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[31.01.2002] Dave Sudbury wrote :

I was pleased to see my song 'The King of Rome' on your website but noted the incorrect translation. Could you print the correct lyrics.
I can be contacted on:

Here's the way I (Dave Sudbury) wrote it:

King of Rome

  • (Dave Sudbury)

    In the West End of Derby lives a working man
    He says 'I can't fly, but my pigeons can;
    And when I set them free, it's just like part of me
    Gets lifted up on shining wings'.

    Charlie Hudson's pigeon loft was down the yard
    Of a rented house in Brook Street where life was hard
    But Charlie had a dream, and in 1913
    Charlie bred a pigeon that made his dreams come true.

    There was going to be a champions' race from Italy
    We got out the maps - all that land and sea!
    'Charlie, you'll lose that bird', but Charlie never heard
    He put it in a basket and sent it off to Rome.

    On the day of the big race a storm blew in
    A thousand birds were swept away and never seen again;
    'Charlie, we told you so; surely by now you know
    When you're living in the West End there ain't many dreams come true'.

    Yeah, I know, but I had to try -
    A man can crawl or he can learn to fly;
    And if you live round here, the ground seems awful near.
    Sometimes I need a lift from victory.

    I was off with my mates for a pint or two
    When I saw a wing flash up in the blue -
    'Charlie, it's the King of Rome, come back to his West End home,
    Come outside quick, he's perched up on your roof.'

    'Come on down, your Majesty,
    I knew you'd make it back to me
    Come on down my lovely one
    You made my dream come true.'

    In the West End of Derby lives a working man
    He says 'I can't fly, but my pigeons can;
    And when I set them free, it's just like part of me
    Gets lifted up on shining wings'.

King of Rome

  • (Dave Sudbury)

    Charlie was a do'e-fleein' man
    He said, I can't fly but my pigeons can
    When I set them free it's just like part of me
    Gets lifted up, up there so high on wings

    His pigeon-loft was in a rented yard
    That's where Charlie hid from life when life was hard
    He was gentle never rough but Charlie knew his stuff
    And he bred a bird to make his dreams come true

    That year was a champions' race from Italy
    They got out the maps, saw all that land and sea
    Charlie you'll lose that bird, but Charlie never heard
    In a basket the bird was sent to Rome

    The day the race began a storm blew in
    A thousand birds were never seen again
    Charlie we told you so by now you ought to know
    For folk like us not many dreams come true

    But Charlie said, Come on you've got to try
    A man can crawl or a man can learn to fly
    When you live round here the ground is awful near
    Sometimes I need a lift for victory

    One Saturday I'd had a pint or two
    I saw a wing flash up there in the blue
    Charlie, it's the King of Rome, the King of Rome's come home
    Come see him, he's perched there on your roof

    Charlie called, Come down Your Majesty
    I always knew you would make it back to me
    A thousand miles you've flown you deserve to wear the crown
    You King of Rome you've made my dream come true

    (as sung by Iain MacKintosh)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1985:] Pigeon racing, also called pigeon flying - racing for sport the homing pigeon, a specialized variety developed through selective cross-breeding and training for maximum distance and speed in direction flight. [...] Pigeon racing as a sport began in Belgium, where in 1818 the first long-distance race of more than 100 miles (160 kilometres) was held. [...] The sport gained prominence in the late 1800s in Great Britain, the United States and France. [...] The world governing body is the Fédération Colombophile Internationale, with headquarters in Brussels.

    Racers are trained, by repeated practice, to return to their home loft when released at various distances and to enter the loft through the trapdoors. At the start of a race, competing birds are banded [...]. As the birds enter their home lofts, the band is removed from the leg and placed in a timing device that indicates the time of arrival. The distance of the pigeon's flight is divided by the time consumed to determine which pigeon has made the fastest speed. A bird is not considered to have arrived home until actually through the trap of its loft.

    Pigeons have been known to cover distances of several thousand miles in returning home, and some have attained average speeds of better than 90 miles per hour (145 kilometres per hour) in races. (Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol 9, 437)

  • [1994:] Brian [McNeill] judged a song contest some years ago, and this song came fourth. Brian was outvoted - he wanted it to be first. (Intro Iain MacKintosh)

  • [1998:] June Tabor performs an a capella masterpiece called "The King of Rome", a poignant true tale about a ballsy pigeon who flew all the way home from Rome to the West of Derby in horrendous weather. Trust me, people, it's a tearjerker. (Nicola Barker, review of TV programme 'Ken Russell in Search of the English Folk Song', Observer, 30 Aug)

  • [2000:] Brian first heard this in the late eighties. A song of his own [...] had reached the finals of a national songwriting competition, and Dave Sudbury's pigeon-racing tale was one of the other finalists. [...] Dave came fourth - and Brian still maintains that The King of Rome was head and shoulders above every other song sung on the night, and should have won. (Notes Iain MacKintosh & Brian McNeill, 'Live and Kicking')

Quelle: England

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