The King of Rome

I left a comment on Ang’s blog today – she had posted about an Unthanks song – and I wanted to point her in the direction of another Unthanks song which I really love. And as I listened to it again, having found the YouTube video to link to for Angela, I thought I should share it with a wider audience.

It is a song that never fails to move me – partly the beautiful sound of the colliery band that plays along, but also the story of a working man who never lost faith in his pigeon.

Here is the Unthanks performing “The King of Rome” at the 2012 Folk Music awards.

Apparently, the bird is stuffed, and in Derby museum, and there’s also a Wikipedia article about the pigeon:

Some of the words are beautiful…

In the West End of Derby lives a working man
He says “I can’t fly but me pigeons can
And when I set them free
It’s just like part of me
Gets lifted up on shining wings”


A man can crawl around or he can learn to fly
And if you live ’round here
The ground seems awful near
Sometimes I need a lift from victory



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