Stan Kelly-Bootle (born 1929, in Liverpool) is an author of nine books and numerous magazine articles, and a songwriter. His most famous song is the "Liverpool Lullaby (Oh you are a mucky kid)", which Judy Collins recorded in 1966 for her album In My Life. Cilla Black recorded it in 1969 as the B-side to her pop hit "Conversations". He is also notable for achieving the first postgraduate diploma in computer science (1954).
Stan Kelly-Bootle was schooled at the Liverpool Institute. He spent 1948–1950 as a conscript in the British Army, achieving the rank of Sgt. Instructor in RADAR. He then attended Downing College, Cambridge, graduating with a degree in Numerical Analysis and Automatic Computing in 1954.
Folk singing career
In 1950, Kelly-Bootle helped found the St Lawrence Folk Song Society at Cambridge University.
As a folk song author and singer, he performed under the name "Stan Kelly". He wrote some of his own tunes and also wrote lyrics set to traditional tunes. In the course of his musical career, he made over 200 radio and television appearances, and released several recordings, as well as having his songs recorded by others.
Performers Kelly has appeared with (in audio recordings, television, radio, or live), or who have recorded his compositions include:
- Paul Robeson
- Pete Seeger
- Peggy Seeger
- The Clancy Brothers
- Spike Milligan
- The Dubliners, recorded "I Wish I Was Back in Liverpool" on Seven Deadly Sins
- The Spinners
- Sir Bernard Miles
- Willie Rushton
- Dominic Behan
- Adrian Henri
- Leon Rosselson, a frequent collaborator
- Brian Jacques, who appeared on Echoes of Merseyside
- Seamus Ennis
- Shirley Collins
- Fritz Spiegl
- Alex Campbell
- Roger McGough
- Rosalie Sorrels
- Hedy West
- Jasper Carrot
- The High Level Ranters
- A. L. Lloyd
- Jacquie & Bridie
- Rory MacEwan
- Ewan MacColl
- Bill Connolly and the Humblebums.
- Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
- Judy Collins, recorded "Liverpool Lullaby" on In My Life
Several of his recordings were done with Kelly singing and Leon Rosselson performing on guitar.
Solo releases include:
- I Chose Friden – Songs for Cybernetic Lovers, Transatlantic Records. Computer humor songs.
- Liverpool Packet, Topic Records release TOP27, 1958. Songs about Liverpool.
- Songs for Swinging Landlords, Topic Records release TOP60. Rent protest and anti-landlord songs.
- Wrote and produced a sound and song depiction of Merseyside called Echoes of Merseyside (Transatlantic Records, LPDE 101) for the Liverpool Echo newspaper.
- O Liverpool We Love You, Transatlantic Records XTRA 1076, released 1976. This album was a tribute to the Liverpool Football Club, prepared with the team's cooperation. While creating the album, Kelly traveled with the team for both UK and European games for several years, and also for two seasons managed several players: Kevin Keegan, Tommy Smith, and Larry Hughes.
Other audio recordings include:
- Kelly performed the part of "The Rambler" in the BBC's 1958 production The Ballad of John Axon. This broadcast won the Italia Prize, and excerpts were subsequently released on a highlights LP. This was the first BBC "radio ballad".
- Two tracks ("Liverpool Town" and "The Ould Mark II") on Revival In Britain, Vol 1, produced by Ewan MacColl, Folkways Records FW 8728, Library of Congress R62-1246.
- One track ("The Young Sailor Cut Down In His Prime") on Topic Sampler #2, Topic Records, TPS 145, 1966
- Performing on Stan Hugill's Shanties from the Seven Seas, HMV 1970
He started his computing career programming the pioneering EDSAC computer, designed and built at Cambridge University. He worked for IBM in the United States and the UK from 1955 until 1970. From 1970 until 1973, he worked as Manager for University Systems for Sperry-UNIVAC.
Kelly-Bootle is well known in the computer community for his books The Devil's DP Dictionary and its second edition, The Computer Contradictionary. These are sarcastic/cynical lexicographies in the vein of Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary.
He also authored or coauthored several serious textbooks and tutorials on subjects such as the Motorola 68000 family of CPUs, programming languages including various C compilers, and the Unix operating system. His texts have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Korean, and Chinese.
He authored the "Devil's Advocate" column in UNIX Review from 1984 until 2000, and also had columns in OS/2 Magazine ("End Notes", 1994–1997) and Software Development ("Seamless Quanta", Oct 1995 – May 1997). He contributed columns and articles to several other computer industry magazines as well.
His articles for magazines such as ACM Queue, AI / Expert, and UNIX Review contain stunning examples of word-play, criticism of silly marketing and usage (he refers often to the computer "laxicon") and commentary on the industry in general. Kelly-Bootle has also written an online monthly column posted on the Internet (see external links, below).
While most of his writing has been oriented towards the computer industry, he has also written a few books relating to his other interests. These include:
- Liverpool Lullabies, The Stan Kelly Songbook, SING Publications, 1960. Second edition, 1976.
- Lern Yourself Scouse – How to Talk Proper in Liverpool, Scouse Press, 1961, written with Fritz Spiegl and Frank Shaw. Sixteen editions published through 1991.
- The Terrace Muse, An Anthology of Soccer Songs and Chants, serialized in the Daily Express in 1970.
- consultant n. [from con "to fraud, dupe, swindle", or, possibly, French con (vulgar) "a person of little merit" + sult elliptical form of "insult" ] A tipster disguised as an oracle, esp. one who has learned to decamp at high speed in spite of the large briefcase and heavy wallet. Stan Kelly-Bootle, The Computer Contradictionary, 1995
- Stan Kelly-Bootle's homepage
- Son of Devil's Advocate aka SODA – Kelly-Bootle's online monthly column (2000–2004)
- Curmudgeon columns at ACM Queue (by Stan Kelly-Bootle and others)