top of page

Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (M. Brooks)

I read an interview with Jeffrey Bernard in The Big Issue and he seemed an inspirational figure. The title was used in the Keith Waterhouse play about him and is taken from the phrase used whenever Jeffrey was too "Unwell" to write his column in the Spectator magazine.

I've been writing in the Low life column pouring out my heart
Once described as a suicide note in weekly parts
Which prompted somebody to ask me why I drink so
If he had to ask then he's never going to know
Of the women and the gambling I was proud before I fell
Lately I've been feeling unwell

I supped with Francis Bacon before he gave up the fight
I saw Dylan Thomas stagger into that good night
Lucien was one of us teetering on the brink
Since then they all gave up the ghost or else gave up the drink
Perhaps the clinking of the glasses was us ringing our death bell
But not now I'm just feeling unwell

They said give up the bottle back in 1965
The doctors are pissed off that I am still alive
They say I'm a role model for the young and the profane
They want me to die horribly in pain
Well fuck the doctors they can go to hell
They don't help me when I'm feeling unwell

I've met extraordinary folk in my extraordinary life
I've had 500 women of which four became my wife
I've had a lot of vodka and I've had a lot of fun
I've chucked up at Ascot at the feet of the Queen Mum
I've got my stories than I've time to tell
But not now, I'm feeling unwell

But stuck in my sixth floor flat in a Soho tower block
I wonder how I've survived so many knocks
Soho ain't the paradise it once was anymore
It's full of strip joints and fucking advertising bores
Booze and fags are consolation but I've been ill for a spell
Jeffrey Bernard is unwell

(C) 1997 Katt Pie Records

bottom of page