Category: Uncategorised

BrannigansHaunted
If you’re a fan of spooky stories and spiritual shenanigans,
You’ll know that Manc’s most haunted is next floor up from Brannigans,
You’ll know the spirits on the optics aren’t the only ones in there,
Coz it’s haunted by the clergy men that used to meet upstairs.

The staff that used to work the bar said unseen hands would touch ‘em,
Whilst customers would complain that invisible things would push ‘em,
Down the stairs, knocking… their pint glasses to the floor,
So they sent in paranormal teams… in an effort to explore.

They said the lights flashed on and off even when the bar was packed,
They claimed glasses would float up, then to the floor they’d smash,
They said that there were cold spots and that gusts of wind would blast,
And claimed to hear the patter of tiny kids feet running past.

So they conducted a spooky séance to see what they could see,
And uncovered an evil spirit who called himself Godfrey,
They think that he did heinous things that no one could condone,
And found out that his spirit was anything but alone.

For upstairs above Brannigans there was a church for Methodists,
But something untoward took place; they think he killed two kids,
They say they haunt that boozer too, Philip and Elizabeth,
And have recordings of them crying, centuries after their sad death.

But more spirits are up there coz Godfrey wouldn’t repent,
So three clergy ghosts are said to guard him so they can prevent,
More wrong doing on his part…they won’t let him move on,
But they’re angered by our drinking and the drunken goings on.

So if this bar reopens and it gets to closing time,
And the bouncers say it’s time to go, never whinge or whine,
Don’t go down for one last wee in case you get locked in,
And get punished by the clergymen, for your drinking is their sin.

Copyright©2012 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.

Doorway Under The Arches

AlpineAl2

Can anybody tell me why he’s perched up there?
With his alpine dress and his unwavering stare,
Sitting on a window sill, high up in Piccadilly,
Sunbathing ‘n’ chilling’ even when it’s wet ‘n’ chilly.

He looks just like he’s resting from chopping up some wood,
Like he’s laid down his axe as soon as he possibly could,
So that he can take a breather from his alpine work,
But still he looks down on us with a casual, knowing smirk.

Because he knows the reason, even if historians don’t,
Of why this building was designed… so Alpine-ly bespoke,
It’s written on his chiselled face but he’ll never give a clue,
He’s the architect’s secret and won’t reveal himself to you.

A reference or a symbol or maybe just a quirk,
Is there even a real reason for his Mona Lisa smirk?
A riddle to solve maybe, in the reason for his being,
But have you even noticed this Alpine man I’m seeing?

His brother sits up there too, perching way up high,
But still no one can quite detail the real reason why,
With their square cut hats and long, curly, flowing hair,
They sit there all year and down towards the pavement stare.

They look down at Mancunians as they rush to and from the station,
Admiring the town of Manchester from their place of elevation,
Two little men of secrecy; maybe Austrian or Swiss,
Perched up so high in Piccadilly, they’re so easy to miss.

Yet branches of juicy apples decorate their home,
Is this the clue, I wonder, into which, that I must zone,
But I know my stab into the dark will just bring disapproval
Was this once a manufacturer of Austrian apple strudel!

Maybe it was a fruit factory, a warehouse to store apples,
But still there is no historic proof and still my mind it grapples,
Questions abound of who… what, why, where and when,
Can anyone unearth the mystery of Manchester’s alpine men?

There’s no link with the building to their place of birth,
But there must be a valid reason at least to prove their worth,
To prove… once and for all, why the builder went to the trouble,
To set Alpine Al in stone so intricately and then to set his double.

But now I’ve done my research and there’s still nothing to say,
To explain why the rooftops are inhabited in this way,
But somebody must know the reason and I don’t care how silly,
I need an explanation for the roof top men of Piccadilly?

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.

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Santa'sLittleHelpers

I live just round the corner and walk past it every day,
But I’ve never seen them build it; it springs up when I’m away,
An empty square to log cabins, stored on a million shelves,
But who exactly builds them up? Is it Santa’s team of elves?
Do they sneak onto the squares at night and build it whilst we doze?
In Albert Square and St Annes too and all down Brazennose,
Do they build them up in seconds, a whole village out of oak,
With Zippie shining merrily up high as Rudolph sings to folk,
A hundred elves all beavering, fixing roofs and walls,
Then filling up the goodies on the Christmas market stalls,
The only thing they don’t need magic for is the market going folk,
But then one day it’s gone away, not even a puff of smoke,
The elves have done their work once more and the markets disappear,
Leaving the merry folk of Manchester full of Christmas cheer.

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.

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ShamblesSquareTrainers
Sometimes when I’ve had a few, and just can’t get my bearings,
I end up lost on some back street, under my breath I’m swearing,

I’m sure it’s here but now it’s gone, I feel like such a loser,
Standing blankly on the street coz someone’s moved the boozer.

It’s must be here, it has to be, pubs simply cannot move,
It’s not like something tiny or like something you can lose,

But guess again in Manchester, where rules don’t resonate,
Where the pubs are known to up their sticks and sometimes relocate.

If trying to map a boozer then really heed advice,
Coz the Wellington and the Oyster bar have moved not once but twice,

One the oldest pub in town once from a Medieval Street,
But both twice moved completely just like they’d both grown feet.

For when they built the Arndale, to make the area neater,
They had to raise these boozers up by just over a meter,

And then again when the bomb went off in nineteen ninety six,
They had to lift those buildings up and move them both in bits.

They had to move them brick by brick, each piece of timber, every tile,
It really was a mammoth task and took them quite a while,

They stood side by side for all those years but now form Shambles Square,
Three hundred meters, up the road, winched up and through the air.

They moved ten thousand pieces of each pub through the air,
Replicating tobacco stains and signs of wear and tear,

So when you don’t know which pub is where, don’t take drunken gambles,
And don’t rule out the pubs that moved or the story of the Shambles,

Protected medieval history from an era long ago,
If you’ve never seen the Shambles then I suggest that you should go.

But please don’t trust your instinct and get a map that’s up to date,
Coz if those pesky pubs have moved again you’ll end up being late.

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.

Image ©Tom Holmes / JimmyLemon.co.uk - Licensed for "Linked Credit, Worldwide, Lifetime, Single Website, No Resale License" to Phil Martin on 8/12/11.

Image ©Tom Holmes / JimmyLemon.co.uk – Licensed for “Linked Credit, Worldwide, Lifetime, Single Website, No Resale License” to Phil Martin on 8/12/11.

Manchester_SkylineSun copy
We’re mad for the sun when the Med comes to Manc,
The rainclouds have cleared and it’s hard not to thank,
As our shopping chores become tomorrow’s tasks,
And we grind to a standstill as the whole city basks.

This sun-soaked scene is set all over town,
The city relaxes as the sun blazes down,
Piccadilly Gardens awash with sunbathers,
All thankful for one day the summer has gave us.

Kids dance through fountains in soaking wet duds,
Screaming and splashing in impromptu floods,
Moments to cherish in infantile minds,
As the sprays become waterfalls in far off climes.

But give up the shopping, it’s simply too hot,
And sit in the shade with the goods that you’ve got,
Time for a spritzer or a beer and a chill,
As Deansgate grinds to a sweaty standstill.

To Livingroom, too busy, there’s no space outside,
It’s standing room only in this patch we reside,
All seats are taken, folks spill out on the street,
Making the most of this unexpected sun treat.

To Saint Annes instead for a sun-filled lunch,
But it’s brimming with bathers nibbling butties or brunch,
Like continental coffee bars we’re all sitting outside,
The square spilling over as Mancunians fry.

So town is too busy there’s nowhere to sit,
But when it’s sunny, Castlefield’s always a hit,
The other side of town, it’s a bit of a trek,
But it’s designed for good weather so hey what the heck.

To walking the canals, it feels just like Venice,
But with cobwebbed tunnels brimming with menace,
Feeding the swans a stray bit of burger,
Then running for cover as ten of ‘em herd you.

To Sunglasses Sundays at Dukes Ninety Two,
If Manchester’s sunny it’s just what we do,
Relax in the courtyard with the sun on your face,
Reminding yourself why Manchester’s ace.

But it’s packed there already, no tables are free,
Coz at the first sign of sun there’s a Castlefield spree,
Didn’t know what to drink, in the end I got gin,
But at last, settling down to some people watching.

Nice lads dressed scally in shorts and in vests,
Girls out peacocking in nightclubbing best,
Hiding weekend sins behind their sunglasses,
But still with Saturday’s wristbands as passes.

The hoards clearly melting but still glitzed and glam,
Girls getting giddy on the sambucas they slam,
Lad’s necking Stellar; the Manc’s gettin’ coarser,
Monday’s work voices will be so much hoarser.

Squeezing in spots where the sun loves the most,
Castlefield’s always the most generous of hosts,
The sun beams down, perfect; we’re all in no doubt,
There’s no better place when Manc’s sun plays out.

But from nowhere a cloud comes into view,
It’s Manchester’s climate, there’s nowt you can do,
Then the downpour opens catching all on the hop,
And the Manchester monsoon means a see through top.

Everyone scatters like there’s darts in the rain,
Sending the sunshine down the Manchester drain,
The courtyard is emptied, the revellers all flee,
Or battle for shelter under the canopy.

The deluge is heavy, drops bounce on the floor,
It’s like we’ve never seen rain storms before,
Castlefield’s cobbles overflow with the flood,
As bullet sized raindrops are unleashed with a thud.

One drop is fatal, sabotaging girls’ hair,
Just yards to the entrance but no one will dare,
So stay under cover… all of us huddled,
Wondering why is our weather so annoyingly muddled?

But sack this we’re Manc, we know how it feels,
To be soaked to the skin in flip flops or heels,
With our wet hair plastered to our sun kissed skin,
To doubt a moment of sunshine is a Mancunian sin.

Umbrellas are useless, there’s just one thing to do,
So dance in the rain til your clothes are wet through,
Bright shine then deluge is our climate’s tradition,
Like someone’s forcing a wet tee-shirt competition.

But still… the rain… slams down in buckets,
As collectively Castlefield sighs, oh just ffff… forget it,
I’m wet now; it’s pointless I’m soaked to the bone,
But a sprinkling of water ain’t sending me home.

There’s an air of reluctance; that’s just how it is,
We don’t live in a Barca, a Rome or Madrid,
We all love our city if not quite its weather,
But when will we get a full summer ever?

The temperatures drop but the smiles ain’t gone,
We’re grateful for one day when it has shone,
Just one burning question will always remain,
When will Manchester be sun-kissed again?

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.

bookshttp://philmartinbooks.co.uk

HeatonParkDome2
The highest point in Manchester and this might not seem real,
Isn’t high up top some skyscraper or on the Manchester wheel,
It isn’t on Old Trafford’s roof although that’d be a lark,
It’s positioned on a hilltop in good, old Heaton Park.

Because the earl of Wilton, from many moons gone by,
Built an observation tower somewhere way up high,
Somewhere to use the telescope he’d bought from London town,
A place to watch the planets and the stars all move around.

He built a small rotunda room of columns to house his treat,
A tiny little domed-roof house with built-in fire for some heat,
A little lantern on its roof made sure the light was ample,
Delighted with his hilltop house he called it simply The Temple.

Children find it magical, a tiny round house on the hill,
Artists like to paint there to accentuate their skill,
It’s higher than City Tower, the Arndale and Hilton too,
So if you ever need the higher ground you know just what to do.

The city dances on the horizon in a blurry, summer haze,
Providing the perfect backdrop to think how to change your ways,
An ideal place for being thoughtful, so if you need to be reflective,
And use the highest point in Manchester to think and gain perspective.

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin

All rights reserved.

Doorway Under The Arches

Wilson

If ever there was anyone who should stand in Albert square,
Encapsulated in bronze glory, raised eyebrow ‘n’ floppy hair,
Pompously proud in statuette, for evermore for what he’s done,
So us Mancs could pay tribute to our Tony; Anthony H Wilson.

A post-modernist before his time, he changed the way we party,
A house, indie and punk pioneer despite being cultural and arty,
He ripped up London’s rule book and made music relocate,
Pimping all the local bands and making Madchester resonate!

With ‘blooded minded determination’, for better or for worse,
He campaigned to make Manchester the centre of the Universe,
In his quest for local talent, he set up nightclubs to unearth,
The best bands around, then signed the deal in blood to prove his worth.

He brought embryonic punk rock, to a shocked audience on TV,
And a conveyor belt of new bands through his label Factory,
He helped foster a new sound, one so Manc could lead the way,
And made Manchester cool again, standing tall with lots to say.

Factory took on the giants but hated commercialisation,
He didn’t want a sales team, and didn’t care for amortisation,
Factory was just a platform to show off Manchester’s best,
Bollocks to corporate profit, in this city he’d invest.

His Hac would rule in club land but would spin out of control,
But his influence was everywhere; it was just the way he’d roll,
In politics and broadcasting, in journalism and the arts,
His passion always Manchester, it’s where his swagger starts.

The Hac was an iconic noose but Wilson wouldn’t crack,
Never in it for the money, always giving something back,
Blue Monday’s sleeve was priceless; every single lost some pence,
Aesthetics over commerce, creative spark v common sense.

Corporately rebellious, Wilson didn’t curb his views,
Politically outspoken yet they let him read the news!
They famed him for his insight and his naughty news ad libs,
He’d rather tell it how it was than spout us corporate fibs.

He worked on World In Action, After Dark and other shows,
He hosted The Other Side of Midnight, What’s On and So It Goes,
They let him loose on the Politics Show, so he could air his views,
But I liked him best locally when he read the North West news.

He epitomised Manc attitude, he’d rather walk alone,
Aware of everyone and everything but preferring the home grown,
He riled them all and made his point often causing himself strife,
But all the while he tickled himself with the ridiculousness of life.

So a presenter and a journalist but culture was his heart,
Yet even in his life story, he claimed just a minor part,
He wound them up the right way; when told he was bold and brash,
He called himself ‘Anthony H’ so he’d sound even more flash.

His arrogance was rousing whilst his quotes were heaven sent,
Like not owning a record label but a human experiment,
He said that some make money and some make history,
His own words sum up his life, nothing short of an epiphany!

He claimed Ryder and Shakespeare were a chip off the same block,
Then he brought us In The City coz he wanted Manc to rock,
He campaigned for regional assembly and ‘The Necessary Group,’
He designed a flag for the North West but what was his favourite coup?

I’d say promoting Manchester and all that it bestows,
Coz he wanted folk to notice us and he wanted to impose,
Our city’s culture on the south and all around the world,
So the proud flag of his Mancunia could be defiantly unfurled.

He had a point on everything but his views would never bore,
His overflowing civic pride was a nice, heroic flaw,
He said we do things differently here in rainy Manc,
Where he helped to shape our history; we’ve got his ilk to thank.

For lauding our creation and our creative streak as well,
And pushing Mancs to the front if they had a skill to sell,
See our Tony was a helper of people with a craft,
But even at his funeral he had to have a laugh.

Coz everything was referenced; his coffin FAC 501,
His headstone carried a quote to remind us now he’s gone,
That people drop from history; every year it is the same,
But the influence of the truly great will eternally remain.

His quote is taken from a Manc book, of which he was a fan,
But sorry Toe, forget Jabbez, you’re the Manchester Man,
You’ve done as much as anyone in the post industrial age,
To put Salford and Manchester back on the front page.

So I’d like to see you cast in bronze from your barnet to your boots,
So Mancs can always celebrate the heritage of their roots,
Coz you fought to put our cities on the international stage,
Doing similarly to those statues from our great industrial age.

I’d really love to see you standing next to Albert in statue,
So I could nod to you with civic pride coz I love your Manchester too,
I’d like for you to pontificate over the Square for years to come,
So over the Centuries, Mancs won’t forget, the work that you have done.

It’s important they acknowledge you so then they won’t forget yer,
A revolutionist of the modern age, Tony Wilson, Mister Manchester.

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.

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ManchesterFirsts

“What Manchester does today, the world will do tomorrow,”
Before your eyebrows hit the roof and your fod begins to furrow,
There is a lot of truth in that, see, this city led the way,
And in many revolutions our inventions came into play.

Some of them are whacky and some of them are weird,
A treasure chest of Manc heritage now around the world revered,
For example did you know, we had the world’s first vegetarian?
We built the first public library and the first sshh librarian?

But I guess the rain that made us was focal way back then,
And our obsession with this water would make us reign again.
Coz our ancestors built the first canal the UK had ever seen,
And they followed this up by building the first mechanical submarine!

Then the country’s first steam boat and first steam powered mill,
Would spur industrial revolution, when Mancs just couldn’t stand still,
The Flying Shuttle, the Spinning Jenny and the Spinning Mule,
Were invented here in Greater Manc under industrial rule.

It’s true to say at that time we had ideas above our station,
Like launching the world’s very first, passenger railway station,
Ninety eight per cent of the world’s linen came from our cotton boom
Which forced us to build back then, the world’s biggest trading room,

The shock city of that century, once those cotton wheels got spinning,
And that legacy lives down under where Manchester still means linen,
In Sweden and in Germany, corduroy’s known as Manchester velvet,
So if you still think we’re insignificant, it’s probably time to shelve it.

The first purpose industrial estate sprang up in Trafford Park,
We had the very first retail shop owned by Marks and Sparks.
We invented the commuter town in Alderley Edge and Sale,
Whilst the whole basis of atomic theory from this town would hail.

See, the atom was discovered here and later it was split,
The elements derived from the work Dalton would submit,
Colour blindness, obstetrics and the study of the weather,
Were developed here in Manchester, my goodness, well I never!

Thermodynamics, Henry’s law, the categorisation of the Joule,
A hotbed for new scientists, Manc was no-one’s fool,
Industrialism drove the way but new technology was nearing,
With our Jo Whitworth becoming the daddy of precision engineering.

It was here they first launched microfilm and the micro-photograph,
And the first lonely heart advert, which could make you cry or laugh,
Coz in the 1700s Miss Morrison placed AN ad in the paper,
She was looking for a husband, it seemed a harmless funny caper.

But the authorities would disagree they frowned and they were glum,
And they locked up our poor Helen in a lunatic a-sy-lum,
But then followed women’s movements, like the Suffragettes,
Who battled for the female vote and the equality they would get.

The first post modern political movement would fight for a free trade,
Lowering the cost of bread and the prices that folk paid,
Years later the first meeting of the TUC was held in town,
Having formed itself in Salford at the pub called The Three Crowns.

Manchester was also where Britain’s first aeroplane was designed,
And between this city and Southport was the first scheduled airline,
Pilots of the first transatlantic flight, went to school around here,
Whilst a Manchester built aircraft was the first to fly to Australia.

So many different industries where Manchester played a part,
We also scored some firsts in the celebration of fine art,
We had the first professional orchestra, our world renowned Halle,
We’d host the first international art expo… in our gallery.

Back to the rainy weather the effect of which was blatant,
See rainy Manc was where a Mackintosh filed for his patent,
We led the way with reservoirs and municipal parks,
The first Nuclear Free City, the first Urban Heritage Park.

It’s been a meeting place for many, a point we should rejoice,
Because Manchester was where Mister Rolls meet with Mister Royce,
The football league was set up here in eighteen eighty eight,
So many firsts and records broke; at least one team was great!

The first to play and win in Europe, United were a rebel,
The first to win two doubles and the first to win the treble,
Whilst City are the only team, and this should make them proud,
To attract more than eighty four…thousand fans into their ground.

The world’s very first computer was developed at our Uni,
Whilst Greater Manc gave birth to the world’s first test tube baby,
Recently our scientists got the Nobel Peace prize for graphene,
For inventing the thinnest material the world has ever seen.

Top Of The Pops was launched here, I bet that was a treat,
Whilst we’ve got the longest running soap in Coronation Street,
They changed the course of clubbing with the infamous Hacienda,
And rocked the charts with Madchester, a near decade long, global bender.

We’ve served up Vimto from the bottle and Boddingtons from the keg,
The Manchester Tart, Betty’s hotpot and now the Manchester Egg,
Whilst England’s football kit was made by a company down the road,
So Manchester made England’s skin until Umbro was sold.

We boast the only national daily to come from a provincial city,
And if you add all that little lot up, we sound quite revolutionary,
Because remember…we’re not a capital, no treaty here was signed,
But we’re known all around the world and on Mars I think you’ll find.

So sure ok, it rains alot and the sun ain’t our best friend,
But it’s harsh to say that nothings ever happened round your end,
So if you think it’s boring here you should open up your eyes,
Because the list of firsts for this city far outweighs its size.

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.

Doorway Under The Arches

McClair2

United Road was heaving; I stood on the half way line,
I dreamt of FA glory, that trophy would be mine,
It was just a quarter final but it meant so much back then,
I’d watched the boys in 85 and craved cup victory again.

It meant a lot to everyone, the lads were going barmy,
Everyone was singing ‘on the march with Fergie’s army.’
But Forest had a handy team and hit us on the break,
Come on United equalise, for FFF Fergie’s sake.

We piled on the chances but the ball just woun’t go in,
But then we had a corner and I knew we could still win,
United Road was surging, to see I had to dodge,
As Brian McClair’s overhead was cleared by Stevie Hodge.

The Stretford End went wild; it must’ve crossed the line,
But the referee disagreed and then he blew full time,
United fans were raging, at least ten thousand fought,
The trouble lasted ages, all over the fore court.

My heart was devastated, couldn’t believe that we’d gone out,
We would have beaten Liverpool, of that I had no doubt,
So fast forward to April and the day of that sem-i,
My young mind disliked both those teams due to jealousy.

That day I sat in K-stand, Derby’s Goodard skinned Steve Bruce,
Then Hillsborough news filtered through and two morons gave abuse,
The rest of K-stand turned on ‘em and shout-ed the morons down,
And an uneasy, eerie silence engulfed everyone in the ground.

The news that some supporters died, slowly filtered through,
The game had lost significance; no one knew quite what to do,
The match day buzz had disappeared as we waited for the bus,
If Brian Hill had given that goal, it really could’ve been us.

It could have been your brother or you sister that had perished,
Maybe your dad or just a friend but someone that you cherished,
I had some friends on my Manc street who followed Liverpool,
They celebrated every goal on the fencing as a rule.

I wondered if they had got out, I feared that they had died,
It wasn’t until the evening that I learned that they’d survived,
They were singing on the fences at just gone two o’clock,
But sensed it getting too busy and moved over a block.

I’ve been to Anfield many times, the rivalry’s intense,
But you’d miss them too if they weren’t here, so show some common sense,
Coz as much as you hate Liverpool, we share a lot with them,
And few teams had the followings that we both had way back then,

I went to Hillsborough that very year, when Choccy scored a brace,
Twenty six thousands reds rocking; our support was really ace,
But if we’d beat the Forest, and the ref had give that goal,
It could have been those very fans that that fateful day had stole.

Because we travel in our numbers just like Liverpool,
And when we’ve got those numbers, there’s mob mentality rule,
Our aways are far from saints, let’s not kid anyone,
So would the same thing happen if it was us that day that’d gone?

Maybe there was pushing, I don’t know I wasn’t there,
A few folk might have gibbed in but I really couldn’t care,
Coz we woulda turned up without tickets, we woulda turned up late,
We would have gone into the ground if the cops opened those gates?

Ninety six innocents were taken that tragic day,
But United in the Leppings Lane might’ve acted the same way,
We would’ve tried to get in, in time for the opening goal,
See it wasn’t down to surging fans but lack of crowd control.

They couldn’t control the numbers that turned up for that sem-i
But just coz it needs controlling don’t make that crowd guil-ty,
And alleviate at one end and cause a problem at the other?
Why couldn’t those in control… communicate with each other?

Two pens with space, one pen full but no way those fans could know,
And once you’re though those turnstiles there’s only one way to go,
Those fences should’ve been opened way be-fore three o-clock,
They should’ve ripped down the lot before the game was stopped.

Read their stories, research their lives and never act the fool,
Coz the only real difference was their love for Liverpool,
Too many questions and few replies, two decades plus now on,
And still no answers for those fans about what really went on.

Think back to that poor bloke, who lost both his teenage daughters,
If you still can’t find that sympathy, you’re heartless and you’re soulless,
Look at the innocence in their photos and make it personal,
And if this tragedy don’t hit you hard, it says all we need to know.

So next time when it’s April and it’s semi-final day,
Forget about the Munich chants and the shite they used to say,
The ones that died were innocents, fathers, sons and daughters,
So remember the respect… that our own tragedy has taught us.

In whole we’ve been respectful but this is my regret,
That future generations… of United may forget,
Of what just really happened and who it happened to,
And that those innocents of Hillsborough could’ve been me and you.

See all those people out there who abuse on the internet,
You never knew this tragedy, otherwise you’d not forget,
But you say ‘this’ because they say ‘that’, who cares where it starts,
Abusing about these tragedies says just what’s in your hearts.

So by all means don’t like Liverpool, keep the rivalry intense,
But show respect for stolen souls, coz let’s make no pretence,
If our love for Man United had taken us there that fateful day,
We’d be demanding our own justice for the ones that passed away.

R.I.P. 96 (justice for football fans) R.I.P. The Manchester Flowers

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.

 

PortlandStreet
Like a Victorian game of Tetris where the buildings din’t land neat,
Lies the higgerldy piggerldy architecture of Manchester’s Portland Street,
Yet secreted in this skyline… of roofs that just don’t blend,
Lies a well brewed Mancunian treasure, a perfect hidden gem.

“Squeeze in, shuffle in, there’s room for just two more,”
It’s staggering how many drinkers squeeze through that tavern’s door,
Just room for thirty people and still I’ll sit on somebody’s knee,
Yet thousands of folk stare back at me from every place I see,

Their eyes, their eyes are everywhere, bearing down on me,
Thousands of folk all staring back and smiling relentlessly,
Everyone is happy yet none of them speak or change their pose,
Generations of drinkers, or just the famous ones I suppose.

Coz the smallest pub in our city has the biggest welcome in the world,
Where every drinking celeb in town is proudly unfurled,
A real star gazer’s paradise, a celebrity stalker’s passion,
With boozer’s faces stuck to the wall in time honourary fashion,

This boozer’s five-a-side team would beat any on the planet,
It’d win every week down at the Pitz until they’d have to ban it,
Coz Bestie’s there of course he is, along with Franny Lee,
Keano, Parker, Robson… Nobby and Paddy.

But it ain’t just the footballers who’ve had a pint in this tiny bar,
From Tony H to Muhammad Ali they’ve come from near and far,
Actors like Ray Winston, musicians by the score,
It’s a near infinite list of celebrity and I don’t want to bore.

But this photo wall of famous folk spans every generation,
Whilst two football teams lie side by side without any altercation,
Two tiny rooms, a tiny bar, your mates’ll never lose yer,
Just lose your inhibitions in Manchester’s smallest boozer.

It used to be the meeting place for all the acts they used to have on,
When 18th century circus folk would drink in the Circus Tavern,
Coz there used to be a big top close by on Chatham Street,
And this tavern was where trapeze artists and lion tamers’d meet.

The clientele’s still colourful and will always have a tale,
As the bar maid and the drinkers pass down your real ale,
It floats though the crowd and to your seat, no room to be nervous,
There’s really no more intimate pint than the one the Circus serves us.

Its size makes this place special as I feel like I belong,
As drinkers huddle together… forming just one throng,
One chat, one conversation and just one subject matter,
Every opinion is invited as the regulars nitter natter.

But with all the faces on the wall it really makes me think,
Since opening time in 1790, how many folk have bought a drink?
Since the days of that long gone circus and cries of roll up, roll up
How many folk have squeezed in here for an intimate, friendly sup?

A hundred thousand drinkers? A million, probably more,
I’d like to see every single face stuck onto their photo wall,
A staggering number of drinkers have crammed into that tiny space,
And they’d need every inch of this fine city if they printed every face!

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.

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