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  #1  
Old 10-12-2017, 04:33 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Default "Streets of London" by Ralph McTell (cover)



This is my cover of Ralph McTell's "Streets of London" from his 1969 album "Spiral Staircase."

My longtime English friend David sent me this album in about 1972 all the way from England to where I was living at the time in Plano, TX. I was really taken with "Streets of London" when I first heard it and learned it quickly thereafter. Now, every time I hear this song, I am reminded of David.

My wife and I reconnected with David and his wife a few years ago in Seattle when they were visiting this side of the USA, and we drop each other emails every few months.

I am using an English fingerpicking version of the Travis pick on my 2006 Martin model 000-28VS, 12-fret slot-head guitar. It sounds very folky, like early Paul Simon, I think. It seems that a proper performance of this song ought to be sung with some form of British accent, but my trying to fake a British accent would sound really bad. So a Midwest American accent will just have to do.

Thanks so much for listening!

- Glenn

PS: Here is a YouTube video of Ralph McTell playing this song live in front of an audience. I found it incredibly touching to see how most everyone in the audience new every word of the chorus of this song and sang it right along with him. He slowed the tempo down a little from his recording, I think to make it a little easier for the audience to sing with him; I thought this video was really something.

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Old 10-12-2017, 05:03 PM
cefobe cefobe is offline
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Well done Glenn
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:14 PM
Rogerblair Rogerblair is offline
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Great job, great tune, Glenn. I once heard that McTell originally wrote that as “Streets Of Paris”, but changed it to tell the story about London. Have no idea if that is a true story, but I read it as a true account.

Anyway, I really enjoyed your cover.
Roger
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:07 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Well done Glenn
Thank you Marcus! Thank you for listening!

- Glenn
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:12 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by Rogerblair View Post
Great job, great tune, Glenn. I once heard that McTell originally wrote that as “Streets Of Paris”, but changed it to tell the story about London. Have no idea if that is a true story, but I read it as a true account.

Anyway, I really enjoyed your cover.
Roger
Hi Roger,

Thank you for commenting! Glad you thought this came out okay.

I had not heard about the Paris connection in an earlier version of this song. How very interesting!

I can relate to this song because I think you could go to any big city as well as many small ones and see the same scenes played out -- London, Paris, New York, Seattle, ... I see these scenes in Aberdeen, WA not too far from where I live and Aberdeen has only a population of a little over 16,000 people.

Thanks for your thoughts, Roger!

- Glenn
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:24 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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Well I really liked that Glenn, one of my favorites from your studio!
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:28 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogerblair View Post
Great job, great tune, Glenn. I once heard that McTell originally wrote that as “Streets Of Paris”, but changed it to tell the story about London. Have no idea if that is a true story, but I read it as a true account.

Anyway, I really enjoyed your cover.
Roger
Hi Roger (a second time!),

I found this video on Streets of London where Ralph McTell talks about coming up with this song in Paris starting at about 4:06. So you are absolutely correct!


Thanks again for your comments!

- Glenn
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:35 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Well I really liked that Glenn, one of my favorites from your studio!
Hi Bob,

Thanks so very much! So glad you like this.

What's nice about this song is that if a person can get the Travis pick down, he or she can play this song because otherwise the chords are fairly straightforward. I think it's the Travis pick that gives this song its sound.

Also, the vocal range required to sing this song is very minimal. So just about anyone who can sing at all can find some place to put the capo so that they can sing this song. Ralph McTell plays this on capo 2 most of the time, and I played it on capo 3 mostly because I was trying to add a little more life to the song in a slightly higher register based on my approach to the song. But I think Ralph McTell's voice sounds great right where he pitched it for himself. I really like how he sings it, perfect for the message in the song.

- Glenn
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Old 10-14-2017, 01:12 AM
Rogerblair Rogerblair is offline
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Thanks, Glenn, for posting the video which includes the interview. (It confirms to me that I haven’t yet lost all my faculties 😁. Sort of need that now and then.)
I also enjoyed seeing him performing it through the years as the song progressed up to the point of the interview.

Roger
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Old 10-14-2017, 01:59 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Beautiful, Glenn! I'm not familiar with the tune, but I really like it. And it's a lovely guitar part. Very well done!
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:21 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by Rogerblair View Post
Thanks, Glenn, for posting the video which includes the interview. (It confirms to me that I haven’t yet lost all my faculties 😁. Sort of need that now and then.)
I also enjoyed seeing him performing it through the years as the song progressed up to the point of the interview.

Roger
Hi Roger,

Yes, I had not seen that video before, and I also enjoyed the same things. I thought it was very interesting. I also know what you mean about appreciating confirmation that we are not losing our faculties at this age...

- Glenn
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:24 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Beautiful, Glenn! I'm not familiar with the tune, but I really like it. And it's a lovely guitar part. Very well done!
Thank you Kerbie!

How terrific to hear from you! I'm really glad you like this! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

- Glenn
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:30 AM
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themissal themissal is offline
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A beautifully recorded song I had never heard before. So - a tio of the hat, and a pat on the back to you Mr Glenn..... and that little guitar has a very non-boxy big sound. It records real well!
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:35 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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A beautifully recorded song I had never heard before. So - a tio of the hat, and a pat on the back to you Mr Glenn..... and that little guitar has a very non-boxy big sound. It records real well!
Thank you Sal!

Great to hear from you, as well!

I do agree about that 12-fret Martin 000-28VS. It does have a fairly big sound for a 000/OM size guitar, though it helps that it has a larger, streatched body than modern 14-fret designs. This guitar was very bassy when new and while I liked it, it didn't appeal to me 10 years ago as much as it does today. The guitar has lost some bass and picked up some treble as it has aged, and now I really like the balance it has.

Glad you like the song, Sal!

- Glenn
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:41 AM
LiveMusic LiveMusic is offline
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That is beautiful! I am constantly reminded of how much music I missed out on! And I have a ton of music! I was too busy listening to Led Zepplin and Jethro Tull back then, methinks. Wow, you did great on that. And the guitar sounds fantastic! You guys floor me with your audio recording skills! And playing skills. And good guitars, lol.
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