The Big Striptease

James Bell
  1. The Big Striptease -:-- / 04:13

“Well I can’t go back to Athens, too many memories…”


This is a piece of fluff from 2009, when I was arse-deep in the online trend for oversharing. I found myself flirting with my imaginary audience, cultivating an air of mystery by drip-feeding obscure facts about myself. Eventually I found this trait of mine ridiculous enough to put into this song, in which the constant need to find some new intimate (but not too intimate) secret to reveal became ‘the big striptease’. It’s a bit weird to come back to a lyric that you wrote, and find that you used the word ‘gadzooks’ in cold blood. Then again, in those days the top of my website was emblazoned with the proclamation: ‘James Bell Central: Any More Arch And I’d Be An Aqueduct’.


Here are my secrets, here are my scars
Don’t tell a soul, don’t even tell the stars
Here’s my love
Here’s my fear
Here’s my mouth whispering in your ear
Here’s my heart
Force the doors
Here’s my hand reaching out for yours
Here’s me broken, here’s me on my knees

And it’s a ‘hey’, a ‘ho’
A drum roll please
One more layer in the Big Striptease


Opening my diary, and reading out a page
Taking off my shoes on a spotlit stage
I’m afraid I’m shy
That part’s true
Gadzooks! Does that mean that I’m in love with you?
But be wary
There’s a game being played
Don’t rush to touch the movie screen
And feel betrayed
The surface ripples though the waters freeze

And the beat goes on
Another drum roll please
One more layer in the Big Striptease

And she says oh
She says oh
I mean, I know he’s English, but even so
How many more layers are there to go?
Is there a core?
Does he even know?

Well I can’t go back to Athens, too many memories
Did I ever tell you about my tragic disease?
Little boy lost, emotionally scarred
Who couldn’t tell the truth if it was read off a card
1990, Mary Louise
Popped my cherry on the grand high seas
Did I ever mention, I’m really Vietnamese?

Heads up, lovers
Drum roll please
One more layer in the Big Striptease

Make it last
And they all leave pleased
Keep ’em coming back to the Big Striptease

Leave ’em wanting more in the Big Striptease…

Credits & Copyright

Written and recorded in 2009 by James Bell. Released in November 2009. Remastered in April 2017. (C) & (P) House of Lyra. All rights reserved.

Photo by Pexels (CC0 Public Domain)