For more than 150 years, commuters have been bustling around London aboard the famous London Underground. With 11 lines stretching across more than 200 miles of the city, it’s no wonder that the public rapid transit system has inspired countless songs. Musical artists of all genres have let the rush of the London Underground influence their songs, from classic rock bands like The Rolling Stones to lesser known English singer-songwriters like Nick Drake. As you prepare to board the Tube or daydream about your own London adventure, here are some of the best London Underground songs to liven up your journey.
Before you hurry off to catch your train, don’t forget to bring along the essentials for your ride. Add these London Underground songs to your portable music player of choice, like the A Series High-Resolution Walkman®, and stow this tiny High-Resolution Audio player in your carryall bag. Along with your favorite beverage and a good read, you’ll be ready to ride the London Underground with these fitting songs.
“A Poem on the Underground Wall”
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Rushing about to make it to the London Underground on time can be a nerve-wracking process. Once you’ve boarded and the clamor of the commuter rush has settled down, hit play on Simon and Garfunkel’s “A Poem On the Underground Wall.” This subtle, playful track of guitar-filled pop is just the song for a relaxing ride on the London Underground. The sunny single comes from their 1966 album “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme,” and is inspired by a late-night graffiti artist who left his mark on the Tube.
Simon and Garfunkel eloquently paint a picture of a London Underground station preparing to close for the night. In High-Resolution Audio, the images of a “dark deserted station” come to life, as the pair harmonize to the lyrics of a final train leaving a station behind. Despite the hubbub of your own morning commute, “A Poem On the Underground Wall,” will take you to a place of solitude, and remind you to stop and enjoy the ride.
Artist: Nick Drake
The quiet acoustics of Nick Drake are the perfect accompaniment for the stillness of an early morning ride aboard the London Underground. In the peaceful single “Parasite,” Drake refers to The Northern Line, making it an appropriate London Underground song to listen to when you are aboard the black line. Referring to the second busiest line on the Tube, Drake’s subdued vocals serve as a stark contrast to the noise and hubbub of the bustling railway. As you enjoy your morning beverage of choice and collect your thoughts, “Parasite” will help ease you into the ride and gradually wake up for the busy day ahead.
In High-Resolution Audio, the track’s gorgeous melodies come to life, and it becomes apparent why Drake was such a highly regarded and acclaimed musician. Appearing on his 1972 album, “Pink Moon,” this song is one of the last that he released before his death.
Named for the newest line on the London Underground, Blur’s song “Jubilee” is the boost of energized rock ’n’ roll you need to make it to your station on time. Its tone and tempo match the hectic pace that so often accompanies public transportation. The song comes from the English rock band’s “Parklife” album, released in 1994. Formed in 1988, the group is famous for helping to establish the Brit-pop genre. Leader singer Damon Albarn, who is also the co-founder of the virtual band Gorillaz, team up with guitarist Graham Coxon and bassist Alex James to make up the band.
This London Underground song’s frenetic pace and Albarn’s familiar vocals will provide a jolt of rock ’n’ roll attitude straight to your ears in High-Resolution Audio. With bits of the chorus breaking down into shouts, and a backing of menacing guitar riffs and video-game like sound effects, “Jubilee” will leave you stepping off a station along the Jubilee line, ready to conquer the day.
“Play With Fire”
Artist: The Rolling Stones
With references to the Knightsbridge station and the Stepney line, the single “Play With Fire” from famed rock ‘n’ roll act, The Rolling Stones, is one of the best London Underground songs. The tale of a stylish high society girl was first recorded as a B-side before its inclusion on the 1965 release of “Out of Our Heads.” Although the single is not as popular as some of the band’s other fan favorites, its baroque pop elements that include the tambourine and harpsichord make it a unique and stylish addition to your playlist of London Underground songs.
Listen in High-Resolution Audio and you’ll easily pick up the song’s subtle nuances, like the acoustic guitar and the enhanced vocals that made the track so distinctive. Influenced by singer Mick Jagger’s relationship with a high society girl, the singer warns against an heiress with diamonds and tiaras who plays with his heart. The individuality of this Rolling Stones single makes for a sophisticated switch-up in tempo for your London Tube track playlist.
“The Guns of Brixton”
Artist: The Clash
With a nod to reggae and a suburban London Underground station, the song “The Guns of Brixton” is a punk rock anthem from The Clash. The first single to feature Paul Simonon as lead vocalist, the track nods to the community of Brixton. Included on the band’s acclaimed “London Calling” album, “The Guns of Brixton” is reggae rock with attitude and spirit. Its fearsome nature will inspire you to conquer whatever awaits you once you step off the train and begin the day’s adventure.
In High-Resolution Audio, the bold vocals of Simonon sound even more courageous and daring, with a bass line, guitar and drums all bolstering their cries of resilience. Taking inspiration from Simonon’s Brixton hometown, “The Guns of Brixton” will have you ready to explore the city as you tap your toes along to this tune the whole ride there.
Now that your playlist is set with the best London Underground songs, prepare to board and head off into the city. Whether you’re spending the day sightseeing or making your way to the office during your morning commute, these songs are sure to make for one memorable ride.