We've asked our London Walkers and London Walks guides to nominate their favourite London songs… and the playlist is proving to be wide-ranging and eclectic indeed.
From punk to jazz, with a little music hall thrown in along the way, we'll be collating them all here on The Daily Constitutional over the next few weeks in the run-up to the launch of our new Rock'n'Roll London Pub Walk every Wednesday from 1st May 2013.
As usual, we want to hear from you. What are your favourite London songs? Anything goes, from a tune mentioning a London location, to a piece of music composed here, if it has a strong London connection or theme, we'll add it to the list. Email us at the usual address, message us on Twitter @londonwalks or leave a comment below…
Tweeting via Rock'n'Roll London – @rocknrolllondon – LW's Adam adds…
@londonwalks the Windrush calypso classic London is The Place For by Lord Kitchener youtube.com/watch?v=dGt21q…
— Rock London (@rocknrolllondon) March 8, 2013
And here he adds…
A roots music classic. Calypso blends into London pop musical culture and can be clearly heard in the music of The Kinks and Madness and even Jools Holland.
The Lord Kitchener featured here is not the famous recruiting soldier (of “Your Country Needs You!” fame) but the Trinidadian calypso singer who arrived in London on the S.S Empire Windrush back in 1948.
The Windrush Generation brought with it the music of the Caribbean, and the tunes read like postcards sent to the folks back home telling of the wonders of the capital of the old Empire. Kitch delivers this track with infectious joy, observing in the lyric that “the English people are very much sociable!”
You can find the track an a great compilation entitled London Is The Place For Me – released by Honest Jon's Records. It is packed with similar snapshots of the West Indian immigrant experience. Songs of nosy landladies and the West Indies beating England at cricket provide light relief alongside the social commentary – look out for Lord Beginner's paean to racial harmony in Mix Up Matrimony. Kitch and co give us a vivid snapshot of the early 50s London.
Visit the site of 1951’s Festival of Britain, where many Britons first discovered calypso music, on the Somewhere Else London walk with Steve or Stephanie on Tuesdays at 2.00 p.m
Leads the Rock'n'Roll London Walk on Fridays. He acquired his first 7" 45 – which dates him a little! – when he was two-years-old (you can read about it on his music blog The Devil Take Your Stereo) his first album when he was a veteran of five-years-old (again, more on his blog) and has listened to, played, recorded, strummed, sung, written and talked about music every day ever since. He is a strict adherent of Frank Zappa's maxim: "Without music to decorate it, life is merely a collection of dates by which bills must be paid."
The Rock'n'Roll London Walk goes every Friday at 2.00pm. Meet at Tottenham Court Road Station. You can keep up with the Rock'n'Roll London Walk on Facebook, Twitter and at www.rocknrolllondon.com.
A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.