4. Nov, 2014

When the lights go out

It’s late again and all I want to do is to sit by the fire with a cup of sweet tea. The foxing hours are upon us and the polecat is still on the loose but the hens are safely tucked up in their beds, safe for another night at least. And you are more than welcome to sit in the chair opposite me. It’s old but comfortable and when the embers die down please use the blanket that’s folded on the side. I think tonight, I shall play my guitar and sing a wee song my father taught me a long time ago. It’s called Streets of London. But before that, I shall tell you why I chose this song.

      This evening I saw an old woman, lying lifeless on the cold, wet road. She had just been hit by a car. I quickly reassured her that help was on the way. She was thin and poorly dressed. Someone nearby said she roams the streets day and night and is always alone. I was heartbroken! Staring down at this woman, some mothers child, I wondered who she was and where she’d come from. Her name she could not tell me. And now, in the comfort of my home, I remembered the song that tells a story about loneliness and people, just like the woman who now lies on a hospital bed, alone!

       Close your eyes and listen to the lyrics. Picture the old lady and pray for her if you will.....

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
Hand 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