Over the Wall We Go

September 27, 2009

crryon

Over the Wall We Go.

All coppers are nanas!

Here begins Bowie’s brief silly season, whose greatest fruit is our next entry (get ready!). “Over the Wall We Go” is part novelty Christmas song, part topical commentary (there were seemingly endless numbers of prison breakouts in the mid-’60s UK, including the Communist spy George Blake in October 1966) and yet another Bowie pseudo-radio play like “We Are Hungry Men” and “Please Mr. Gravedigger.”

Bowie seems to be auditioning for voice work opportunities here—there’s some Cockney, some dead-on Bernard Bresslaw, even some Lennon-esque Scouse (as well as what sounds like a parody of Pete Townshend’s singing voice, but I’m likely off).

It’s unclear as to when this track was recorded—possibly as early as mid-1966, but most likely during the David Bowie LP sessions in December, where, if so, it was apparently judged to be too much even for a record filled with assorted lunacies like “Gravedigger.” Ken Pitt gave the demo to Robert Stigwood in January 1967, who in turn offered to his new client Oscar Beuselinck. The Oscar single, released in early ’67, got some play on pirate radio stations.

Recorded ca. December 1966; still unreleased, found on bootlegs like The Forgotten Songs of David Robert Jones.