London but not my London

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.

 

Walking Home

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

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