Bring the Sea to Manchester We’re fair on the job that is taking people down I mean the ship canal from Liverpool Manchester’s a city you know of renown And go ahead now ought to be the rule The sea is far away which promises to stay And we cannot move our city to its shore But if we can’t move the town We can bring the sea down And fetch the cotton bang up to the door We've got the money, we've got the men We'll soon have the ships and we'll tell 'em then Where there's a will, there's a way as you must know To bring the sea to Manchester and Yo-heave-ho! You’ll soon see the sailors a-walking through the streets With the minders and the winders they’ll agree With each pretty face they’ll splice the main-brace And every girl they’ll christen Nancy Lee Bills and Sams and Jacks will be hauling up their slacks As they’re a-coming down the ship canal Who’d a thought they’d all say That we should come this way And drop anchor to the sound of city bells We’re bound to have more trade when the ship canal is made We can send our goods to India straight away To China and Peru, New York and Timbuctoo Our ships they will be sailing every day Independence we shall get of all the lot you bet Who’ve tried so often mills and looms to rob They must let us pass while we’ve got the brass To make a start and finish up the job Sailors homeward bound, their voices will resound If they meet another vessel on the way Let the winds blow as they will, we’re bound for Shudehill Where all the folk are Irish so they say Another on the main may be bound for Ancoats Lane And one for Rochdale Road all bright and trim Liverpools knocked out we have put our ships about And Liverpool will have to douse the glim To Salford you can go when the tide is running low And pick up shrimps and mussels by the score Fish for eels and soles all in the old bog-hole Or with Sally take a walk along the shore So we’ll wish them all success, may their shadow get no less The gentlemen who’re doing this so well Another gill we’ll fill and drink all with a will A health to Manchester and her new Ship Canal The words are transcribed from the Brian Peters' recording on 'The Bold Navigators' CD. Through the amazing Mudcat community I have had some help getting the words 'right', including help from Brian himself. He related the tale of how the last line on the recording came to be 'Here's a health unto the bloody ship canal'. 'Harry Boardman's wife Lesley, who was typing out a whole pile of lyrics from Harry to give to me (I was learning songs for a radio documentary) had got so fed up by that point that she inserted a little protest of her own. I only found out about it years later'. Additionally he adds : ‘In the original I seem to remember that the line in v4 went "all the pigs are Irish", which maybe meant simply that it was such a large Irish community that even the livestock spoke with an accent, but I decided to change it anyway to avoid any offence.’ My thanks to Brian for those fascinating insights. Recorded on :
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