and soup was being carried from the cookhouse to the various barracks.
The ration were contained in wooden buckets and as they swung on the metal handles, they squeaked! 'Buckets are Swinging' was the call used to go out when rations were on the way.
Somewhere across the Ocean, Taiwan 1943
Well received but never reached the popularity of My Songs without Words.
Goodbye, Tokyo 1944
Corny but cheerful chorus for concert finale
When We Meet Once Again, Sweetheart, Tokyo 1945
Tune not remembered
Dreaming That I'm Steaming, (on a Steamer Home to You), Tokyo 1945
Written in great hurry for final concert when war ended. Hence similarity to Tiptoe through the Tulips. Would have been changed if I had had more time
2. ‘The Piano’
A Morrison upright now sits in the ex-POW Association rooms in Sydney.
A member of the concert party talks about finding the piano in Singapore and hauling it back to the camp through the wire.
The piano is played by Jack Boardman, a former Changi POW.
3. ‘Were’d You Get That?’
A drum kit was smuggled in the prison, while a sewing machine was also brought in and this was used to make costumes for the Changi Concert Party.
The POW’s also ingeniously made their own instruments, and a range of skills were used to make the sets and paint backdrops.
4. ‘Changi Hit Parade’
Much of the music was written by the prisoners and the “popular” song of the week was posted on a tree, a favourite was “Waiting for Something to Happen”.
5. ‘A Female impersonator’
Former POW, Keith Stevens, talks about one of his appearances in the Concert Party.
There is also an extract of a reading from “Changi Diary” about the food in the camp.
6. ‘The Selerang Barracks Incident’
A reading from “the Changi Diary”.