London iPod Playlist

So there are hundreds, thousands even, songs about London and places in London, but have you ever actually been to all or any of the spots mentioned?  Well, here is a short guide to get your groove on in those classic music references.  Lyrics that are bold are the places you should go…and extra points for visiting while listening to the songs.  I may even get fancy one day and highlight the songs just about the london underground…that could be epic.  Anyways, here you go to get you started on your musical tour:

Song:  Werewolves of London, by Warren Zevon

“I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand

Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain

He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fook’s”

So everyone knows about Soho–go to Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square tube station and follow the crowd of people.  However, very few people know about the chinese restaurant in Chinatown mentioned in the song.  Le Ho Fook’s did exist and I still hear the rumor that there is a picture of Warren Zevon on the wall–please someone confirm this!  Lee Ho Fook’s is now called Golden Harvest and located on 15-16 Gerrard Street, Mayfair, London, W1D 6JE.

Song:  Waterloo Sunset, The Kinks

“Terry meets Julie

Waterloo Station”

Fairly obvious but Waterloo Station, Waterloo Underground and to watch the sunset go to Waterloo Bridge.  It is paradise!

Song:  London Still,  The Waifs

“I took the tube over to  Camden

Take the Northern Line to Camden Town then wander about through the markets.  Also, see our post, Camden Insider.

Song:  Cemeteries of London, Coldplay

*There is no specific place referred to in this song but London does have its fair share of really cool cemeteries.  Our picks:  Highgate Cemetery, Nunhead Cemetery, Postman’s Park, Hyde Park Dog’s Cemetery and Bunhill Fields Cemetery.  For more cemeteries click here or here.

Song:  Chelsea Walk, Ocean Colour Scene

“I went down to Chelsea Walk…”

The Chelsea Walk is 1.6 miles starting in the King’s Road and along the river.  For a map of the walk, go here.

Song:  For Tomorrow, Blur

“then Susan comes into the room, she’s a naughty girl with a lovely smile, says, “Let’s take a drive to Primrose Hill, it’s windy there and the view is so nice.”

Take the Norther line to Chalk Farm, walk cross the bridge and follow Regent’s Park Road to the park, then climb the hill to get those great views of central London.  On nice days like today though, it will be very crowded.  It is also a great spot to people watch and laugh at the kids rolling down the massive hill with dogs running about.  Oh and the be sure to check out the Blur video because Primrose Hill is featured about half way in and the video starts on a routemaster and Trafalgar Square.

 

View from Primrose HIll

View from Primrose HIll

 

 

Song:  London, The Smiths

“Train

Heave on-to Euston”

Here is another underground/train themed song:  Euston Station is on the Northern, Victoria and Overground lines. Euston Square Station is on the Hammersmith and City, Circle and Metropolitan line.  I would highly discourage any of the later routes because they never seem to be working when you want them to be.

Song:  London Bridge, Fergie

“How come everything you come around

My london bridge wanna go down”

Yeah so not so much about London or the bridges but anyways I just had to point out the obvious when Fergie dances by Tower Bridge but sings about London Bridge.  See differences below:

 

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

 

London Bridge

London Bridge

Song:  London School of Economics, Acid House Kings

“Don’t forget that summer dress

You know, the one you work

When you returned from 

London School of Economics

Yep, this is just a pure shout out to C and I’s post grad uni in Holborn.  You can find the campus enclosed from Lincoln Inn Fields to the north, the Kingsway to the West, Fleet street to the  South and the Royal Courts of Justice to the East.  

 

LSE

LSE

 

 

Song:  Mayfair, Nick Drake

Mayfair strange in the morning light

Mayfair strange in the summer night

Mayfair strangest in the afternoon

Mayfair stretching far above

full of fame but lacking love

Could it be we see the Mayfair moon?”

Mayfair is the very posh and privileged bit of London enclosed by Hyde Park to the West, Piccadilly to the South, Oxford Street to the North and Soho to the East.  Wander through it sometime and you’ll find amazing flats, tucked away cafes, boutique hotels and shops and even a bentley car dealership.  Also, it is the most expensive property on the British Monopoly board.

Song:  Portobello Road

“Portobello Road, Portobello Road

Street where the riches of ages are stowed”

Everyone remembers this classic disney song from Bedknobs and Broomsticks with David Tomlinson as the ever magical and musical Professor Emelius Browne.  Classic market road in Notting Hill with the iconic colorful townhouses and find anything antiques.  Be sure to check out Hummingbird cupcakes and find the blue (now black ) door to Hugh Grant’s flat from the movie Notting Hill.

portobello road

Portobello Road Houses

BedknobsBroomsticks200h

Song:  Warwick Avenue, Duffy

“When I get to Warwick Avenue

Meet me by the entrance of the tube”

Warwick Avenue is in Maida Vale by Little Venice and the canals on the Bakerloo Line.  Great for a Sunday stroll.  For our post about Little Venice, read here.

 

Well, that’s a good start to your first installment of the London Ipod Playlist.  For the next round, I might add in iconic music locations and maybe a few more about the London underground.  

Even though this is just a taste of the many songs about London, did I miss any of your favourites that I should include next time?  Let me know.

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