A Lion in the Streets

To a sluggard, a vision of a lion in the streets is just another excuse, outrageous but creative, to avoid work.

A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road,
    a fierce lion roaming the streets!”
Proverbs 26:13

But to a singer-songwriter and author, it is a picture of something else. 

Bill Callahan performing at ATP, April 2007. Licensed under the GFDL by the author; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

“Love is the king of the beasts
And when it gets hungry it must kill to eat
Love is the king of the beasts
A lion walking down city streets”
Bill Callahan

In his song Eid Ma Clack Shaw, American musician and author Bill Callahan imagines love as the king of the beasts, hunting for an unsuspecting prey in the city streets, just to satisfy his base desires.

Yet to playwright Judith Thompson, the Lion in the Streets is a depiction of evil and violence lurking among and within city dwellers.


In Italy, a pair of lions have been out in the streets of Florence since 1789. More popularly known as the Medici Lions, they stand guard at the entrance of the Loggia dei Lanzi, each with a ball under one paw, looking to the side.

Who knew that an incongruous picture of a lion out in the city streets could fuel the imagination of such creative minds?

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