Songs Written and Performed by Harry Berry (1916 - 2004)
First Presented to Fellow POWs in Camp Concerts at Changi [Singapore], Taihoku [Taiwan], and Omori [Japan]

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

The Changi Concert Party audio
Radio Helicon, “Changi Concert Party”, originally broadcast Monday, October 17, 1983. Produced by Margaret Evans.
Features eight of the original concert party artists Keith Stevens, Berry Arthur, Jack Boardman, Slim de Grey, Fred Brightfield, Ray Tullipan, Fred Stringer and Syd Piddington.
The music was recorded at a POW reunion at Victoria Barracks in Sydney in 1981 and from a concert recorded at Legacy House in Sydney on July 28, 1983.

1. ‘Opening Night’
A former member talks about the first night of the Changi Concert Party in February 1942.
Sings “Castles in the Air”, recorded at a POW reunion at Sydney’s Victoria Barracks in 1981.
Listen using:

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    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.
    Listen using:

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    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.
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    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”.
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    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.
    Listen using:

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    6. ‘The Selerang Barracks Incident’
    A reading from “the Changi Diary”.
    Listen using:

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