According to The Time Out London, the Fifty Best Songs about London. For a list that celebrates the obscure and, well, tries to overdo its cool and hip quotient a bit too far, perhaps it is surprising that Ralph McTell’s “Streets Of London” rocks in at Number One. It is indelibly a London song, and a prominent one, but not the version I would choose. Clearly the most London version of “Streets Of London” is the one you just heard being murdered by a busker accidentally singing into his Dylan harmonica and with an individual approach to guitar tuning. They often show you something that will make you change your mind.
Except buskers don’t do “Streets Of London” any more. It has been an age since I heard it down in a tube station at any time (number 8). “Waterloo Sunset” on the other hand I heard busked under Waterloo Bridge two weeks ago. Other lists have posited that as number one. Which make it all the more surprising that the Sex Pistols “God Save The Queen” comes in third. Clearly by a London band, clearly very attached to London landmarks, but is it really a London song?
Frankly any list where Lily Allen’s “LDN” comes in at thirty five and has no Carter in is flawed. But then all lists like that are flawed (often by not having Carter in them). Its the quality of the bitching they provoke that matters.