OK. Let’s get to some big hitters. There are literally hundreds of songs about LDN. Loads of them. Some have featured here before. Like Warwick Avenue, Waterloo Sunset, London Still and Bar Italia. Many many huge pop hits have been about my fair city.
None capture the real feel a first time visitor can get navigating their way about the place like The Jam’s classic single we’re dissecting here though. It’s a horror story right out of Dickens.
If you come into the city from a Home County or from somewhere else in the country for a night up The West End or for a business meeting or for any reason you like you’ll have been warned. It’s the big smoke. It’s dangerous, especially at night, especially especially Underground.
You’ll have heard the stories, London’s Burning, yung-bluds with blades, hoodies, hooligans, Artful Dodgers and Old Bill Sykes, Mind the Gap monsters haunting the Death Line, Jack The Ripper, Shaun Of The Dead, American Werewolves and… “Whispers in the shadows, gruff blazing voices. Hating, waiting”. It’s all happened to someone your aunt knows.
“Hey boy” they shout, “have you got any money?” And I said, “I’ve a little money and a takeaway curry, I’m on my way home to my wife, She’ll be lining up the cutlery, you know she’s expecting me, polishing the glasses and pulling out the cork”, I’m down in the tube station at midnight, I first felt a fist, and then a kick, I could now smell their breath, they smelt of pubs and wormwood scrubs and too many right wing meetings”
If you go down to London Town be sure to stay safe. The Jam made sure anyone not in around the capital had this idea of the place fixed in their minds from the release of Down In The Tube Station At Midnight onward. Not to mention the fact they were pointing out A Bomb’s idling around Soho and that In The City “there’s a thousand men in uniforms and I’ve heard they now have the right to kill a man”
They were the sound of the streets when I was first going to school and my Dad was driving off from Wansted to Westminster in his van every morning. The Jam sound like the London you experience on the Tube and the Bus. They still do.
If you see something that doesn’t seem right Say Something. See It. Say It. Sorted!