London Town (Edward German)

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  • (Posted 2023-10-20)  CPDL #76476:     
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-10-20).   Score information: Letter, 16 pages, 868 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2022-01-07)  CPDL #67449:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2022-01-07).   Score information: A4, 13 pages, 318 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. I have replaced the unpleasantly anti-Semitic line "and wickedly fares the Jew" with "(for wickedness is not new)".

General Information

Title: London Town
Composer: Edward German
Lyricist: John Masefield
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1920 Novello's Part-Song Book no.1388

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Oh London Town 's a fine town, and London sights are rare,
And London ale is right ale, and brisk's the London air,
And busily goes the world there, but crafty grows the mind,
And London Town of all towns I'm glad to leave behind.

Then hey for croft and hop-yard, and hill, and field, and pond,
With Bredon Hill before me and Malvern Hill beyond,
The hawthorn white i' the hedgerow, and all the spring's attire
In the comely land of Teme and Lugg, and Clent, and Clee, and Wyre.

Oh London girls are brave girls, in silk and cloth o' gold,
And London shops are rare shops, where gallant things are sold,
And bonnily clinks the gold there, but drowsily blinks the eye,
And London Town of all towns I'm glad to hurry by.

Then, hey for covert and woodland, and ash and elm and oak,
Tewkesbury inns, and Malvern roofs, and Worcester chimney smoke,
The apple trees in the orchard, the cattle in the byre,
And all the land from Ludlow town to Bredon church's spire.

Oh London tunes are new tunes; and London books are wise,
And London plays are rare plays, and fine to country eyes,
But craftily fares the knave there, (for wickedness is not new),
And London Town of all towns I'm glad to hurry through.

So hey for the road, the west road, by mill and forge and fold,
Scent of the fern and song of the lark by brook, and field, and wold,
To the comely folk at the hearth-stone and the talk beside the fire,
In the hearty land, where I was bred, my land of heart's desire.