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Lead you through my inspiration

March 5, 2011

It was one of those unsuspecting little moments of life. I wanted to work on a song with one of my English conversation classes. I found one I liked that seemed comprehensible. After all, these people were all native French speakers and even I have difficulty deciphering English-language songs. I downloaded the lyrics and started to prepare my worksheet.

Ralph McTell

I scarcely noticed those lines at first. That’s all part of their impact. They’re disarmingly simple. But they got under my skin. I defy anyone to analyse why but these words touched me in a way few others have done since. In my opinion it must be one of the most perfect stanzas ever written. And no, they don’t belong to a great author–in fact he admitted in a BBC interview that he always had trouble writing his words. “They take a lot longer to come.”

Well, patience pays. And these words have accompanied me ever since–inspiring me to emulate them. If only my words could touch other people in the same way.

Curious? Well, here they are…

And have you seen the old man
Outside the seaman’s mission
Memory fading with the medal ribbons
that he wears.
And in our winter city,
the rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero
And a world that doesn’t care
(Ralph McTell: Streets of London)
One Comment
  1. March 7, 2011 7:03 am

    This song has been a constant in my piano thumping days – something in it touched me at an early age firstly in the music and then the lyrics. It always made me ask why ( a staple inspiration for me now)

    Beautiful, beautiful song.

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