Fritz Spiegl, who has died aged 77, was a professional flautist, an archivist of obscure
music and an enthusiastic agent provocateur and tease. A lighthearted and
unpredictable musical polymath, he wrote more than 20 books, on mainly jokey themes,
and secured the adoption of the traditional Liverpool song Johnny Todd as the signature
tune for the 1960s television series, Z Cars.
Fritz Spiegl, who died on Sunday aged 77, was a writer and broadcaster, much loved for
his quirky take on musical life and commentaries on the English language.
He was principal flautist with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for 15 years, and the
progenitor of a series of humorous concerts, which drew young audiences to music. In
addition, he was the composer, with his first wife Bridget Fry, of the theme for the police
series Z Cars, an adaptation of a Liverpool skipping song which reached the Top Ten
during the mid-1960s.
His sense of gratitude to the England that had taken him as a young refugee also led
him to become a champion of the language in his highly popular "Usage and Abusage"
column in The Daily Telegraph.
Having lived in the area for many years I thought it my duty to explore where all this 'Lern
Yerself Scouse' has come from. The originator would seem to have been Fritz Spiegl
Lern Yerself Scouse
Lern Yerself Scouse is a series of books subtitled 'How to talk Proper
on Merseyside.' However, it's interesting to see how two scousers view
the phrases. Here's Paul Melba's take on the subject. Paul was born in
Bootle and I was born in Bebington.
12th August 2013
I also discussed the matter further with Beatles Ambassador to Wirral,
15th August 2013 Ray discusses aspects of Scouse