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Play now 25 mins

Song By Song By London - Episode One

25 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 23 June 2012

It's a city that wisecracks, swaggers, sweeps you up and spits you out.

So Robert Elms is searching for the musical soul of London, celebrated in over a century of song.

He finds it in the characters of street sellers, wartime entertainers and the songs that were played in East End music halls.

He maps the music shaped by Mayfair ballrooms, Soho basements and afterhour's clubs in Ladbroke Grove.

What do Robert's personal musical highlights reveal about the history and geography of the capital?

How are the city's streets, people and characters reflected in its popular music?

Songs about park life, protest, housing or just looking out over a dirty old river - they've become part of the musical bricks and mortar that give the city and Londoners, a sense of place.

This two-part special features songs by The Clash, David Bowie, Lord Kitchener, Gert and Daisy, Lily Allen, The Kinks, Professor Green and many more.

***A podcast for this documentary will be available soon for UK listeners only***

(Image: Professor Green performing in 2010. Credit: Getty Images)


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