Standing on a London station one morning after a particularly
bad blitz, Noel wrote "most of the class in the roof had been blown
out and there was dust in the air and the smell of burning. My train was
late so I sat on a platform seat and watched the Londoners scurrying about
in the thin sunshine. They seemed to be determined and wholly admirable
and for a moment or two I was overwhelmed by a wave of sentimental pride".
London Pride has been handed down to us.
London Pride is a flower that's free.
London Pride means our own dear town to us.
And our pride it forever will be . . .
In our city darkened now,
Street and square and crescent,
We can feel our living past
In our shadowed present
Grey city stubbornly implanted,
Taken so granted for a thousand years.
Stay city smokily enchanted,
Cradle of our memories and hopes and fears.
Ev'ry Blitz your resistance toughening
From the Ritz to the Anchor and Crown,
Nothing ever could override
The pride of London Town.
- Noel Coward, 3rd July 1941