Streets of London – Ralph McTell
I don’t usually fall asleep easily unless there is silence (and Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkle was a contender for this 30 Day Song – but I’m digressing…). Words are a distraction as I do like listening in to conversations – if I can hear the words I stay awake eavesdropping and if there is just a low level buzz of voices I stay awake because I’m straining to make them out properly!
So songs, lullabies even, don’t really do it for me. But looking at the question another way (and putting my tongue firmly in my cheek!) the answer to “what music sends you to sleep?” would be “folk music”. In recent years, I’ve had my tastes broadened in this direction by Fiona and there have always been folk songs I’ve loved but I’m not immediately drawn to folk – particularly as you move away from Celtic folk or the American Dylan tradition to the more traditional gypsy style of British Folk.
Still, the question isn’t really looking for dislikes, so to answer it properly I took the folk music theme and trawled through my musical history for a song I really like in a lullaby kind of way and Ralph McTell’s ‘Streets of London’ popped up (as did many others in a similar finger picking guitar style).
I have a memory of hearing and seeing this played on Play School or a similar programme on TV when I was young (though it may be false, as I can’t verify it on Google or IMDB). I don’t have many early memories and it seems somehow appropriate. Mind you, another of those rare memories is of listening out specially for a birthday radio request from my Great Aunt for ‘Morning Has Broken’ by Yusuf Islam née Cat Stephens. That was another in the running for this 30 Day Song, ruled out because of the title!