8. The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset (1966)

Ah, let’s have a poem then, for a change of pace.  Here’s William Wordsworth with one of English Romantic poetry’s greatest hits, “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802”:

Earth hath not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! The very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

And alongside this portrait of the Thames at sunrise, let’s have a listen to Ray Davies, writing within sight of the same bridge at sunset some 164 years later.

The Kinks have so many fantastic songs about London, I’m half of a mind to declare that this week is “Kinks Week” and just post seven Kinks tunes in a row.

This song, I should confess, is not only my favorite song about London, it may simply be my favorite song of all time. Plus, Dave Davies’ glasses in the video are killer.

Ray Davies

Ray Davies

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