Pete Sinfield - The Night People

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    Pete Sinfield - The Night People

    This poem/lyric by Pete Sinfield, written in the early nineteen-seventies paints an evocative and critical image of the London night scene.

    The Night People

    Blue neon clock fingers sneaking past the stars
    Extinguish the last fuse of day.
    Through black rain-wet streets rush bleary-eyed cars
    Stuffed with revellers drunk and blasé.

    In Soho stained waiters bang dustbins around,
    Commissionaires yawn into tweed,
    As empty and echo hose yesterday down
    The night people slide in between.

    Sallow dudes with spotlight eyes
    Pour laughter sauce on ice.
    Velvet dolls with brandied smiles
    Lean close with mouths of dice.
    The tunnel band plays studded drums
    And spits electric spears
    As the dancers kick like marionettes
    Through the smokescreen atmospheres.
    Dance on pale harlequins of night
    Lest you scratch your gilded fears.

    The paint peeling tea stall by Charing Cross bridge
    Attracts lonely moths to its lamps.
    In corners of archways on a benches oak ridge
    Lie newspapered wine-softened tramps;
    Pushed on by policemen and queueing for soup
    Evading the world's outstretched glove,
    But one pain they share with the jewelled ghost troupe
    Both searching for some kind of love.

    Gargoyles chewing on dead cigars
    Stack chips in crystal halls.
    Sequinned starlets scent their breasts
    Till the single finger calls.
    Rhinestoned strippers strut and peel
    For the cochineal stockade.
    The gangster roars his crew applauds
    At the punter's fun parade;
    All worshiping the jaws of night
    Where the piper is never paid.
    Champagned freaks in denim shirts
    Snort energy in spoons.
    Laughing girls ask zodiac signs
    But their eyes sing lonely tunes.
    It's four o'clock the wine is flat
    The coffee has long gone cold,

    The rustlers pay their last respects
    Then drive away blindfold . . . . . .
    Dead the hollow dreams of night
    Turn grey dissolve . . . .dissolve . . .

    Leaves dervish dance on the coiled wind of dawn
    Whisper . . . . The curtain lifts . . . . Day
    News vans and lorries with oranges roar
    From Fleet Street to Ealing Broadway.
    The first bus with charladies stops in the Strand
    Milk vans and post vans cruise by.
    At Euston commuters, shop girls and striped suiters,
    Are jostling and milling, cars hooting, brakes shrilling . . . . . .
    Last edited by Baron; September 3rd, 2007 at 12:50 AM.


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