My harp will go on: Titanic battle looms as busker vows to keep playing hit movie theme tune

A busker criticised for repeatedly playing the theme tune from Titanic refused to be silenced today, vowing: “My harp will go on.”

Peter Murphy is a familiar sight — and sound — at South Kensington Tube station, but was singled out during a consultation by Kensington and Chelsea council over “irresponsible” busking.

Strict new rules due to come into force early next year could include bans on busking in certain areas of the borough, with transgressors facing fines.

Hundreds of residents had called for tougher action and one said: “Could you please ask the harp player in the South Kensington tunnel to introduce another song into his repertoire? The only one he can play (and he plays it incessantly) is the theme from Titanic.”

But Mr Murphy, 62, who left his accountancy job and learned the harp at 45, claimed he was “giving the people what they want”. He said: “People love film themes. I do covers because that’s what people like. I have done my own arrangement for Titanic and people love it. Sometimes there are so many stopping to listen they block the tunnel.

Stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1997 epic (Reuters )

“To be successful you have to play what is popular.” He also does weddings and commercial events and said he had played at The Ritz, Leeds Castle, the Café de Paris — and Buckingham Palace. He added: “Of course I know how to play other things. I have played at Buckingham Palace and had a four-year residency in a hotel. On the Tube it’s different, I’m giving people what they want. This is my living.” 

He plans to record his “unique arrangement” of My Heart Will Go On, from the 1997 epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Céline Dion’s version has sold 18 million copies.

Mr Murphy has a Transport for London licence to play at South Kensington. On the council’s plans to get tougher, he said: “On the Underground it works well with licences. However, there are raucous buskers in the streets sometimes and that can be a problem.” Fellow busker Terry Fox said: “Peter is great. He does play Titanic a lot but his music’s in keeping with the calm atmosphere.”

Kensington and Chelsea announced the crackdown after getting 1,200 complaints a year. It will use Public Space Protection Orders. Will Pascall, the council’s lead member for streets, said: “Our goal is not to limit artistic creativity but to enhance quality of life.”

Chester Bingley, of campaign group Keep Streets Live, called the move “an attack on freedom of expression”. Florist Linda Boyce, who works at Gilding the Lily in South Kensington, said: “We regularly ask buskers to turn their music down. One woman dressed as Pikachu and used to play club music and dance to it.”
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in january
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

England female basketball stars were joined by an NBA great to inspire young women to take up their sport. Siobhan Prior and Georgia Jones were joined by three-time NBA champion Bruce Bowen at the Jr. NBA Girls Clinic, hosted at CitySport in Barbican on Monday, before a game at the O2 on Thursday between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks. Prior and Jones, who were in the silver medal-winning England Women’s team at the Gold Coast Commonwealth...
Grieving parents heard that new medical practices could have saved their baby, who died in their arms at just four days old from preventable brain damage caused during labour. Sebastian Clark was born at Kingston Hospital on March 8 2017,  with devastating injuries from which he would never recover. Failure by midwives to escalate the case and subsequent failure by doctors to expedite the pregnancy, despite knowing that Sebastian’s mother Alison had develo...
A man has been tasered and arrested by police at a train station in south London. The 59-year old is currently being questioned on suspicion of attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon after being detained at Tulse Hill. British Transport Police officers were called to the station just after 6:30pm to reports of someone carrying a knife. Nobody was injured and the arrest is not believed to be terror related. Witnesses are being urged to conta...
A mother has died and her eight-month-old boy is in hospital after being hit by a car as they crossed a road. The woman, believed to be in her 20s, was pushing a pram when they were hit in Anerley, south London, last night. The boy is in a serious condition after suffering from life-threatening injuries. The driver of the car that is believed to have hit them was also taken to hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and is helping police with their inqu...
News Company
Breaking up with your partner is always a disastrous event. However, if your partner decides to break up with you, it isn’t necessarily the end. Statistically 66% of exes want to get back together again. 50% of separated couples reunite. Here we will show you tips on how to fix a broken relationship. If you want to find your love you must realize that it is all about respect and understanding your beloved one.  Accepting The Situation  You have to calm dow...
A Londoner who used to contemplate suicide on his morning commute is now running the length of every Tube line to raise money for a mental health charity. Daniel Sherry, 29, quit his sports PR job in April 2018 and set about completing “30 challenges before 30”, including running his first marathon and cycling from London to Paris. His latest exploit is seeing him traverse all 11 lines of the capital’s 249 mile-long underground network above ground, on foo...
The family of London teenager Jayden Moodie say he had no links to gangs and was "murdered in cold blood". Jayden Moodie, 14, was stabbed to death by attackers who knocked him off a moped in Leyton on Tuesday in what police believe was a targeted attack. The teenager had moved from Nottingham to London with his mother six months ago for a "new start". No arrests have been made over Jayden's death, the Met Police has said. Speaking near to the scene where J...
A clubber who ploughed his car onto a packed dance floor in a drink and drug-fuelled rage after being thrown out by bouncers has been jailed for 28 years. Mohammed Abdul said he felt “humiliated” after being ejected from Blake’s nightclub in Gravesend, Kent, on March 17 last year. He drank at least 15 glasses of vodka, tequila shots and more than “five to 10 spliffs” of cannabis before he got behind the wheel of his Suzuki Vitara. Bouncers had kicked him o...
More than 100,000 spectators will descend on central London to watch the Mayor’s firework display tonight as the capital gears up for New Year’s Eve. Barriers have been put in place lining the streets ahead of the display, which has sold out. Fences have also been erected around fountains at Trafalgar Square ahead of Tuesday’s New Year’s Day parade. Tickets are no longer available but the display is visible from Greenwich Park, Hampstead Heath, Vauxhall Br...