Yesterday I was surfing the net and came across the lyrics to one of my favorite songs …sung by Ralph McTell. Ralph used to travel from London to Paris to busk for money in the subway systems of Paris. “Busking” is term for playing a guitar in public for money.
(I did that once in NYC— but that is another story for another day.)
In any event, “Streets of London” is a song that reminds us that as bad as it may get sometimes, one doesn’t have to look too far to see that others may be worse off than we are. We may feel that “whoa is us” at times, and it just may take a song like this one to snap you out of it. I know it always works for me.
Here are the words. Read them slowly and give them some thought. I was first introduced to this song in 1976 while living in Scotland. (Again, another story for another day.)
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
In a world that doesn’t care
Then try to feel sorry for yourself. You probably have all you will ever need at your finger tips to make a success of yourself and your business. Get up! Get out! And get going.
Do yourself a favor and listen to Ralph sing it on YouTube here
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