A Metropolitan Traveller's Tribute to Benjamin Britten

London Underground Limited

I travelled on the London Underground,
With my coat and cap
And on this trip I read the words

1 "Mind the gap"
2 "Please, keep clear of the doors" and
3 "Stand to the right"
4 "Keep to the left"
5 "No smoking"
6 "Information and assistence"
7 "Items trapped in the doors"
8 "If you see fire or smoke"
9 "Eastbound", "Westbound"
10 "Northbound", "Southbound"
11 "Way out"
12 "Penalty for improper use £100,-".

The first verse starts with the refrain and ends with line 1; the second has the refrain, then line 2 and finally line 1. This continues until the twelfth verse has the refrain followed by a complete run-through from line 12 back to line 1. And, indeed, line 12 is sung as in To Stop the Train, except that "one hun-dred pounds" each get a beat. All other lines are four beats, except line 3 and line 4 that each have two beats, combining into one 4 beat line once they're both sung.

On 14 November 2011, I was in London for the UK launch of the Mudcat CDs "This Is Us". To the Londoners it was the first day of the Christmas season. To me it was a few days into the Saint Nicolas season, with no reason to sing Christmas songs. But travelling around by Underground that day, and the day after, mixed with Twelve Days of Christmas to form a somewhat different cumulative song. So, if anyone ever wondered what I did on a visit to London for the purpose of singing "Catalunya Spirit": This is what I did.

Then I went home and typed it all in from my notebook. And then I lost it all when I trusted a faulty computer back-up a number of months later. It took until 12 August 2016 before I managed to dig up the right notebook and found that it didn't just contain my notes on the texts encountered, but even the set of lyrics as I arranged them.

last modified 15 August 2016; last updated 12 August 2016

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