Everything smells of parting. I am walking through London’s streets with the same passion I walked through them when I came here but can’t help thinking: For how long am I going through these streets? Is this the end of an unrequited love to a city that has been inspiring but never very welcoming? A city that has put every stumbling block in my way possible? That kept me thinking from the beginning: Can I stay here? Will I find a way of living? And has never had an easy answer to these questions.
And if I leave, will I find the same in other cities’ streets? A man, walking through an urban forest with a guitar just like Bob Dylan? And this is just one example…
Emily tries but misunderstands / She’s often inclined to borrow somebody’s dreams till tomorrow / There is no other day / Let’s try it another way /You’ll lose your mind and play / Free games for May / See Emily play. Pink Floyd: See Emily play
When I came to London I was working in a London West End theatre as a bar maid. The bar had huge windows to Shaftesbury Avenue and Chinatown from which I could watch Soho’s colourful mixture of people passing buy. At times there were Chinese lanterns put up and every Saturday afternoon a group of singing Hare Krishna people was walking down the street.
I was working with a pretty, long-haired girl from Spain who struggled to speak English but we very much warmed up to each other. One day she put her earplugs in my ears and played Neil Young’s Like a Hurricane. I was totally unprepared for the wave of emotions the song triggered. This was one of the happiest moments in my life. I still could cry about the lyrics.
I haven’t heard a song by Tracy Chapman for probably 20 years. After her performance at the Nelson Mandela 70th Tribute Concert in 1988 she became a huge star in East Germany and then I loved her. I had forgotten about her – until today when a street musician in Brighton played her song “Fast Car”. I stopped and listened to the lyrics which I didn’t understand 20 years ago not only for lacking language skills and strangely, they were so close to me: You got a fast car / And we go cruising to entertain ourselves / You still ain’t got a job / And I work in a market as a checkout girl / I know things will get better / You’ll find work and I’ll get promoted / We’ll move out of the shelter / Buy a big house and live in the suburbs / You got a fast car / And I got a job that pays all our bills / You stay out drinking late at the bar / See more of your friends than you do of your kids / I’d always hoped for better / Thought maybe together you and me would find it / I got no plans I ain’t going nowhere / So take your fast car and keep on driving.
She’s a model and she’s looking good / I’d like to take her home that’s understood / She plays hard to get, she smiles from time to time / It only takes a camera to change her mind / She’s posing for consumer products now and then / For every camera she gives the best she can / I saw her on the cover of a magazine / Now she’s a big success, I want to meet her again. Kraftwerk: The Model
Zeittotschläger laufen um ihr Leben / bevor die Schulbank sie kriegt / und ihnen alles wegnimmt / Zeittotschläger laufen um ihr Leben / irgendwann hält Gott seine Arme auf / bis hierhin und nicht weiter / Wissen tut weh, Gott nicht / und ’33 war Adolf Hitler Gottes Sohn / Falsche Richtung! / Falsche Richtung! Blumfeld: Zeittotschläger