Ralph McTell Lyrics

1944 - Ralph May born: Dec. 3rd. Famborough, Kent.

1947 - His father leaves home; the family move to Croydon.

1951 - Learns to play the harmonica and discovers Laurel
Hardy and Flash Gordon at Saturday morning pictures.

1954 - Ralph makes his stage debut at school pantomime
performing 'Where Will The Baby's Dimple Be?'

1957 - Swaps his harmonica for a ukulele and forms a band.

1959 - Takes up the guitar. Leaves school and joins the
army as a boy soldier.

1960 - Buys himself out of the Queen's Surrey Regiment
Junior Leaders Battalion More...

Submit Ralph McTell New Lyrics
Submit Ralph McTell New Lyrics

Review about Ralph McTell songs
Streets of London: Memories from a time long gone | Reviewer: Richard Urycki
    ------ About the song Streets Of London performed by Ralph McTell

Ralph McTell's beautiful song has a timeless quality about it, one in which the lyrics genuinely reflect the elderly, poor, and mentally ill trapped in any number of big cities. I think of the house I shared with three other vagabonds in Akron, Ohio after backpacking through Europe, Africa, and Israel. We listened to Mc Tells' Spiral Staircase LP scores of times while arguing how to change things for the better. It was a time of adventure and hope. After forty years, I can talk to my grown children about 'Streets of London' and the memories one song held.

So little has changed | Reviewer: Lorraine
    ------ About the song Streets Of London performed by Ralph McTell

Recently I attended a party where this song was chosen to be sang. However the meaning was completely lost, as it was the lines ' let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London' that was sung as a reminder of a holiday from Australia to London.
However it brought back memories for me of several trips back to Eengland ( I am an expat ) I have made. One trip during the Thatcher governing days, where whole families were living on the streets and sleeping rough under the arches of Charring Cross Station. All the more poignant that they were under a cross, but there was no sign of Christianity there. ( I might add I am an atheist )
Last year I returned to London, my home until I was 23 ( I am now 65 ) I was on a train bound for the SE suburbs when a young woman of got on. With down cast eyes she told how she lived on the streets and was in fear of attack at night. She asked if we were able to help her by sparing a few pennys so she could find a safe shelter for the night. No one looked at her but me. I thought here I am on a months holiday from Australlia ,I guess a sign of indulgence.
I didn't really care if her story was true, but I felt it was, I don't think anyone chooses to beg. I had a £5 note in my pocket ( not much more then the cost of a cup of coffee) i gave it to her. The look on her face was disbelief. After this others gave her money.
We have street people in Sydney, they to do not choose to live that way. I try when in Sydney not to ignore them.
What has happened to society that we allow this to happen.

Just excellent social commentry | Reviewer: Wayne
    ------ About the song Streets Of London performed by Ralph McTell

In the 1800's Charles Dickens was the social conscience of his time, writing about the hardships and the not so fortunate of his time (his own father spent time in a debtors prison because he was unable to meet his own debts)and always with a counterpoint to those who have and care not one jot for those who have not. Well in the time of my generation (and beyond it seems), Ralph McTell has become the social conscience of his time, of my generation. I get the guitar out and play it from time to time but can hardly make it through without choking up, yes I've seen the people the song speaks of and I think what hurts the most is that in our modern society (in OUR winter cities) there are still these people out there and I feel sometimes that the world really does not care. Then I see someone perform a simple act of kindness, a kind word or some change dropped into a proffered styrene cup and I once again regain some hope for humanity. I think Ralph's song moved many to try and change the status-quo. May God Bless those who try.

wow this songs speaks the truth!! | Reviewer: Toochi chigbo
    ------ About the song Streets Of London performed by Ralph McTell

my choir in primary school sang this song and iv really liked it since then and well it wasn't sang that well in primary but now i'm in high school i like putting my own twist to it and i just absolutely love singing it when i feel like singing. there are many people that are lonely and no one really cares because it sounds stupid but you need to put yourself in their shoes and then start judging the world. is there any hope of change can the world actually be a better place

Belfast remember | Reviewer: Lee Willdridge
    ------ About the song Streets Of London performed by Ralph McTell

Back in the troubled times of the late 60's and 70's in Northern Ireland, there were 2 artists who religiously played The Ulster Hall, Belfast during the Christmas / New Year period . Rory Gallagher and Ralph McTell -and what a contrast. Back then, we ached for entertainment and both Rory and Ralph answered our call. McTell was the main reason why many of us picked up an acoustic guitar (along with "House of the rising sun") and to this day, it is the classic song to get everyone singing at a party.
Thanks Ralph, for taking the time to visit Northern Ireland during the dark days of the bombs and bullets and to anyone who only knows "The Streets of London", check out his albums (sorry, I mean CD's) and listen to some of the lyrics and finger pickin' tunes.

Streets of London | Reviewer: Frank Cooke
    ------ About the song Streets Of London performed by Ralph McTell

The Lyrics were written to explain to a friend of McTell's who felt life was really hard and was also suffering with depression and felt lonely. It was said most of the lyrics were written in Paris?? The song reached No2 in the charts

This version is told at live shows and was also repeated on live TV today. Most times there is a simple answer.....

Ralf McTell is a 'Forgotten Hero' himself | Reviewer: Big Paul (Belfast)
    ------ About the song Streets Of London performed by Ralph McTell

An earlier review gets it partly right about the origins of this beautiful song. Ralf was indeed touring Europe, when he visited Paris. Upon seeing the many, many homeless people, not only on the streets, but camped out below the cities famous bridges, including the world famous 'Pont Neuf' (Bridge Nine), McTell decided to write this song to highlight the situation. By the time he returned home and composed a draft of the lyrics, coincidently another artist had released a different song, highlighting the same issues in Paris. So McTell then proceeded to alter the lyrics to become the famous song that we know and love today.
It seems that you English need to brush up a bit on your own history :-) Absolutely NO Offense Intended guys :-) Love from 'The Big Guy', Belfast

Forgotten Hero | Reviewer: minimuso
    ------ About the song Streets Of London performed by Ralph McTell

This is such a great song. People often know the tune yet have no idea that this was not just a one hit wonder. Ralph McTell is a prolific writer who has done masses of wonderful stuff but somehow seems to have escaped the prominent adulation ought to go with such a gift. I hope people find out more about the writer who had so many profound thoughts and shared them in songs and poetry. How sad if he too were a "forgotten hero" - sad for the everyone I think.

Streets of Market Harborough, Leicestershire | Reviewer: Helen Morritt
    ------ About the song Streets Of London performed by Ralph McTell

I love this song by Ralph McTell.
Some alternate lyrics could be related to Market Harborough's town. The Public Houses, the Clubs, Shops, Supermarkets. Some of the people live in the town who I always see walking around.
I shall work out the lyrics and put them on here.

An old friend | Reviewer: Allan Matthews
    ------ About the song Streets Of London performed by Ralph McTell

I played this long ago for some friends at a party, i always loved the lyrics, supprisingly i've just been presented with a photo albun celebrating my 60th birthday, and this song they added to the end of the photo DVD,wow wasn't the word, tears last forever

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