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The Liberty of Norton Folgate - Lyrics


This is the story of the Liberty of Norton Folgate...

Old Jack Norris, the musical shrimp and the cadging ramble

A little bit of this, would you like a bit of that?
But in weather like this you should wear a coat
A nice warm hat

A needle and thread the hand stitches of time
The Battling Levinsky vs Jackie Berg
Bobbing and weaving an invisible line

So step for step and both light on our feet
We'll travel many a long dim silent street

Would you like a bit of this or a little bit of that?
A little bit of what you like does you no harm you know that

Perpetual steady echo of the passing beat
A continual dart a river of people
In transience and in its performance

But when the streetlamp fills the gutter with gold
So many priceless items bought and sold

Instrumental

So step for step and both light on our feet
We'll travel many a long dim silent street
Together

Once 'round Arnold Circus
Up through Petticoat Lane
Past the well of shadows and once back around again
Arm in arm with an abstracted air to where the people stared at the upstairs windows
Because we are living like Kings and these days will last forever

'Cause
Sailors from Africa, China and the Archipelago of Malay
Jumped ship ragged and penniless into Shadwell's Tiger Bay
The Welsh and Irish wagtails, mothers of midnight
The music hall carouseling spilling out into bonfire light
Sending half crazed shadows giants dancing up the brick wall
Of Mr. Truman's beer factory waving bottles ten feet tall

Whether one calls it Spitalfields
Whitechapel Tower
Hamlets or Bangel Town, we're all dancing in the moonlight
We're all on borrowed ground
Oh, I'm just walking down to
I'm just floating down through
Won't you come with me to the Liberty of Norton Folgate?

But wait, what's that?
Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem!

Purposefully walking nowhere
Well I'm happy just floating about - Have a banana
On a Sunday afternoon
The stallholders all call and shout - To no-one in particular
Avoiding people you know
You're just basking in your own company
The Technicolor world's going by
But you're the lead in your own movie

'Cause in the Liberty of Norton Folgate
Walking wild and free
In your second hand coat
Happy just to float
In this little taste of liberty
A part of everything you see

They're coming left and right
Trying to flog you stuff you don't need or want
And the smiling chap takes your hand and drags you in his uncle's restaurant
There's a Chinese man trying hard to flog you moody DVDs
You know you've seen the film
It's black and white, it's got no sound and a man's head bobs up and down right across your wide screen TV
Only a fiver! - How much?
Alright two for eight quid - 'Ere, 'Old on! I'm giving it away!

'Cause in the Liberty of Norton Folgate
Walking wild and free
In your second hand coat
Happy just to float
In this little piece of liberty
You're a part of everything you see

'Cause it's sturdy old fellows pick pockets, dandies, extortioners and night wanderers
The feeble, the ghastly upon whom death, had placed a very sure hand
Some in shreds and patches, really inarticulate full of noisy and inordanate vivacity
Which jars discordantly upon the ear and gives an aching sensation to both pair of eyeballs
Noisy and inordinate vivacity

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa

In the beginning was a fear of the immigrant
In the beginning was a fear of the immigrant
He's made his way down to the dark riverside

In the beginning was a fear of the immigrant
In the beginning was a fear of the immigrant
He made his home there by the dark riverside

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa

He made his home there down by the riverside
They made their homes there down by the riverside
The city spread from the dark River Thames

They made their home there down by the riverside
They made their homes there down by the riverside
The city sprang up from the dark mud of the Thames

I say it again

'Cause in the Liberty of Norton Folgate
Walking wild and free
And in your second hand coat
Happy just to float
In this little taste of liberty
'Cause you're a part of everything you see
Yes you're a part of everything you see

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa... (continues till end)

With a little bit of this and a little bit of that
A little bit of what you like does you no harm you know that