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Songs Featuring Local Areas
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baggydave


Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #1
11-05-2009 12:26 PM

Older readers may recall BD's highly successful thread on 'Rocking in Forest Hill'.

A local band (the Effra's) have a song about Penge, and asked whether it was the only time this part of SE London had ever been featured in a song.

Elsewhere Carter USM sang about Elmers End, New Cross and Tulse Hill

We have many big hitters for Brixton, and the Dulwich Ukulele Club sing about Camberwell.

Are there any songs featuring Forest Hill, HOP etc? Would someone like to pen a new one, maybe along the lines of Penny Lane (actually 'Allerton Road' but that was not so catchy)

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raspberryfool


Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #2
11-05-2009 01:52 PM

Hmm... Basement Jaxx have a couple of songs about Camberwell. Might be as close as you're gonna get!

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michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
11-05-2009 03:07 PM

I have previously pointed out the U2 song about One Tree Hill, but apparently they have never been to Honor Oak.

And although not exactly about Forest Hill, the Red Flag (Communist anthem) was written on the train from Charing Cross to Honor Oak Park!

Nice to see BD back on the forum.

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billham


Posts: 115
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #4
11-05-2009 08:50 PM

"South of the river
Down Forest Hill way....."

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #5
12-05-2009 06:23 AM

Michael that is very interesting. Obviously in a more civilised era when he did not have to compete with so called personal music.

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michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
12-05-2009 07:14 AM

I think he was inspired by an annoying youf listening to 'O Christmas Tree' on his portable gramophone. Unfortunately he could not get the tune out of his head and ended up nicking it (sorry, I meant redistributing it for the workers).

Fortunately there is less of this type of petty theft on the trains today!

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #7
12-05-2009 07:46 AM

I agree, Michael, very interesting about 'The Red Flag'. But is it right to call it a 'communist anthem'? I've always associated it with the Labour Party. (Perhaps in the version I learnt at school in the fifties: 'The people's flag is really pink, it's not as red as some folks think'?)

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michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
12-05-2009 09:22 AM

Looking at the roots of the song it is fair to say it is most associated with the Labour Party. His memorial in Ireland talks about the 'anthem of the International Labour Movement'. Jim Connell wrote the song when he was a member of the Social Democratic Federation and the Labour Party did not exist.

Wikipedia entry on Red Flags talks about 'The red flag became a symbol of communism as a result of its use by the Paris Commune of 1871'. So clearly Jim Connell was taking inspiration from the Communists of Paris.

Not sure if this proves my point. Probably doesn't, but I must do some work rather than Socialist research.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #9
12-05-2009 03:38 PM

I have an idea that Hyndman's (Marxist) Social Democratic Federation was one of the bodies that came together to form the Labour Party. Perhaps the Labour Party inherited the song from them.

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chrispy


Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #10
12-05-2009 04:55 PM

Babyshambles mention Catford in Down in Albion.

As above, Carter USM also mention the "The flashing smile of the Crystal Palace tower" in Midnight on the Murder Mile.

That's as close as I can get....

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Contrary Mary


Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #11
12-05-2009 10:03 PM

My reading of Midnight on the Murder Mile was that the whole thing was about Crystal Palace Parade late on a Saturday night.... Anyone who remembers the pre-mobile days would certainly recognise the parade from the line 'A phone box, a phone box/My kingdom for a phone box...Laugh

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billham


Posts: 115
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #12
12-05-2009 10:55 PM

Catford of course also gets a mention in The Barron Knights parody 'A Taste of Aggro'.

[To the tune of "The Smurf Theme Song"]
"Where are you all coming from?"
We're from Dartmoor, on the run
"How did you work out your route?"
We followed the arrows on our suit
"What were you in Dartmoor for?"
"We borrowed a safe from the bank next door"
"and why do you all talk this way?"
Cause we're from Catford, ain't we? Eh!
Lalalalalala, lalalalala [Etc.]
...


At the time it was in the charts this meant little to me as a youth in Scotland, but after 23 happy years in Forest Hill I almost talk like a 'Souff Londoner' myself... Smile

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stevegrindlay


Posts: 104
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #13
13-05-2009 05:41 AM

Michael Wrote:
...the Red Flag (Communist anthem) was written on the train from Charing Cross to Honor Oak Park!


I don't think this is so. The Wikipedia article says, correctly, that the words were first published in 1889. However, it adds that it was "on a train journey from Charing Cross railway station to his home in Honor Oak," and this is not correct. Connell moved to Stondon Park some 25 years after he wrote the words. Street directories and other sources (including the plaque itself) say he lived there from 1915 until his death.

The Dictionary of National Biography says the words were written on "a fifteen-minute train journey from Charing Cross to New Cross". Given that Jim Connell appears in the 1891 census living at 408 New Cross Road, a mere 5 minutes walk from the station, I think it more likely that was where he was living when he wrote the Red Flag (the house survives).

Talking about train journeys from New Cross, there is also Dire Straits' Eastbound Train.


For a random selection of items on local history visit my blog at:
http://sydenhamforesthillhistory.blogspot.com/
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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #14
13-05-2009 10:08 AM

I've often wondered about the duet between Lady Sangazure and John Wellington Wells in Gilbert and Sullivan's 'The Sorcerer' -

MR. W. Hate me! I often roll down One Tree Hill!
LADY S. Love me! I?ll meet you there!

- but was disappointed to read this morning - http://math.boisestate.edu/GaS/sorcerer/...notes.html - that the hill in question was in Greenwich rather than above HOP.

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Contrary Mary


Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #15
14-05-2009 09:47 PM

Hmmm. At least this is closer than U2's 'One Tree Hill', which I've been told is somewhere in New Zealand!

But maybe they got reminded of it while on a slow train journey to Gatwick or Brighton, as it coincidentally appears on the same album as 'Red Hill Town'...

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michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
26-05-2010 12:57 PM

Honor Oak Park, better known as The HOP, was clearly the inspiration for
Danny & The Juniors
?? Let's go to the HOP ?? Rofl

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kingfisher


Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #17
26-05-2010 04:52 PM

If you're into this sort of thing, which I'm not. Forest hill features twice. Once in a sequence featuring both Honor Oak and Sydenham!

Reppin' Da Endz

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #18
26-05-2010 10:24 PM

The other week radio 2 played a half decent blues track, if you like that sort of thing, 'I am a man from lewisham' by billy jenkins.

sydenham hill gets a mention and a discordant segment features a shoot out, and a police helicopter chase - presumably references to incidents on tewkesbury Lodge Estate or there abouts....

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michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
27-05-2010 07:23 AM

This one's for all the Jews in the 'hood Forest Hills State of Mind
It is possible that they are singing about somewhere else in this rip off of a song by Jay-Z, originally about New Cross, I think.

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davidwhiting


Posts: 74
Joined: Dec 2003
Post: #20
27-05-2010 01:03 PM

Some hagiography about Connell can be found at

http://webpages.dcu.ie/~sheehanh/connell.htm

This has some sound files - including those of the Red Flag sung to the 'White Cockade' tune which is much less doleful than Tannenbaum, and apparently Connell's favourite.

d

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