As a small provincial city punching way above its weight,
There’s a hundred thousand reasons why Manchester is great,
I’d be surprised if you’ve not heard of us, more so if you’ve missed us,
Coz this fine city called Manchester has many brothers and sisters.
Now this you might find staggering coz we sound like a world great,
But there’s thirty one Manchesters just in the United States,
To put this in perspective and quantify this conundrum,
The States has just five Liverpools and eight named after London.
There’s many other Manchesters, you should believe me if you can,
Because Manchester has name sakes in Bolivia and Suriname,
All over the world, far and wide, I’m not trying to fake yer,
There’s even towns called Manchester in Canada and Jamaica.
Australia has two great lakes named after this town of mine,
New Zealand has a homestead in the mountains you will find,
Gibraltar has a football club; South Africa has six farms,
There’s a farmstead in Zimbabwe too, all carrying our Manc charm.
But really? Why so many Manchester’s, spread so far and wide?
Why so many namesakes linked to this town where I reside?
United’s fame came far too late, though that’s got my brain spinning,
Coz we dominated like the reds when it came to the world’s linen?
We made ninety-eight per cent I hear… almost the one and only,
Is this the reason why Manchester will never ever be lonely,
Maybe the world would think of us whilst resting in its bed,
Whilst dressing in its cotton clothes, or towel drying its head.
Whilst laying out its table cloth, or pulling back its curtains,
I guess we’ll never really know and never truly be certain,
But add to that our politics as we battled for free trade,
Free thinking and free Manchester and the progress that we made,
See Mancs supported Lincoln and everything he fought for,
And signed allegiance with him during America’s civil war,
Synonymous with their president… as he abolished slavery,
Linking the name of Manchester to freedom and to bravery.
Their blockades stopped raw materials causing the Cotton Famine,
Forcing suffering and poverty but still they wouldn’t damn him,
Their support would never waver as he strove to make life better,
And he thanked the folk of Manchester with a Presidential letter.
Backing Abraham Lincoln saw Mancs become their foes,
And to honour this they built a statue on the street of Brazenose,
A brave new world was forming with Manc ethos at its heart,
Freedom, free trade, freedom of speech and for all a fresh, new start.
So maybe our cotton workers took the name with them,
When relocating to America where they looked to start again,
Coz you CAN take the folk out of Manchester, it’s true I’d never joke,
But you’ll never take the Manchester out of fine Mancunian folk.
Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.