Wednesday, 13 April 2016

#LondonSongs I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

With the launch of The Rolling Stones Walk on the 5th May 2016 and the return of the Rock'n'Roll London Pub walk on Wednesday nights from the 4th May 2016 the London Walks summer programme 2016 will feature no less than FIVE regular musical-themed walking tours.

To mark the occasion, April is Music Month on The Daily Constitutional!

A month of plaques, locations, facts, reviews and more lies ahead. And I'm compiling the Ultimate London Playlist – get in touch with your favourite London song or piece!

DC Editor Adam writes… During Music Month I'm collecting London music to shape The Big London Playlist. Here's London walks guide Ann with her recommendation…

Here’s award-winning London Walks guide Kim…

For London songs I always think of "I'm forever blowing bubbles" which is a bit odd as it doesn't mention London and I'm not even a West Ham fan!  However, it is so intrinsically linked with the Club which has produced such icons of English football such as Bobby Moore & Geoff Hurst & Michael Carrick (now I've given away who I do support) that it has to be included as a London song. 

It even got a line in the Olympics Opening Ceremony and the Stadium is going to the Hammers so come and see it and give us a chorus on the Olympics Walk which goes on Thursdays at 2.15pm from West Ham Tube.

Adam adds… A good choice, this. A London folk song if ever there was one, although, as Kim points out, it has no specific London references, its association with West Ham United F.C cements it firmly in the East End. It goes like this…

I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high,
Nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams,
They fade and die.
Fortune's always hiding,
I've looked everywhere,
I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.

I’m particularly fond of the line “Fortune’s always hiding” – which would seem to typify the West Ham experience. This great club – formed out of an iron works workers’ side in the 19th Century – has won the F.A Cup on three occasions, but the fortune of the League Championship has proved elusive indeed thus far.

I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles is a relic of the old custom of community singing at football matches – formal, organized singalongs before kick off. The fingerprints of this era can still be seen right across the land. At Birmingham City, for example, the fans sing Harry Lauder’s Keep Right On To The End Of The Road; at Bristol Rovers the old Leadbelly tune Goodnight Irene is the favourite.

In 1980 the punk band Cockney Rejects recorded a version. It reached No.35 in the UK charts in the year that West Ham last won the F.A Cup. And here they are, one minute thirty-nine seconds of mayhem…

I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles also features on this episode of the London Walks Podcast…

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

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment