Ian Dury-singer, poet, and artist

Ian and Jemima Dury,  circa 1973
Ian and Jemima Dury, circa 1973

THE DAUGHTER of rock and roll legend Ian Dury has collected her dad’s lyrics into a single volume, which offers an insight into the character of a man it is impossible to pigeonhole.

Jemima Dury, 43, who now lives in Hastings and has three children of her own, said that putting together the book ‘Hallo Sausages’ The Lyrics of Ian Dury, was a cathartic process, following his death from cancer in 2000 aged 57.

She said: “The amazing thing was, I found out that all the kinds of feelings I hoped he had about family life and people, were embedded in the lyrics.

“I was looking for messages, I think that’s why I did it.”

In the book, the lyrics, some of which have made it into everyday parlance, such as Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, and others less well-known, are interspersed with anecdotes and biographical detail, and illustrated with scrawled notes, typescripts, snapshots and other fragments.

Jemima said that throughout the project she never got bored of reading the lyrics, describing them as “quite revealing”.

“I think some of his early lyrics were quite amazing for their take on aspects of a relationship,” she said.

The finished product is the culmination of around four years’ work, during which time Jemima went through her dad’s collection with a fine-toothed comb.

Of growing up with Ian Dury, the rock and roll star for a dad, Jemima said there were many pros.

“He was hugely funny, and very loving, and full of wit.”

On the other hand, she said the down side was not having him around on a daily basis.

“The lyrics are where I remember him best in a way,” she added.

Stemming from an at times unconventional childhood, is a desire for order in adulthood.

She said: “I definitely feel the need for my kids to have a very regular life and stability.”

As for what comes next for Jemima, now that the book is complete, she is keen to embark upon another writing project in time.

“There have been so many incredible people I have been able to access and get their input, it would be a shame not to do anything with that,” she said.

‘Hallo Sausages’, The Lyrics of Ian Dury, edited by Jemima Dury, is published by Bloomsbury, and available to buy now.