"Streets of London" is a song written by Ralph McTell. It was first recorded for McTell's 1969 album Spiral Staircase but was not released in the United Kingdom as a single until 1974. It was his greatest commercial success, reaching number two in the UK singles chart, at one point selling 90,000 copies a day and winning him the Ivor Novello Award and a Silver disc for record sales.
Have you seen the old man In the closed-down market Kicking up the paper, with his worn out shoes? In his eyes you see no pride And held loosely at his side Yesterday's paper telling yesterday's news
So how can you tell me you're lonely, And say for you that the sun don't shine? Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London I'll show you something to make you change your mind
Have you seen the old girl Who walks the streets of London Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags? She's no time for talking, She just keeps right on walking Carrying her home in two carrier bags.
In the all night cafe At a quarter past eleven, Same old man is sitting there on his own Looking at the world Over the rim of his tea-cup, Each tea last an hour Then he wanders home alone
And have you seen the old man Outside the seaman's mission Memory fading with The medal ribbons that he wears. In our winter city, The rain cries a little pity For one more forgotten hero And a world that doesn't care
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