SINGAPORE 60s: ANDY'S POP MUSIC INFLUENCE: ON THE MUSIC N MEMORIES TRAIL IS MY OWN BLOG N ROLL PROJECT. NOSTALGIA IS PERSONAL HISTORY N PICTURES TELL STORIES. POP MUSIC NOT PILLS. ANDY YOUNG. (November, 2008).

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Someone Needs Help Badly, Will You Give Some?

Used as a teaching aid in a Singapore school textbook some years ago, this international pop anthem about the street poor was first recorded in 1969.  It is the third time I am posting *Streets of London on this blog. I would probably post it again in another year to remind us of the squalor, deprivation and loneliness of many homeless people in this world today. Some things never change.
 
When you are sipping that glass of champagne and slurping the caviar, tucking into succulent chicken rice and downing it with Tiger or just watching the ushering in of New Year 2013 on TV please remember the very poor who need our help.
 
I am not being hypocritical but perhaps just two Singapore dollars placed in the hands of someone who needs the money is sufficient. Or more if you wish. Depends on how much your heart (not head)  is willing to give. Don't force yourself. If you can't, don't.
 
Watch the above video to the end because it's different from the others available on You Tube. wildfiremedia who produced the clip had an interview with Ralph McTell on the streets of  London. 
 
Happy New Year... hopefully.

If you can spare something, check out the list below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_voluntary_welfare_organisations_in_Singapore

Video: from wildfiremedia on You Tube.


Streets of London is written by Ralph McTell, first recorded for his 1969 album Spiral Staircase but 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.

As McTell explains on the video it could be any street in any big city in the world. He was inspired by an older song called, Poor People of Paris (1954) made good by Les Baxter and Orchestra. I remember this one, do you?
 
Over two hundred artists have made covers of this song including Cliff Richard, Blackmore's Night, Mary Hopkin, Raffi, Sam Hui, Sinéad O'Connor, Schooner Fare, Anti-Nowhere League, Roger Whittaker, Cleo Laine,  Cat Stevens Oskar Weise/Tom Brner, Tommy Korberg  and Liam Clancy. Its popularity was also the subject of a comedy sketch on BBC show Big Train. Read more from wikepedia..

5 comments:

STORMALV said...

I really despise this song. First of all, they made us sing it in school over and over again, but first and foremost because of the lyrics. If I interpret it right, this guy is basically saying "Quit complaining about your life, these people suffer more than you do!", which is such a massive demonstration of stupidity and lack of psychological understanding.

If you think a beggar necessarily suffers more than anyone in the world, you are pretty close-minded in my opinion.

Written in December, 2008.

PIXIEDUST TT said...

This is a sad, sad song about oppression, and the lost of individuality that one has when in the big city, but at the same time there is a tiny ray of sunshine, because when you hear it, you almost feel better because your life, no matter how shitty it is, has something that the people in this song don't have.

May, 2008.

Andy Lim* said...

Some comments about the song. What do you all think?

HILDEGUNN said...

Ralph got inspired to write the song when he and his band were out busking and hitchhiking around Europe before they got discovered, actually it was in Paris the individual stories are taken from, but he choose to use London because he thought the name was most suitable.

Andy Lim* said...

I was in London many times in the 80s and 90s and have witnessed the homeless all over the city. Bag-ladies and scrawny, old men scavenging from the rubbish bins. Some younger ones too.

When I approached one to talk to, she warned me off with a walking stick, "You don come here to MUH (my) territory. These bins are all mine..." as she pointed to the row of bins on the side-road.

It's an old story re-told. But it's a reminder? And etched in my memory since.