Cover
Cover art by Tom Abba

BITTER LEMMINGS
(2nd Edition)

Tom Holt

Author
Photo by Roger Robinson


NOTE: The first (unillustrated) edition of this book was published in April 1997 and is SOLD OUT.
This second edition has the same contents and is augmented by illustrations by Zander Nyrond.



Thirty-nine parodies and/or filk songs by the author and poet Tom Holt. The songs woirk in their own right even if you don't recognise the originals. See below for list of song titles, tunes and originals. Liberally illustrated throughout by Zander Nyrond.



from the author's introduction

"Some nerve this bloke's got, inflicting a songbook on the world when he can't sing, can't play a musical instrument (unless you count the triangle, which he doesn't), can't write music and has only been to one filk convention. In his defence, he replies that he's been cuckolding other people's songs since he was a brat. Unlike the other nasty habits of his boyhood, he hasn't got rid of this one yet.
Tom Holt, of course, deserves no introduction. He writes books (yes, under his own name) for a living and sings (far too loud, far too often and flat) in the bath or when operating extremely noisy machinery. He's short, rotund and bearded, but doesn't wear glasses and doesn't work with computers.
And why lemmings? Need you ask? Not that I'm an activist, you understand; more a sort of lemmingnence grise."



Price - UKú4.50
Postage and packing (p&p) to addresses in the UK - add UKú1.00.
For more information on ordering & payment please see How to Order

1st edition

A4 wiro-bound paperback
Unpaginated (39 songs)
Publication date 26 April 1997.

ISBN (10) 1-870824-38-5
ISBN (13) 9781-870824-38-5

OUT OF PRINT
2nd edition

A4 wiro-bound paperback
Unpaginated (39 songs)
Publication date 10 April 2001.

ISBN (10) 1-870824-40-7
ISBN (13) 9781-870824-40-8



APOLOGIES AND EXCUSES
FOR BITTER LEMMINGS

The author introduces the songs.

1 - Go, Lovely Ose
Tune: Anything Goes (Cole Porter)
'Nuff said. Some people like a heavy duty ose song (all 47 verses of it). This otherwise commonplace little number is remarkable for containing a new rhyme for "filk".

2 - Morgaine
Tune: Jolene (Dolly Parton)
In order to get the scansion right, I had to listen to the original six times hand running. It's a scandal the Victoria Cross can't be awarded to civilians.

3 - Dead Ringers
Tune: There Are Bad Times Just Around the Corner (Noel Coward)

4 - Have Book, Will Travel
Tune: No, Nay, Never (Trad.)
The term "ram-raiding" in this context means turning up unannounced at a bookshop, grinning savagely, and signing all the copies of one's book whether they want you to or not, thereby preventing them from sending them back. So far, nobody's ever called the police, but there's always a first time. When I was a child, my mother told me never to write in books.

5 - Toast to Realistic Heroes
i am a litel ose song in serch ov sum moosik. if u no ennibode ho duz moosik praps u cud arsk vem 2 rite sum 4 mee fancuverrimuch.

6 - The Con Hotels of England
Tune: The Stately Homes of England (Noel Coward)
Chris Bell helped with this, despite not knowing the tune or the words. I wrote all of it except the word "emplacements". Chris didn't help all that much.

7 - Et in Intersectione Ego
Tune: The Nightmare Song, from "Iolanthe" (Gilbert & Sullivan)
It's possible to sing this if you take a run at it.

8 - Wild Canadian Boy, The
Tune: The Wild Colonial Boy (Trad.)
An 'umble tribute to John Clute. Noting that it differs from the original by not having a chorus, Dave Langford added the following -
Come, my co-editors, the deadlines they are nigh,
Together we'll cross-reference, and never say "sci-fi"
We'll thunder through the verbiage, like mighty Sherman tanks,
And we'll scorn to lean on text-books that were written by the Yanks.


9 - The Button Mould
Tune: We don' need no steenkin' tune.
Guess who this is about. When you've guessed tell me, 'cos I don't know.

10 - My Imam
Tune: My Old Man Said Follow the Van
Sorry.

11 - The Modern-Day Solicitor
Tune: The Modern Major-General, from "Pirates of Penzance" (Gilbert & Sullivan)
Lawyers are the scum of the earth, trust me, I'm a lawyer. Or used to be. I went straight in 1995.

12 - I Can't Get Parted From You
Tune: I Can't Get Started (Gershwin / Duke)

13 - I am Lemming
Tune: I am Kraken (Leslie Fish)
I make this the eighth filk of "I am Kraken" to date, but very probably not the last.

14 - How Much is That Doggie in the Window, Compadre?
Tune: Bella Ciao (Trad.)
A horrible mutant cross between "Bella Ciao" and "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?" In its favour, it could have been much longer.

15 - FAP
Tune: FAP (Feline American Princess) (Leslie Fish)
Written for fellow hyophile Pat Silver. The original is about cats, needless to say.

16 - Amateur Chemists
Tune: Amateur Rebels (Leslie Fish)
Admit it; when you first heard "Black Powder & Alcohol", wasn't your first thought "Where the hell can you buy saltpetre?" (You can't; the EC have classified it Doubleplus Ungood). But supposing you could ..

17 - Go, Lemmings
Tune: Toast to Unsung Heroes (Leslie Fish)
I have this recurring fantasy where I'm sitting in this circle at a US con, and Fish sings TTUH, and I reply with this (I'm allowed to sing in my imagination), whereupon she hits me with a mike stand for being negative about the space program .

18 - Black Pepper and Parmesan
Tune: Black Powder & Alcohol (Leslie Fish)
Another widely-filked original. Wonder why?

19 - Pre-Emptive Revenge
Tune: Vengeance is Mine (Guess Who)
See 17 above, except this time I get hit for being negative about the Struggle.

20 - Suburban Shieldmaidens
Tune: Celtic Woman's Song (Heather Rose Jones)

21 - Eeeek!
Tune: Carmen Miranda's Ghost (Leslie Fish, again)
Space station five, because Popeye the Sailor's ghost is haunting space station four, and it's strictly first come, first served. How many space stations are there, anyway?

22 - The Skunk-Breeder's Daughter
Tune: The Horse-Tamer's Daughter (L*sli* F*sh)
Awarded the Golden Parsnip for Good Taste at the 1994 Wolverhampton Festival of Parody.

23 - Grow it Back
Tune: Bring it Down (Leslie Fish)
Don't look at me, because I did.

24 - Cakes of the Angels
Tune: Eyes of the Eagles (Leslie Fish)
This is my favourite song, and I did this to it.

25 - Lovebites
Tune: The Tinker's Daughter (Frank Hayes)
Actually my father-in-law is a trade union official, so this song is by no means autobiographical. Honest.

26 - The Wild Geese
Tune: The Wild Geese (Kathy Mar)
I only found out after I'd written this song that Wild Geese are actually people. Oh well.

27 - The Wild Lemmings
Tune: as above
Look, what is it about you and lemmings? Have you seen anyone about it?

28 - Act of War
Tune: Man of War (Kathy Mar)
This song enabled me to make enemies of Kathy Mar ("Man of War") and Zander Nyrond ("Filksinger") with just one song. Cheapskate, or what?

29 - The One That is Broken
Tune: Twisted (Kathy Mar)
Don't you just hate it when this happens?

30 - Well, Quite
Tune: Rumour-monger (Zander Nyrond)
Well. Quite. Um.

31 - Men's Laundry Song
Tune: Song of the Women (Zander Nyrond)
How to avoid having to wash anything ever again. By one who has.

32 - Her Trusty Blade
Tune: Ladyhawke (Julia Ecklar)
All in the best possible taste, naturally.

33 - The Impractical Man
Tune: The Practical Man (Pete Atkin)
First of all, I'd like to thank my agent ...

34 - Driver to the West End
Tune: Rider to the World's End (Pete Atkin)
Written as occupational therapy.

35 - Oh, So That's What it's Called
Tune: Sam's Song (Zander Nyrond)
Oh, so that's what it's called.

36 - When Giants Filked
Tune: When Giants Walked (Kathy Mar)
Dunno what to say about this one. Either you agree or you don't. Lynch-mobs by appointment only, please, and form an orderly queue.

37 - Blue Cheese Sauce
Tune: Blue Bread Mould (Leslie Fish)
I've never tried it on ice cream, though. Or at least, not yet. There is, unfortunately, time ...

38 - Ancient Pies
Tune: Ancient Sky (Talis Kimberley)
"Actually", said the lovely and talented Talis, not realising that I was lurking under a nearby flat stone, "I don't mind a bit if people filk my songs. I take it as a compliment."

39 - Ravelled-Up Sleave Blues
Tune: Helva's Lament (Rhodri James)
Not that I witnessed the events here recorded. I was asleep at the time.