NOSTALGIA: Wrong turn on A3 led to famous old song

Most of us have heard the sold song The Harbour Lights (spelt Harbor on the record label) and know the legend of how the lyrics came to be written.

Sunday, 3rd June 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 10:16 am
The Harbour Lights pub and restaurant at Southampton Road, Paulsgrove.

If you do not then let me tell you what Cliff Blake tells me: 'Jimmy Kennedy (1902-1984) from Northern Ireland was a songwriter lyricist. He lived with his mother in London.

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'In the late 1920s his mother had occasion to go over to the USA, and it was arranged that upon her return Jimmy would drive down to the Ocean Terminal in Southampton Docks to pick her up. Travelling down the A3 he came to Portsmouth not Southampton. Jimmy found himself at the top of Portsmouth Harbour with not a big liner in sight. He went into a rather remote pub (No.1 Southampton Road) to ask the way.

'Coming away again he glanced up at the inn sign and read The Harbour Lights. A few years later he cast around for a song idea, and remembered the pub name. Hence the song called "Harbour Lights.'

Jimmy also went on to write the lyrics to The Teddy Bears' Picnic.