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ShallowDeep > Music > Bradbury

‘Bradbury Hall’ Concept Album

(A tale of simple mental folk)
Martin Day


  1. Bradbury Hall
  2. Fool’s no Fool
  3. Pacee, Phoe and Vole
  4. (Regulation) A Night in the Cells
  5. Robin’s Song (instrumental)
  6. Therapy Classes
  7. A Dream She’ll Never Find
  8. Schizophrenic Song
  9. Down on the Farm
  10. Psychedelic Relic
  11. Strange things
  12. Vegetable Garden
  13. Waxwork Show
  14. Why can’t we be the same
  15. Fool’s no Fool (Reprise)
  16. No Rhyme or Reason
  17. Mad to try again
  18. Feedback
  19. Full Circle
  20. The man with holes in his hands

Away from the bypasses of the ring roads and the bustle of regulated day to day life. Away from the city mazes and tower block complexes and high powered social matrices there is a rural backwash, typified by the village of Bradbury.

Bradbury is the sort of place where no news is big news, a sleepy community who’s only claim to fame is total anonymity.

Bradbury Hall is the village’s only distinctive landmark, on the west side of the village.

Bradbury Hall

Along the endless wall,
Beside Cemetery Way
Where little children stall
And the motorists play.
The ivy and green vines
Are there to hide the wall
That masks a line of pines
That serve to shroud the Hall.

Because social opinions have forced the role of Bradbury Hall to be played down and it’s existence to be ignored due to the nature of it’s inhabitants.

It dates from Victorian days,
The changes it has seen.
Always the same,
Bar the staff canteen.
While staff eat in pleasure
The inmates live in slum,
Live with enforced leisure;
An agony for some.

A Hall to live in exile,
A Hall to hide a sin,
Like a misread letter
Is thrown into the bin.
Those who are thought to be sane
Who always must be right,
Like a master with a cane,
Will put them out of sight,

and mind, committed to an asylum. Committed to memory are the characters that they used to appear  to be before; something went wrong.

Fool’s no Fool

Behind the wall of Bradbury Hall
The patients come and go;
But some remain, for they can’t refrain
From acting so loco.

There are six of these permanent residents, each with his own rhetorical view of life. Though some of their hair-brained ideas don’t seem so insane if you see then through their eyes.

Young Idac knows if a fit he throws
They’re sure to sedate him.
He blew his brains through window panes,
Loves the dope (Ma-an) he ain’t dim.

This fool’s no fool
He gets his way.
For the world’s been cruel,
But he can hide away.

Now dear old Burt, knows in his heart,
Mum’ll come back one day.
But until then, he’ll play again,
But no-one wants to play.


The Sneak’s a guy you’ll never  tie,
You push him to the brim.
He’s far  too wise, he’ll switch his guise,
Because there’s two of him.


The there’s Bootright, who’s got long sight,
Saw it before his time
If he makes mistakes gets the shakes.
Nurse runs when his bell chimes.


There’s that Nikky, who’s really sickly,
Who we don’t talk about.
When he performs, everyone conforms
To promptly turn about.


When he faced the charge, sentence so large,
Robin cracked before the court.
He’s never heard to say a word,
Just ponders deep in thought.


While the inmates dwell within the confines of their own minds; imprisoned by mental blocks, the blood of the Hall, the nurses, clot together temporarily in the staff canteen. (The canteen is a recent construction, obtained by the staff who worked to rule and threatened to strike if suitable facilities were not supplied. This action paid dividends and the canteen was erected.)

Pacee, Phoe and Vole

The nurses sip their coffee
Snug in the new canteen,
Facing Cemetery Way,
Watching the outside scene:

Nurse Pacee has a face
So tranquil and so calm,
While nurse Vole’s expression
Is full of warmth and charm.

And nurse Phoe is quiet
Eyes full of mystery,
Together they’ve been
One force through history.

Between them they give care,
They’ll never be out shone.
Any patient sees two,
Never the other one.

Doctors may come and go,
but you three will remain.
Angel’s work is never done,
Enjoy your break all the same.

So nurses sip their coffee
Snug in the new canteen,
Facing Cemetery Way,
Watching the outside scene:

But soon the day is over as the horizon draws over the sun, And nurses Phoe and Vole leave to catch the bus; while nurse Pacee stays to watch over the night.

The nursing officers stumble in and put on their regulation white coats, as the last inmates are herded into their cells.

(Regulation) A Night in the Cells

There are many doors
Linking corridors
Along whitewashed walls
Where the neon falls.
See the naked shells
Of the padded cells,
Windows reinforced.
They’re barred shut, of course.
No window ledges,
There’s no sharp edges

For the patients to injure themselves on. The cells are cold, not because of the lack of heating; no, because of the starkness.

It’s hard on the head
Regulation bed,
Regulation size.
And it hurts the eyes,
For the room is white
From the cold white light,
Regulation height.
It goes out at night.

Bolted from outside,
No handle inside,
Spy-hole in the door.
Can’t tell if they saw.
Inmates: still at night,
Till the morning light.
Dawn chorus: by wing,
Inmates join to sing.

With all the nutters sleeping tight,
The warders watch their flocks by night.

(The birds sing at the advent of a new day, but the patients howl at the thought of it.) The attendant jerks back to reality by the sudden vocal eruption which invariably marks the end of his working day.

Soar face, solid hair,
Swaps coats that he wears.
Warder’s night watch done,
Packs flask and folds Sun
Across the nipples.
Through trees light ripples,
Down Cemetery Way,
Home to sleep the day.

While back at the asylum the inmates are just getting up.

Regulation food,
Regulation shoed,
Regulation wear,
Regulation care.
Regulation seat,
Regulated heat,
Regulation fan,
For unregulated man.

Robin’s Song (instrumental)

Robin is roused and dressed in the clothes he was undressed from the night before, as all the patients are at Bradbury. He is given his breakfast, not asked if he wants breakfast or not, just given it because it’s breakfast time, when everybody eats breakfast. And he is expected to conform.

Robin is in Bradbury because the world hated him. Hated him so much as to paint a picture of embezzlement around him and frame it. The only one who seems to really care is his wife. But is that just another trick?

Therapy Classes

Modeling, wearing singing glasses,
Never miss your therapy classes.
Dancing, chanting, time soon passes,
Never miss your therapy classes.
They’re compulsory.

(Old Bert used to like the therapy classes, but they’re all grown up games. In all the years he’s been there no one’s ever catered for his leisure needs.)

A Dream She’ll Never Find

She shakes her head and makes the bed.
The rain outside still falls.
She finds the fare to take her there,
The place with whitewashed walls.

All is the same, she’s known by name.
Nurse leads her though the maze.
‘Though she knows her way, comes every day
To where her life’s love lays.

She smoothes his hair, his vacant stare
Reflects none of her love.
She deeply sighs, his lifeless eyes
Stare at the light above.

She’s often cried, it hurts inside
To see his mind decay
Still coming here year after year,
While her life slips away.

But still she tries with tearful eyes.
She knows he’s lost his mind.
She’s always his, ‘though his life is
A dream she’ll never find.


Composer: Simon Gardner
Lyricist: Martin Day

She slips away, to face another day on heroin. Only living for tomorrow morning when she can come and see him again.

As she leaves she passes another cell with it’s door ajar. There is the pathetic mumbling of the ‘Sneak’ talking to himself. What a horrid place to keep her husband. How can he ever get better with all this going on.

Schizophrenic Song

Good –    I like it here, cosy and warm.
Bad –      I like it here in the eye of the storm.
Good –    Doctor calls it ‘Agoraphobia’.
Bad –      Doctor calls it ‘Claustrophobia’.
Good –    ‘ Hate the medicine, it tastes horrid.
Bad –      Gob that puke out on your forehead.
Good –    I love the therapy classes.
Bad –      I hate those cleaver smart arses.
Good –    Wish I was back in Donkey Town,
Bad –      Beating dogs and putting them down.

The Sneak’s an odd character. As a child he found it difficult to live up to the expectations of other people, the only way out seemed to act the way he was expected to, and as different people expected different things of him, he developed into two different people, having very little control over either one.

Both –     We’re as alike as ice and steam
We go together like peaches and salad cream
You’ll never know which half you’ll see
The only thing for sure, it’s me (Bad -) me.

Girls and Boys

There’s no swings, not many things.
But I’ve got my pals, Mick, Pete and Al
Who’ll never go away.

They hide my toys, all the girls and boys.
They’re trying to send me home again.
They’d put an end to all my friends,
Tying electrodes to my brain.


When sun shines, off to the pines.
‘ Should see our fir-cone fights.
But they can’t beat Bart, They ain’t got the art,
And their shots never bite.


When it rains I’ll go out again,
Me and teddy, Cuddles.
And make mud pies, surprise passers by,
And splash in all the puddles.


“Get into bed, you sleepy head”,
Says nurse, giving my cup.
While I drink my tea, she looks up at me,
“will you ever grow up”


Girls and boys come out to play,
On either side of Cemetery Way.
All the King’s nurses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put my head together again.

No matter how hard they tried, they’ve drilled holes in his skull and churned up his brain with shock treatment, but his problem is in the past, an area which the surgeon’s knife can’t re-model. Bart had spent a miserable life, bar a happy childhood in which he stays, until the end of his days. A similar case is Bootright, who’s imbalance roots from his childhood. He was a child prodigy, while the other kids were saying “why?” and marveling at Mickey Mouse, Bootright was asking, “What’s the theory behind this?” and marveling at the binomial theorem. But he gradually found that he was failing to comprehend what he was understanding. The result being, what he is today. He was put in Bradbury by his ex-classmates who ask, “What’s the theory behind this?” and are still marveling at Mickey Mouse.

Down on the Farm

I’m simply known as Bootright,
I often raise the alarm.
When ever I get up-tight
They send me down the farm.

I like to ride on tractors.
The grass I love to mow,
And control all the factors
That make the barley grow.

Sometimes when I heard the cows,
And try to get them out,
We have the most awful rows
When they rant and rave and shout.

They distract my attention
So I don’t think to see
Pigs escape their detention,
And fly into a tree.

So we play bridge, on the bridge
To see who goes to the sty
Circumlocating the ridge
To locate a distressed cry.

The old shepherd said to me
“I’ll be hung, drawn and quartered.
I might as well be dead,
I’m due back to be slaughtered”.

They forgot that,
“I did my bit in the war
When food has to be a sham.
I whittled the wooden pips
For the artificial jam.”

“But when the war was over
And they thought I was able
To do nothing more than push
Gollies behind their label.”

Across the bridge came white coats.
Pigs ran to save their bacon.
They lead us though the fields of oats,
To Bradbury Hall we’re taken.

For shock treatment.

They hurried back and through the grounds of Bradbury went into the Hall, passed Idac on the way, who’s really some-where else.

Psychedelic Relic

He wonders round in a daze,
Glassy eyes from smoky haze,
Inherited from the Jah.
Arms are pitted by the scars.

They’re bandaged and anointed,
He’s also double jointed.
The speed of smoldering coke
Acid burns for him to stoke.

Grass is brown, snow is white,
Needle discharge shining bright.
A rotting roach is his tab
Courtesy of the chemist’s lab.

His heroin’s a resin witch.
She’s such a possessive bitch.
Screams to nurse, “bring the hash back”
Convulsing in a flash back.

Took a trip when he was sane
So far out, can’t get back again.
A melting pot in his mind,
Psychedelic relic left behind.

 He gets himself together, to see he’s wondering dangerously near  to Nikky and promptly changes course towards the azaleas, because …

Strange things

He’s the one that no-one talks to.
He does strange things in the gents loo.
He does weird things in the garden,
Things that we can never pardon.

Anything that’s small goes in there,
Light bulbs marigolds, inmates, footwear.

He’s obscene in any language.
Doctor’s pen and nurse’s bandage.
All go to suffer the same fate,
May be found at a later date.


The security is tightened
As the inmates get more frightened.
They’re all convinced he’s round the bend.
Won’t be sorry to see his end.


When ever he’s locked in his cell
He does things in his bed as well.
The only inmate we all shun,
But we don’t talk about that one.


Vegetable Garden

Kept like beasts in a cage,
Wasted from another age.
Walking fast, going no-where.
Brisk stride, hurry to get there.

Saturated up to the eyes
Left out in the garden to dry.

Absorbing sun outside
Moving shadows collide.
Heavy air. Perspiration.
All under sedation.


Waxworks show come alive.
No waxwork thoughts to revive.
Features chiseled and hardened,
In vegetable garden.

They look like an elaborate illogical clockwork display, as the whole lawn is moving, but the clockwork winds up instead of down, and soon the undercurrent of discontent can be felt as the small group of men meet.

Waxwork Show

Hiding beneath the trees,
None more active than these.
Excitement, not a game.
Something isn’t the same.

Why can’t we be the same

They think we’re all devil kissed,
To them an ugly cyst.
But their own gist they’ve missed.
We’re not some evil catalyst.

Why can’t we be the same.
You think of us as lame,
Because we’re not as tame.
And you control the game.

Why won’t they let us out.
Just ‘cause we’d loon about.
We wouldn’t kick and shout.
We’d enjoy ourselves no doubt.


We’d be free as a hawk,
Go on a county walk.
To others we could talk,
Champagne we would uncork.


How joyful it would be
If we could all be free.
At last we’d be happy.
“Are all you me with me?”

“Yes”, they answered Bootright and they agree to disperse, to each try their own method of escape.

Fool’s no Fool (Reprise)

Behind the wall of Bradbury Hall
Life takes a different shape
All the inmates can be outmates
If they all escape

Young Idac knows far out he’ll go
He can hear nature’s call
No one around, he makes no sound,
And floats right through the wall.

This fool’s no fool
He gets away.
For the world’s been cruel,
But he’s free to stay.

The guard’s asleep, so out he creeps.
Sneak doesn’t find it hard.
Runs down the lane, and back again,
So he can cosh the guard.


Bootright’s got rope (the farm’s) and hopes
His friends are ready to pull.
He get the call, over the wall.
To five cows and a bull.


Bart and his pals, Mick, Pete and Al
On each other’s shoulders.
They all jump down, head for play ground.
‘ feel like record holders.


Madmen’s outing, picnic, shouting,
The guards have a full plate.
All are running, Robin’s cunning:
Wonders through the main gate.

We’re free! Free to rediscover all the best things in life. It’s so exciting, just think of it.

No Rhyme or Reason

To run with the breeze,
See the birds and the bats.
With a clear blue sky,
The birds flying over.

All and every day with each passing season,
Bring simple pleasures with no rhyme or sense.

A cloud just out of reach
As you lie on the sand.
The waves are white crested,
And the girls are well sun tanned.


You can be quite alone,
Always friends on the line.
With never a care
You can go any place.


With you mates and good cheer
Ploughman’s lunch and a pint.
Every night on the booze
Buy your own blue suede coat.


Rod, line and fish to take
In sparkling mirrored pond.
Swimming on summer days,
On hot banks for warm sleep.

Yes, that’s certainly the only way to be, just remember the wonderful times we used to have.

Mad to try again

Winter morning
Day is dawning
Summer nights
Marriage rites
Garden fetes
Mortgage rates
Need the cash
White man trash
Working overtime
Working all the time
Jones’ on your trail
Socially you fail
Payments are behind
Money’s hard to find
Muscles at the door
Always wanting more
Drown in paper work
Spending all your time at work
The you get your cards
Bailiffs trying hard
Then they get you out
Everyone you doubt
No food: stomach pain
No home: in the rain
No job: pressure’s high
No peace: you could cry
No love: not a friend
No hope: it’s the end.

So you remember now
What it’s like and how
It drove you insane.
You’re mad to try again!

I can see that all now so hideously clear, I don’t really want to be out here.


Slowly all the inmates feedback
All are ready to hit the sack
Pacee, Vole and Phoe are all there
And drinks all around, they prepare.

No more trials to endure
They’re home and well and secure.

Each is back a wiser fool
Only a small fish in a big pool
But they are safe within the net
From the teeth of the other set.


They’re quite safe , nothing to fear
No insane money grabbers here
They’ll get by with two out of three
They’ve got the nurses, keep the key.


We can all see we’re better off in here, the real world is cold and harsh and unloving and on a windy summer night the cell are really quite comfortable. After a quire night’s sleep, free of sedation, another day at Bradbury dawns and everything is as it always is.

Full Circle

Bart’s been shot in the arm
But still can win the day
Revolver in his palm
Blow the bad guys away
Sneak sits out together
All his clothes in a mess
They’re arguing whether
They’re playing draughts or chess.

They’re content with the life they know
They’re convinces they don’t want to go

Of all the garden birds
Who lack any zest
Only Robin’s incurred
A badly sunburned breast
Nikky’s pleasing himself
Locked in his private cell
Pushed further on the shelf
He’s still doing very well.


Bootright’s out with his friends
Bell was always ringing
He’ll stay ‘til the harvest ends
With hens he’s singing
Idac leans on the breeze
Listens to the voices wild
Of the old talking trees
He’s still a flower child.


So the events of the past few days had come full circle, everything is as it always has been. But the great hope of freedom has been shattered, and though the inmates try to carry on as per abnormal they have to realise that they have nothing to live for, though there must be something to live for. We’ll just have to wait for it to show itself. Any way it’s time for bed again.

The man with holes in his hands

Past the many doors
Down the corridors
To the cell that’s yours
With the rules and laws
You can break them all
But still you fall
Still your life goes round
‘Til square one you’ve found
You can ‘t break away
Just the same you stay
The world is vicious
It’s men malicious
You were born of sin
And you live in sin
And you’ll die in sin
You can never win
Maggots don’t mature
Just fatten in the sewer
have to shed you skin
Before new life begins
Before the gift of wings
Then rise to higher
Any grub who tries
Becomes a butterfly
There’s a man outside
Who has never lied
His deal has no flaws
Swap his life for yours
His joy for your strife
Your death for his life
He’s taken your fate
There’s his on a plate
Alone in bed you lie
A tear in your eye
Questions on your mind
(Don’t get left behind)
Are peace, hope and love
Found as one above?
Something to live for?
(Who’s) knocking at the door?
…The man with holes in his hands.

He has the answer.

© M Day 1978

More Music pages


‘Bradbury Hall’ was a concept project (not really a concept album) I wrote in 1978 when I was seventeen. Influenced by Genesis’s ‘The Lamb lies down on Broadway’ and the shock-rock of Alice Cooper this was planned to be a concept album. It was conceived before I learned an instrument and although it is complete lyrically, only a couple of songs were set to music by my 6th Form College friend Simon Gardner.

Here it is in it’s entirety (on one page!) for the curious..

Play Now

For the curious…

Listen to the original and only recording of ‘A Dream She’ll Never Find‘.

Be warned, this was played and sung onto cassette in 1978 by Simon Gardener and wasn’t a great quality recording then (…and you know what the years do to cassettes). More than 45 years later I’ve transferred it and you can just about hear the potential that spurred me on to write more. This was the first time I heard it and the only time it was ever played.

Composer: Simon Gardner
Lyricist: Martin Day