Let’s face it London’s amazing, it’s no wonder so many great songwriters have found their inspiration in this great city. South London itself has been the subject of many a good tune, some you may not even have realised were written about places just around the corner. Get listening and see if you can identify with these observations on places South of the River.
- Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks; This song was written as “Liverpool Sunset” but luckily for us Ray Davies changed the title to reflect instead on the place he grow up in. Released in 1967 it was a UK number 2 hit and is one of the bands best known.
- Morden – Good Shoes; Little known indie band Good Shoes penned this honest song about their home town in South West London. References to residents wearing ‘Burberry caps’ and numerous pound shops make Morden sound about as appealing as it is when you wake up there on the Northern Line, drunk, having missed your stop. Never the less it’s a great song and if you missed the Good Shoes in there late 00’s height they’re worth a listen.
- Up the Junction – Squeeze; This new wave band, of which Jools Holland was once a member, wrote this song about daily life in Clapham. Loosely based on a TV play of the same name the song deals with unplanned pregnancy and abortion ‘with that girl from Clapham’.
- The Guns of Brixton – The Clash; Taken for the album London Calling this song was written by bassist Paul Simonon who grew up in the area.
- 59 Lyndhurst Grove – Pulp; Perhaps the least obviously about South London on the list, this song by Pulp was written after Jarvis Cocker got thrown out of a house party in Camberwell. Pulp fans have been known to visit the address to take photos!
Those that didn’t make the list…
I can already hear the cries of ‘but what about this one’, and quite simply I would have loved to have gone on but I wanted to select quality and also bring some of those lesser know South London songs to light. So before you say it here’s a few that didn’t make the list but are worth a mention anyway, be it in some cases for comedy value!
Wombles of Wimbledon – The Wombles, Waterloo – Abba, Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant.
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