London Pride was written in the spring of 1941. I was standing on the platform of a London railway station on the morning after a bad blitz. Most of the glass in the station roof had been blown out and there was dust in the air and the smell of burning. I watched Londoners scurrying about in the thin spring sunshine—they all seemed to me to be gay and determined and wholly admirable and for a moment or two I was overwhelmed by a wave of sentimental pride. The song started in my head then and there and was finished in a couple of days. The tune is based on the traditional lavender-seller’s song ‘Won’t you buy my sweet blooming lavender’. I am proud of the words of this song. They express what I felt at the time and what I still feel, i.e. London Pride.
from notes by Catherine Bott © 2004