20
Oct 06

Where’s Bucks Fizz?

FT29 comments • 2,807 views

A map of London, though quite an old oneAccording 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.

Comments

  1. 1
    CarsmileSteve on 20 Oct 2006 #

    blimey, that’s a shocker. what has i luv you got to do with london??? and WHERE IS THE CARTER????

    (also, when did TO become so on-line?)

  2. 2
    Kat on 20 Oct 2006 #

    At least Smiley Culture gets a look-in!

  3. 3
    Marcello Carlin on 20 Oct 2006 #

    World-famous-I’m-humming-it-now “Sheila” by Jamie T at number four.

    Delete Time Out plz – I doubt they’d have me back after that Nelly review anyway…

  4. 4
    Tom on 20 Oct 2006 #

    “The story is self-explanatory” sez Bruce Foxton on “Down In The Tube Station At Midnight”.

  5. 5
    CarsmileSteve on 20 Oct 2006 #

    as the commentors point out there, no London Calling either (good), but no London Boys by either bowie or bolan…

  6. 6
    Marcello Carlin on 20 Oct 2006 #

    Nearly thirty years on and I still require explanation of why he was hanging about in said tube station with a takeaway curry and why he and his wife had dinner parties at two in the morning and most importantly WHY HE TOLD THE THUGS HE HAD A LITTLE MONEY?????????

  7. 7
    Tom on 20 Oct 2006 #

    Also as a commentist points out, Madness???

  8. 8

    disgraceful omission #1:
    Oranges and lemons” say the Bells of St. Clement’s
    You owe me five farthings” say the Bells of St. Martin’s
    When will you pay me?” say the Bells of Old Bailey
    When I grow rich” say the Bells of Shoreditch
    When will that be?” say the Bells of Stepney
    I do not know” say the Great Bells of Bow
    Here comes a Candle to light you to Bed
    Here comes a Chopper to Chop off your Head

  9. 9
    Admin on 20 Oct 2006 #

    do we have it in us to come up with a quick response OUR top 15 london songs?

  10. 10
    Tom on 20 Oct 2006 #

    We have it within us to do it in the pub surely?

  11. 11
    Marcello Carlin on 20 Oct 2006 #

    Saint Etienne – London Belongs To Me
    Big Audio Dynamite – Sightsee MC

  12. 12
    Marcello Carlin on 20 Oct 2006 #

    Donovan – Sunny Goodge Street

  13. 13
    Admin on 20 Oct 2006 #

    yes but can we then get them written up quickly enough?

  14. 14
    Kat on 20 Oct 2006 #

    Wombles Of SW19 Common Are We

  15. 15
    Admin on 20 Oct 2006 #

    st et and de o’novan are in the TO list, marcello

  16. 16
    Marcello Carlin on 20 Oct 2006 #

    they are as well. bad layout/artists’ materials excuse, sigh…

  17. 17
    jeff w on 20 Oct 2006 #

    surely that Billy Bragg song is about how to get Essex Boys OUT of London as fast as possible? also that Smiths song is k-rub

    on behalf of The Lex I’ll nominate T. Amos’s cover of ‘London Girls’ for the FT alternalist

  18. 18
    Mark M on 20 Oct 2006 #

    I think that Smith’s song is great, but properly speaking it’s set in Manchester, treating London merely as mythical destination for people turning their back on THE NORTH (at least partly inspired by the key scene in Billy Liar where he doesn’t get on the train). Half A Person being the Smiths song about what actually happens if you do get to the corrupting capital…

  19. 19
    Pete Baran on 20 Oct 2006 #

    Where’s the Lambeth Walk?

  20. 20
    CarsmileSteve on 20 Oct 2006 #

    OI!

  21. 21
    Mark M on 20 Oct 2006 #

    Awful grocer’s apostrophe there. The shame of it: it just needs to be ‘that Smiths song’.

  22. 22
    Alan on 20 Oct 2006 #

    is Fergie’s London Bridge actually about London Bridge, or is it a veiled metaphor for something else i wonder?

  23. 23
    Pete Baran on 20 Oct 2006 #

    Let’s see…

    Oh shit (oh shit) Oh shit (oh shit) Oh shit (oh shit)

    Are you ready for this? Oh shit (oh shit)
    Ohhhhh It’s me, Fergie
    The Pimp! Paulo!
    Fergie Ferg, what’s up, baby?

    [Verse 1]
    When I come to the club, step aside.
    Part the seas, don’t be havin’ me in the line.
    V.I.P., ‘cause you know I gotta shine.
    I’m Fergie Ferg, and me love you long time

    All my girls get down on the floor,
    Back to back, drop it down real low.
    I’m such a lady, but I’m dancing like a ho,
    ‘Cause you know
    I don’t give a fuck, so here we go!

    [Chorus]
    How come everytime you come around,
    My London, London bridge, wanna go down like,
    London, London, London, wanna go down like,
    London, London, London, we goin’ down like…

    How come everytime you come around,
    My London, London bridge, wanna go down like,
    London, London, London, wanna go down like,
    London, London, London, we goin’ down like…

    [Bridge]Now As The drinks start pouring,
    And my speech start slurring,
    Everybody start looking real good.

    [Verse 2] Grey goose got your girl feeling loose.
    Now I’m wishin’ that I didn’t wear these shoes. (I hate heels)
    It’s like everytime I get up on the dew,
    Paparazzi put my business in the news.

    And I’m like get up out my face, (oh shit)
    ‘fore I turn around and spray your ass with mace. (oh shit)
    My lips make you wanna have a taste. (oh shit)
    You got that?
    I got the bass.

    [Chorus] x 2

    [Bridge 2}
    Aah, da, da, da, da, do, do, do, do
    Me like a bullet type, you know they comin’ right
    Fergie love em’ long time
    My girls support right?
    Aah, da, da, da, da, do, do, do, do
    Me like a bullet type you know they comin’ right
    Fergie lve em’ long time
    My girls support right?

    [Verse 1]
    When I come to the club, step aside.
    Pop the seats, don’t be hatin’ me in the line.
    V.I.P., ‘cause you know I gotta shine.
    I’m Fergie Ferg,give me love you long time

    All my girls get down on the floor,
    Back to back, drop it down real low.
    I’m such a lady, but I’m dancing like a ho,
    ‘Cause you know
    I don’t give a fuck, so here we go!

    [Chorus] x2

    Fuck you, bitches.

  24. 24
    Mark M on 20 Oct 2006 #

    Re: London Bridge, I think that like Milkshake, it’s a non-specific (& probably nonsensical if you try to think about it too much) bit of dirtiness – a signifier with no signified (maybe).

  25. 25
    Pete Baran on 20 Oct 2006 #

    Of course it is Tower Bridge which goes up, and then (key point) Goes Down. London Bridge falls down, which isn’t anywhere near as dirty.

    The chorus would be better as “How come everytime you come around,
    My Dirty, Dirty Crossword, wanna go down like…Dirty Dirty Crossword…”

  26. 26
    Lena on 21 Oct 2006 #

    “Girl VII” by Saint Etienne too, though it mentions a lot of non-London places…

  27. 27
    ozzyfreemantle on 22 Oct 2006 #

    er, London

    n.heyward

  28. 28
    ozzyfreemantle on 22 Oct 2006 #

    ..and what a waste

    for fulham railway station, misquoted as fulham broadway station in smash hits, i guess either will suffice

  29. 29
    anatol_merklich on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Madness absence is strange indeed. Maybe it’s because their most specifically London songs weren’t Big Singles, or something.

    Top Madness London songs:

    1. Mr Speaker (Gets the Word)
    2. Primrose Hill
    3. Day on the Town
    4. Victoria Gardens
    5. One Better Day

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