My Sunday Song – “The Day The Ravens Left the Tower” by the Alarm

For My Sunday Song #46, I have chosen “The Day The Ravens Left The Tower” by The Alarm.  The song is off the album, ‘Strength’, from 1985 and is one of my all time favorite albums from the 80’s.  They were never hugely popular in the States although MTV played them a lot.  The album did reach #39 on the Billboard 200 Chart.

“The Day The Ravens Left the Tower” is a very dark song and was a real jump in their songwriting lyrically.  They have always been political with their songs, but the maturity and growth in songwriting really shined on this song for me.  I know I read this somewhere that the song was inspired by a hallucination that Eddie MacDonald had when he was sick with the flu.  I think that is cool if that is true.

What I am fascinated with about the song is actually the story of the ravens.  For those that don’t know, there are ravens that live in the Tower of London.  There have been ravens living there since as far back as 1660 or so around the time of King Charles II.  It is believed that the ravens are there to protect the Crown. If they should ever leave the tower, the Crown and Britain would fall.  I know there is a lot more to the story, but I am not a historian and the site is about music so you can look it up further if you are interested…it is fascinating stuff (also any UK readers want to add anything, please leave a comment).

There are currently captive ravens in the Tower of London and I am sure they are nicely looked after.  Below is a picture of a couple of the residents of the Tower.  They look quite happy and appear to be carrying on a conversation with each other.

Jubilee and Munin, Ravens, Tower of London 2016-04-30

Give the song a listen and let me know what you think.  If you like, The Alarm are worth exploring further.  Enjoy and Happy Sunday!!

“The Day The Ravens Left The Tower”

I’ve swept the floors of all my kings
I’ve opened doors and let the tourists in
Days of wine and roses
Prime ministers, red robes
These days are gone

I’ve stood on guard as my Queens were born
I’ve cut the grass on many English lawns
Of strawberries and ice cream
Of cricket and cold beer

These days
London Tower’s burning. Parliament’s ablaze
Buckingham Palace has gone
Somewhere in the distance my darling she’s a crying
I should be by her side

This is the day the ravens left the tower
This is the day the ravens fly away

Fly away, fly away
Fly away, fly away
Fly away

I’ve stood on the Changing of the Guards
To the Bloody Tower watching the Crown Jewels
A penny for the guy sir?
Will you vote left or right?
These days

London Bridge is falling
St. Pauls Cathedral bums
The tower blocks are gone
Somewhere in the distance my darlings she’s a crying
I should be by her side

This is the day the ravens left the tower

This is the day the ravens fly away

Fly away, fly away (fly away)
Fly away, fly away (fly away)
Fly away, fly away (fly away)
Fly away, fly away

And if I live to see the dawning of the day
I hope I’m in your arms as we get swept away

Oh darling I will be home soon
Darling I will be home soon

(Ring a ring a roses, a pocket full of posies
Atishoo, Atishoo, we all fall down)

Written by Eddie MacDonald & Mike Peters

7 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “The Day The Ravens Left the Tower” by the Alarm

  1. Great Welsh choice.

    My father-in-law spent time as a guardsman at the Tower. the ravens’ wings are clipped to stop them ever leaving, which is all a bit less romantic.

    Liked by 1 person

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