Just back from a business trip to London and Birmingham. This visit to London was the London I can do without – 5am trip to City Airport, getting over-close to strangers in the tube, unable to sit or even stand properly in the crush, an anonymous conference centre and so on. Back home and reflecting on it, I was reminded of the following, which I wrote some years ago meaning to put music to it, although I never did. This is the London I like.
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Walking home from jail one morning
Happy as you like
The city was just washing off the night
The streets were filling in Wandsworth Town
The marching pace, the faces down
A man dressed like an insect on a bike
I stopped to buy a morning paper
And a cup of tea
And feel the morning sunlight on my face
I thought of you and thought again
Best to leave the past alone
I picked up my change headed down the street
The city in the morning
Seems a better place
Light and coffee
In the market stalls
Voices raised and voices met
Sounds and smells you don’t forget
When you’re behind seven shades of walls.
I sat back in a cafe chair
The radio was on
No-one saw me, no-one gave a damn
I finished up and left the place
In a shop window I passed my face
And I thought for a moment: yes, that’s who I am.
London loves me this I know
I fall back into you
Easy as I drop onto my own bed
London laughter fills my ears
Down London streets I kick the years
And they’ll have to tie me down when I’m dead.
© Norman Lamont 2004