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Streets of London

(„Spiral Staircase”, 1969)
słowa i muzyka: Ralph McTell

Have you seen the old man
In the closed-down market
Kicking up the paper,
with his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride
And held loosely at his side
Yesterday's paper telling yesterday's news

        So how can you tell me you're lonely,
        And say for you that the sun don't shine?
        Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
        I'll show you something to make you change your mind


Have you seen the old girl
Who walks the streets of London
Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?
She's no time for talking,
She just keeps right on walking
Carrying her home in two carrier bags.

In the all night cafe
At a quarter past eleven,
Same old man is sitting there on his own
Looking at the world
Over the rim of his tea-cup,
Each tea last an hour
Then he wanders home alone

And have you seen the old man
Outside the seaman's mission
Memory fading with
The medal ribbons that he wears.
In our winter city,
The rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero
And a world that doesn't care

Ralph McTell, born Ralph May in Farnborough, Kent, England, 3 December 1944, and raised in Croydon, is an English singer-songwriter and acoustic guitar player who has been an influential figure on the UK folk music scene since the 1960s.
Ralph McTell is best known for the song „Streets of London”, which has been covered by over two hundred artists around the world. In the 1980s he wrote and played songs for two TV children's programmes, Alphabet Zoo,which also featured Nerys Hughes, followed by Tickle On The Tum, featuring Jacqueline Reddin. Albums were also released from both series. He also recorded the theme song to Cosgrove Hall's adaptation of The Wind in the Willows with Keith Hopwood, and this was released as a single in 1984 after the series was aired on ITV.
McTell's guitar playing has been modelled on the style of the USA's country blues guitar players of the early 20th century, including Blind Blake, Robert Johnson and Blind Willie McTell. These influences led a friend to suggest that he change his professional name to McTell as his career was beginning to take shape.



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