(Oh when my love, my darling,
You've left me here alone.
I'll walk the streets of London
Which once seemed all our own.
The vast suburban churches,
Together we have found:
The ones which smelt of gaslight,
The ones in incense drown'd)
This is an extract from John Betjeman’s poem The Cockney Amorist.
Betjeman was born at the turn of the 20th Century and is best known for his interpretation of the demoralisation of London and his beloved Victorian ideals. In the song Sheila, Jamie sings about everything Betjeman would have despised.