Thursday, October 29, 2009

The London Nobody Sings

The London Nobody Sings is a site I really should have come across before, as it's right up Transpontine street. The simple premise is to post a song about London, or a part of London, every day. This intersects with the ongoing project here of documenting and indeed encouraging songs about South East London. South London songs covered at London Nobody Sings so far include:

- Roots Manuva - Baptism - name checks East Street Market (as does Nine Below Zero's East Street SE17);

- Crisis - No Town Hall (Southwark) - 1979 punk single issued with the Peckham Action Group protesting against a plan to move Southwark town hall from Peckham.

- Roy Rankin & Raymond Naptali - New Cross Fire - another reggae track about the 1981 fire

- ATV - Fun City SE8: from their 1981 album Strange Kicks, Alternative TV/ATV sing of the delights of a weekend in Deptford High Street. Can't work out all the lyrics - help me fill in the gaps if you can - but it mentions the market, the Oxford Arms (a punk pub of choice at the time, now The Bird's Nest) and the Crossfields Estate: 'To go out shopping in the High Street, is the [?] of Deptford beat, the housewives chat and the barrow boys shout, it's Saturday morning and everyone's out, Fun City SE8, down the Oxford, Can't wait, Fun city 691, a barrel of laughs come and join the fun, The market's closed and it goes quiet, but not for long see the lights, the pubs open up and in we pour, we have a few drinks and we have more, when the pubs are all shut up, it's up the [?] for a knees up, Crossfields bannisters the sound of fun, when the pigs go come see everyone run'.

- The Slits - Difficult Fun - 'He's south of the river, he's restless and unsatisfied, He's searching forever for better but finds nothing ..." (maybe linked to the time members of the band spent hanging out in Forest Hill).

- Mica Paris - South of the River - great song from the Brockley diva.

Plus quite a few songs about Brixton and London Bridge.

I can't stop watching this clip of Sid James singing about Bermondsey from the 1964 film 'Three Hats For Lisa'. Sid , Joe Brown, Una Stubbs, Dave Nelson and Sophie Hardy dance down by Tower Bridge while Sid James sings 'Oh-ho-ho, Bermondsey, that's home to me. I'm longin' for the moment when I shall see the 'appy, laughing razor-slashed faces of the people I love. Back in Bermondsey I wanna be, 'cos the smuggled booze they've got is practically free. I've so many childhood memories of that quaint old fashioned town, there was a quaint old-fashioned schoolhouse, 'til the school kids burnt it down... I'm off to Bermondsey, oh gosh oh gee... I'd like cosh that cooper you see, who sent away to Holloway and Brixton all the people I love'.

1 comment:

Greg Watts said...

Great stuff, especially Sid James singing about Bermondsey.