The Dog and the Crow

Ralph McTell “Streets of London”

I remember an interview with Ralph McTell about this song. He said he wrote it for a ralph-mctellfriend  who was depressed and felt that life was not worth living. Ralph tries to tell him that there are many in the world much worse off than him.

Recently on my Facebook pages there has been much discussion about how artists respond to criticism and how the bad review or unkind remark can eat away at your confidence. Each of us has an internal voice that sometimes is supportive and other times critical and we have to achieve some sort of balance.

I am not a good sleeper and often lie awake and that’s when the crow comes, I realise that inner criticism is what can drive us on and I try to take something positive out of it but it isn’t always easy. Here is the poem I wrote down when I listened to “Streets of London”.

The Dog and the Crow


The dog sits by his side strong in limb and devotion

It waits for his command with panting breath

“Go, Master” It tells him “Yours it the certain path.”

It would follow him to the cliff edge and beyond

At his back the crow pecks sputtering out rueful words

Words of shame, words of quivering doubt

He hates the crow’s questions but they strengthen him

Reminding him that progress does not come from compliancy

As the moon rises he waits for fitful sleep but it evades him

Hiding behind the doors to hidden and unknown rooms

The dog sleeps beside the dying fire and dreams of biscuits

Whilst the crow’s haunted cries echo across the valley

© Jeff Price April 2017

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