Surabaya Johnny – Dagmar Krause

Lost in the Stars - a tribute to Kurt Weill
Lost in the Stars – a tribute to Kurt Weill

For my Music Monday this week click on: Surabaya Johnny sung by Dagmar Krause.  Krause also performed this on the album Lost in the Stars  a tribute to Kurt Weill.

As a fan of Kurt Weill, this is one of my favourite albums, with contributions from artistes around the world including British ones such as Sting and Marianne Faithful.

This song is from the three-act musical comedy Happy End  by Kurt Weill, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Bertolt Brecht.  The trio wrote this after their success of The Threepenny Opera, which were both performed during the late 1920s, just before the depression at the Theatre am Schiffbauerdamm  in Berlin.

Dagmar Krause a German singer, has a unique voice, which lends itself to the type of tragic ballads sung in Berlin Cabaret.



El mar (Rafael Alberti)

Land’s End, Cornwall © Southampton Old Lady

Further to last week’s Music Monday about the sea, I also lived by the sea in Southern Spain and fell in love with the flamenco culture of the region. Here is part of a poem (with an approximate translation) by Rafael Alberti. He is one of my favourite poets who was born by the sea in Puerto de Santa Maria in the province of Cádiz, Spain, but moved with his family in order to live in Madrid,the capital city, when he was fifteen. Here he expresses his saudade or homesickness for the sea.

Click here too for the words sung in flamenco by  Lady Hagua

El mar. La mar.  The sea (m). The sea (f).
El mar. ¡Sólo la mar!    The sea (m). Only the sea!
¿Por qué me trajiste, padre,   Why did you bring me, father,
a la ciudad?   to the town?
¿Por qué me desenterraste   Why did you unearth me
del mar?   from the sea?
En sueños la marejada   In a dream, the swell
me tira del corazón;  is drawing my heart;
se lo quisiera llevar.  It would like to carry me off.
Padre, ¿por qué me trajiste   Father, why did you bring
acá?  me here?

Beyond the Sea / La Mer

For my Music Monday this week are the music and words of La Mer and how it became Beyond the Sea.  Click on each of the names to hear their version 

Beyond the Sea © Southampton Old Lady
p1170694 – a swing band from Reading, England.
Jiving to the Ding Dong Daddios

I went to an event yesterday where the Ding Dong Daddios were playing. I had heard them before at Goodwood Revival. They did one of my favourite songs Beyond the Sea.

Perhaps it is because I live near the sea that I love songs about the sea, but Jack Lawrence took the original french song La Mar, written by Charles Trenet and turned the words into a romantic love song: Beyond the Sea

The most popular version was recorded by Bobby Darin in 1959.

The instrumental version of La Mar was recorded by Django Reinhardt in January 1949, but not released until 1961 after his death.

A better translation into English from the french poem would be these words, which I prefer.

The sea

The sea,

We see dancing along the shores of clear bays,

Shimmers with silver

The sea

Changing shimmers

Under the rain


The sea

With the summer sky

Mix up her white horses

With the angels so pure

The infinite azure shepherdess




By the ponds

Those big wet reeds


Those white birds

And those rusty houses


The sea

Has cradled them

Along the shores of clear bays

And with a love song

The sea

Has rocked my heart for life

Those Were The Days-

Now a Nightclub called Lennon’s, this place in Onslow Road Southampton used to be The Onslow Pub. As a child I played with Susan the daughter of the landlord in the flat above. Then when I went to Art College I used to go along with friends to listen to the Bob Pearce Blues Band – Bob used to do his duckwalk along the bar and knock people’s drinks over. It was popular with students and throughout the punk era we used to discuss politics and think we were sorting out the world. Those were the days!


Whenever I pass by Lennon’s Bar in Onslow Road in Southampton, I think of the song “Those Were the Days”.  So for my Music Monday today, I present 5 different versions, so click on any of the underlined blue names to hear a YouTube track with video:

I first heard the song sung by Mary Hopkin when it went to No1 in the UK Charts in 1968. The Welsh folk-singer was one of the first to record on The BeatlesApple label and it was produced by Paul McCartney. The words on this version are credited to Gene Raskin.

However the tune was originally from an old Russian folk song called “By the Long Road” (Dorogoi Dlinnoyu). Composed by Boris Fomin with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevsky. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism. So more-or less about the same thing and why it haunts me. The most popular version sung in Russian, is by Sergey Lazarev.  The first recording of the song was made by Alexander Vertinsky in 1926.

After the Berlin wall came down in November 1989, I went to visit some British and American friends of mine working in Berlin. We went to a nightclub in East Berlin and Those were the Days by Mary Hopkin was played repeatedly after every few records.

Later in 1992, while I was working on the Algarve in Portugal, I went to a festival in Portimão and saw The Leningrad Cowboys, a Finnish rock band, perform their version in English. If you click on their name the short video that accompanies it is a real treat.

I think my favourite version has to be by The Paganini Duo, a gypsy band in Australia who play the traditional folk version with a violin.

A more recent cover, is sung movingly by  Cynthia Lennon  with a backdrop of Beatles photos. So, we have come full circle now to Lennon‘s – I doubt if you will find me in the club now, but “those were the days”.


Bhutti Bamba Bay

disused airport

I lost you at the airport

now abandoned and disused

on golden sands I sought

but you were not amused

you sailed the other way

in a pastel-coloured tug boat

beached at Bhutti Bamba Bay


butti bamba 1

Poetry © Southampton Old Lady

Poem from found print 8: One Across


One across: precise, profitable 

From a team of experts

who can inform you

changes can make

a multitude

of affects

and embraces your future as well;

You can get it throughout the country


The solution?


Tremendous and right time

in every new territory

aid increased production


Call in Superintendent today

They can tell you where these are stored

Never a cross word these lads…

Hope you got that one across


Industrial Development Department,

Strand London WC2



Poem reworked from an ad in the Sphere Sept 1963

August 2016 © Southampton Old Lady


Power Games Mash-up

Tony Blair

House of Cards

In the House of Cards

The road to power is paved with hypocracy and casualties

God deals us different hands

But power without compassion

is the worst kind of evil there is

You may think that…

But I couldn’t possibly comment


Michael gove


All Hail! Thane of Cawdor

Fair is foul and foul is fair

Look like the innocent flower,

But be the serpent under it.

Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane

Confusion now has made his masterpiece

Is this a dagger which I see before me?



Game of Thrones

Nothing burns like the cold

When you play the game of thrones

you win or lose

There is no middle ground

The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever

than the men who laugh at them

Winter is coming

You Know Nothin' Jon Snow

You know nothing Jon Snow

July 5th 2016 – Southampton Old Lady



Poetry from found print: Go middle-class – learn to clean

Another Poem reworked from found trivia print

Go middle-class – learn to clean

Girls are taught to use a dustpan. 1933
Girls are taught to use a dustpan. 1933

Ultimate middle-class Monday

scurry out door early

do pre-cleaning-lady-clean-up

into coffee shop

shame over lattes

not mopping kitchen floor

since help alone

some domestic

driven by under-pay

to do chores




Moan about precious category

respect mollycoddled generation

dirty dishcloth

never to build

never to clean

don’t want to know

don’t pack the end

never do something arduous


How was the gym?

And Tinder?

Squeeze it too

Uber instant social media

makes cleaner only cleaner

the dust demanding



This wages to Landlords

Spending disposable predecessors.

Time is money

Life’s too short to spend it cleaning bathtub



Poem reworked from:”i” newspaper article: “How I got over middle-class guilt and learned to love my cleaner”.  April 2016

© Southampton Old Lady

Poem from Found Print 6: VALLEY STORES

Fifth in my series of poems reworked from found trivial printed matter

Aldi Supermarket receipt © Southampton Old Lady
Aldi Supermarket receipt © Southampton Old Lady


Table salt

unsmoked back

freeze dried mature medium

white trimmings

Organic fairtrade

Belgian plain bread hot

Cross farmhouse

Please keep this customer

Tell us how we can be in with a chance …


Reworked from Aldi shop receipt 

2016 © Southampton Old Lady