The King of Rome

highflyersPigeon racing

The King of Rome

In 1913, Charles Hudson of Derby, England entered a pigeon in a 1,001-mile race from Rome, Italy. His bird won that race. “The King of Rome” by Dave Sudbury is a beautiful song that captures this man’s hopes and dreams and tells the story of a very special racing pigeon.

The King of Rome
By Dave Sudbury

In the West End of Derby lives a working man
He says ‘I can’t fly, but my pigeons can;
And when I set them free, it’s just like part of me
Gets lifted up on shining wings’.

Charlie Hudson’s pigeon loft was down the yard
Of a rented house in Brook Street where life was hard
But Charlie had a dream, and in 1913
Charlie bred a pigeon that made his dreams come true.

There was going to be a champions’ race from Italy
We got out the maps – all that land and sea!
‘Charlie, you’ll lose that bird’, but Charlie never heard
He put it in a basket and sent it off to Rome.

On the day of the big race a storm blew in
A thousand birds were swept away and never seen again;
‘Charlie, we told you so; surely by now you know
When you’re living in the West End there ain’t many dreams come true’.

Yeah, I know, but I had to try –
A man can crawl or he can learn to fly;
And if you live round here, the ground seems awful near.
Sometimes I need a lift from victory.

I was off with my mates for a pint or two
When I saw a wing flash up in the blue –
‘Charlie, it’s the King of Rome, come back to his West End home,
Come outside quick, he’s perched up on your roof.’

‘Come on down, your Majesty,
I knew you’d make it back to me
Come on down my lovely one
You made my dream come true.’

In the West End of Derby lives a working man
He says ‘I can’t fly, but my pigeons can;
And when I set them free, it’s just like part of me
Gets lifted up on shining wings’.