Proud City Father
TAKE ME BY THE HAND AND LEAD ME THROUGH THE STREETS
OF THIS OLD CITY THAT I THOUGHT I KNEW SO WELL
BUT IT'S FOREVER CHANGING, THE FACES, THE ACCENTS
LIKE THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS DIRECTING ROWS AND ROWS OF
DIRTY BUSES, BLACK TAXIS, PEOPLE RUSHING HOME TO THEIR OWN IMPORTANT LIVES
NOT CARING ABOUT ANYONE OR REALISING
THAT THEY ARE PART OF SOMETHING SO MUCH BIGGER

TAKE ME BY THE HAND WE'LL GO DOWN TO THE RIVER
AND SEE THE ENERGY OF NATURE NOW TAMED AND USED FOR
OUR AMUSEMENT AND COMMERCIAL VENTURES
TREAD CAREFULLY THROUGH BROKEN GLASS AND DOGSH*T
WATCH YOUR BACK AGAINST THE SETTING SUN
THE PLACE COMES ALIVE WITH TWINKLING LIGHTS AND LIMOUSINES
EXPENSIVE SHOES, DESIGNER LABELS AND MATCHING ACCESSORIES TO DIE FOR
BUT WE CAN'T FOLLOW THE FASHIONS OF THIS CITY
IT'S BEST LEFT TO THOSE IN THE KNOW

TAKE ME BY THE HAND WE'LL HEAD OUT TO THE WEST
AND SEE WHAT THE WEALTH OF THE CITY HAS CREATED
ROWS AND ROWS OF LAVISH HOUSES, LANDSCAPED GARDENS
AN AIR OF EMPTINESS WRAPPED AROUND THE MIDDLE CLASSES
THERE'S SAFETY IN THESE STREETS
NO RUMBLINGS OF VIOLENCE FELT ACROSS THE GHETTOS
JUST A SANDWICHBOARD HEADLINE OF REASSURANCE THAT READS
"THE PROPERTY BOOM RIDES HIGH!"
BUT DOWN BENEATH THE WESTWAY A YOUNG GIRL PREPARES TO SLEEP
UNDER A BINBAG
LIKE THIS CITY
COLD AND ALONE

TAKE ME BY THE HAND WE'LL FIND OUR WAY EAST
PAST BOARDED-UP SHOP WINDOWS ON DARK RAINY STREETS
CLASHED CULTURES REACTING TO LIVING TOGETHER
IN TOWERBLOCKS WITH VIEWS OVER THE CITY'S SQUARE MILE
SO FAR FROM THEIR GRASP
BUT IN A ONE-BEDROOMED FLAT AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD
A YOUNG BOY SITS PLOTTING WORLD DOMINATION

I'LL TAKE YOU BY THE HAND AND LEAD YOU THROUGH THE STREETS
OF THIS OLD CITY THAT I LOVE
THROUGH ROTTING CORPSES OF ENTERPRISE WHERE SOCIETY ONCE STOOD PROUD
NOW JUST A SHELL OF IT'S OLD SELF BUT STILL WITH A BEAUTY UNMATCHED
THROUGH TOURIST TRAPS AND ROYAL FLAGS
PAST HOMELESS BEGGARS AND WEALTHY MONEYMEN
THROUGH LEAFY PARKS AND WALLS OF STEEL
FLY-POSTERED STREETS ONCE FULL OF
BURNT-OUT SQUATS NOW RECYCLED AS
UNAFFORDABLE LIVING COMPLETE WITH ENSUITE
AND ALL THE ECHOED WHISPERS OF HISTORY

AND IT'S STILL CALLING
Lyrics for Proud City Father by Mark Ayling
Copyright Mark Ayling 2013