The Moor I see you

YOU know how those songs with American place names always sound so romantic? Well there's a new song just out which does the same thing for Sheffield.

Glenn Campbell sang about the Wichita Lineman and Little Feat went into a litany of alliteration singing "I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonapah" but this song can beat that.

American singer Amy Allison swallowed the Sheffield A to Z, went into a Los Angeles recording studio and sang a ditty called Sheffield Streets.

It's the title track of her fifth solo album which has just been released.

Click here to hear the song and watch the video.

It goes like this (although because of Amy's accent it's a little difficult to make out all the words).

The flat was cold so I would walk around

I felt so old but how I loved the town.

I walked so far, up and down the hills

I saw the Moor, I saw the mills

You have to imagine this sung in a nasal New York accent as Amy records her journey around . . .

Nether Edge, Sharrow Vale,

Oakbrook Road, Abbeydale.

Hunters Bar, Ecclesall,

Barkers Pool, the Cutlers Hall

They've never sounded so exotic. But why has Amy, thousands of miles away, written what has been called a love song to Sheffield with lines such as "The wind would blow, really chill the bone. As I put away a pint of Stones."?

According to local resident Jim Buck, Amy worked at a waitress at the Woodstock Diner on Ecclesall Road South in the early Eighties.

"She not only looked straight out of a Woody Allen movie but talked like it, too," he says.

Amy, daughter of the jazz and blues pianist and songwriter Mose Allison, came from Long Island to Sheffield with her husband and fell in love with the town.

"Amy loved living in Sheffield. She adored Castle Market, the Kashmir on Spital Hill, the Leadmill and, of course, the beautiful suburbs and their framing countryside," says Jim.

"Most of all, Amy loved the friendliness of Sheffielders so much so that when her husband wanted to move back to work in New York she did her best to persuade him to stay."

She left in 1983 but recently Jim looked her up on facebook and was delighted to find she was about to release Sheffield Street.

He says: "I think it is a lovely song and puts Sheffield alongside London, Paris, Manhattan and San Francisco."

She says on her website that she recorded it in LA with her friend, drummer Don Heffington in his home studio, duetting on one track with Elvis Costello.

She tells the Diary: "I have kind of wistful recollection of being there. I was lonely and cold a lot. I really did walk around all day, so I got to know the city pretty well."

The song, out on Urban Myth Records, is on YouTube, sung against evocative old Sheffield pictures.

She adds: Thanks for the attention. I am hoping Sheffield will make me famous."

What do you think? Add your comment below.


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