Phil Ryan, who worked with Big Issue founder Lord John Bird 26 years ago to launch the magazine, has released self-penned single Walking Down This Lonely Street with the hope of securing festive glory – and supporting vulnerably housed or homeless people over the winter.
The song addresses the loneliness and mental isolation that many people face on the streets, particularly as the Christmas festivities move into full swing and comes complete with original music video.
And though mega-stars Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé may have just unveiled their Perfect team-up, Phil’s tune has already got the backing of the Big Issue vendors. The single is available now on all major music online stores, including the iTunes and Google Play stores, priced at just 99p with all proceeds going to The Big Issue Company to support their work in dismantling poverty.
Now we’re asking you, Big Issue readers to share your own version of the song – we’ve even given you the chords and lyrics to help you along. Make sure to share your efforts with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Walking down this lonely street
Got my story /Got me a name/Yes I’ve fallen/Maybe I’m to
B7 C#m A F#m
Blame/But just cos I’m low now/That won’t always be/Cos
someone like you can stop me walking down this lonely
A E B7 E
You could buy me a coffee/You can say hello/Talk about the
A E B7
weather buy a paper/Then on you go/ I don’t want
C#m A F#m
something for nothing/cos you can see that I ain’t beat/You
know someone like you can stop me walking down this lonely
Once I was loved yeah/Once I was wild/I had me a family/I was their child/And I got dreams just like you/For when our eyes meet/ you know someone like you can stop me walking down this lonely street
F#m G#m A F#m G#m
I just want a place to lay my head/A place where I feel safe
and loved and fed/like everyone/like everyone
Chorus and outro
F#m G#m A B7
Someone like you/Someone like me/Someone like us stop me walking down
lonely street – this lonely street (rpt and out)
Ryan, who has toured with The Animals in the past, said: “I was lucky enough to be part of the original team who set The Big Issue up 26 years ago. I later returned back to music. A few months back my friend John Bird asked me to write a song to let people know about the most important people at The Big Issue. The vendors.
The @BigIssue is powered by our all-important vendors: buy a copy of our Christmas single, 'Walking Down This Lonely Street, and support those who are homeless or vulnerably housed this freezing winter https://t.co/zV3C4hqdz1 #XmasNo1 pic.twitter.com/dBl8VWmovv
— John Bird (@johnbirdswords) December 1, 2017
“So I wrote this song to tell their story and to help The Big Issue raise money to help them continue their life journey. The best description of the song was when Bill, one of the vendors, heard me play it and said I’d just described his life. No higher praise is possible.”
Lord Bird added: “Phil is a very good friend of mine, he’s been there from the start when we founded the magazine back in 1991.
“I call on all music fans and anyone who wants to support the people we all see out on the streets in the freezing cold to buy the single and help us to offer these people the hand up that they need to make their way out of poverty.”