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Talented Len sings the blues

PUBLISHED: 17:41 01 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:02 11 August 2010

DAGENHAM has been immortalised in the lyrics of a song penned by a life-long resident. Leonard Platt, of Coleman Road, a self-confessed jack the lad has had an amazingly varied life, working and travelling all over the world. He said: I ve done a b

DAGENHAM has been immortalised in the lyrics of a song penned by a life-long resident.

Leonard Platt, of Coleman Road, a self-confessed 'jack the lad' has had an amazingly varied life, working and travelling all over the world.

He said: "I've done a bit of everything; I've worked in the fish market, and driven buses and trains in London.

"I've had every job you can imagine - I've even been a roadsweeper, but that's life."

However, when the 80-year-old decided to write a song, it was his home town of Dagenham that inspired him.

He said: "I've worked abroad and in the army, but Dagenham has always been my home."

'I've heard love songs of woe' he sings.

'From New York to Mexico, from Memphis to Birmingham. but my girl left me in Dagenham.'

Despite the soulful lyrics of 'The Dagenham Blues' it is accompanied by an upbeat tune, much in the style of the 'Rockney' singers Chas and Dave.

Len said: "I saw them once and they were great.

My song is very much their style.

"I can't write the music, but I know how it goes and the words go with it."

The tune is certainly catchy, and the lyrics relate to landmarks which everyone will be familiar with: 'I searched all Becontree, then at the Cherry Tree;

'The duke box was playing sad songs of misery.'

When asked what had inspired him to write the song, the modest pensioner said: "I think anybody could have a go at writing a song.

"I'm not particularly educated but I've done it.

I love music and I'm quite good with words."

The song finishes with typically mournful lyrics for a blues tune: 'I was searching all in vain, I missed the last city train;

'A clickety clack on the District Line track, I'm coming back again.'


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