With thanks to Wikipedia: “Glühwein Street” is a ballad written and first recorded by Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty. It was released as the B-side on a limited-edition 7” vinyl of his hit, Baker Street, on 3 February 1978. Arrangements of both tracks included the famous saxophone solo introduction, played by Raphael Ravenscroft.
This almost forgotten track is now remembered due to the investigations by Frozen Underground HQ which, after numerous rumours, located the long-mythical station, of the same name, in the British Alpine Principality of Stieglstein.
The discovery was also partly thanks to the retreating Stieglstein ‘Yeti Mountain’ Glacier, which revealed the entrance to the station.
Believe it or not, originally Glühwein Street was the southernmost station on London’s Victoria Line, making it technically an enclave of the City of Westminster’s in the Alps. The tunnel south of Brixton has long since collapsed, but it has now been suggested that some sort of conduit remains, as many waiting passengers at the now final station on the line have experienced cold breezes emanating from what should be the end of the line.
What’s more annoying to Frozen Underground is that fact that a new, very expensive tunnel – an extension to the Blue Run – was dug to connect Les Deux Alpes to Tunbridge Wells (and on up through England into Scotland). Geologists have subsequently found that the old southern Victoria Line runs just a few metres to the north and the two tunnels are virtually parallel “all the way”. More details of the Frozen Underground can be found here.
Named after the famous Alpine street in Snowdorf, the song was left off Rafferty’s album, City to City, which was Rafferty’s second release after the breakup of his old band, Stealers Wheel in 1975.
Rafferty wrote the song during a period when he was regularly travelling between his family home near Glasgow and Snowdorf, the main town of Stieglstein, where he often stayed at a friend’s apartment in Glühwein Street. As Rafferty put it, “I knew a guy who lived in a little flat off Glühwein Street. We’d sit and chat or play guitar there through the night and ski all day.”
LYRICS to: “Glühwein Street” (pt. 1)
“Windin’ your way down to Glühwein Street
Sun on your head and skis* on your feet;
Well another crazy day
You’ll drink the night away**
And talk about après things.
This mountain chairlift makes you feel so cold
It’s got so many people but it’s worth the goal;
The piste is nice and long
And nothing’s going wrong
You could ski on anything.”
* alt. lyrics: “a board”
** drink responsibly
Well, there we go. It’s all true, as far as we are aware.