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​England 1914

This song is by Ralph McTell and appears on the album Spiral Staircase (1969).

Night stirs her inky finger
In the water of the day,
The tired sun drops slowly in the sky.
And everywhere the gentle air
Hangs heavy with the day song
Evening calls the lamplight out to come.

Children's wooden hoops
Go clattering down the street
Soon they're called inside, it's getting late.

The grand canal
Now splashed with red
Reflects on swallows wings.
The lamplighter knows the song
The evening sings.

But the gas-lamps stand like soldiers
Hiss warnings to the wind
Their evening vespers prophicy a war.

The world divides
And men take sides
The spark bursts into flame
Nothing can be quite the same again.

Dog barks in the distance
Child cries in her sleep
Night waits for the dawn with baited breath.

The old school, the old rule
Rung out on a muffinman's bell
The lamplighter has made his nightly call.

Dreams of hope and peace
Sent clattering down the streets
Empty like the promises they made.
The wars rage on, and different wrongs
Will someone please explain
That peace is not the lamplighter
'Cause he's not coming back again.