The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #167526   Message #4042648
Posted By: GUEST,henryp
28-Mar-20 - 02:27 PM
Thread Name: busking in europe late 50's early 60s
Subject: RE: busking in europe late 50's early 60s
Streets of London was inspired by McTell's experiences busking and hitchhiking throughout Europe. It could just have easily been called Streets of Paris. It was in part inspired by the clochards (homeless) who lay on the hot air grates of the French capital’s metro to keep warm, placing their boots under their head so they wouldn’t be stolen as they slept. The tune came first to McTell, and then the subject matter. “I tried to fit the people I’d seen on the Paris streets to this tune,” he recalls.

Once the song developed, McTell drew on his own experiences growing up in England and changed the location of the title. The “closed down market” where the old man is nonchalantly “kicking up the papers/ with his worn-out shoes” to find leftover fruit from packed away stalls was actually a market in Croydon, London, near where McTell grew up. Wikipedia/BBC Culture