New Song on the
Proposed Ship Canal

To enable large vessels to be navigated from Liverpool to Manchester

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We’re fair on the job that is taking people down,
I mean the Ship Canal from Liverpool.
Manchester, a City, you know of renown,
And “go ahead” ought to be the rule.
The sea is far away, which commerce does 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 bring the cotton bang up to the door.

Chorus :
We’ve got the money and we’ve got the men,
We’ll soon have the ships and we’ll tell them then,
Where there’s a will there’s a way as you must know
To bring the sea to Manchester, yeo, heave ho.

You’ll soon see the sailors strolling thro 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 christen “Nancy Lee”
Bill’s, Tom’s and Jack’s will be hauling up their slacks,
As they’re coming down the New Ship Canal,
Who’d a thowt it,” they’ll say, “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 Timbucktoo
Our ships will be sailing every day
Independent we shall get of all the lot, you bet,
Who have often tried mills and looms to rob,
They must let us pass, for 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 the pigs are Irish so they say
Another on the main may be bound for Ancoats Lane
Another for Rochdale Road right and trim,
Liverpool is snuff’d out, we have put our ships about,
And Liverpool will have to do us the glim.

Sailors when they come will smell of tar and rum,
And wear their trowsers awful tight behind,
They startle old maids who always are afraid
That men upon their backs want to climb
And Manchester lads will leave mam’s and dad’s
To lead a jolly life upon the sea,
When they hear the tide roar, just behind the back door,
Into bed you’ll tumble then with glee.

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 in the old bog hole
Or with Sally take a walk along the shore.
So we wish them all success may their shadow get no less
The gentlemen who are doing this so well,
Another gill we’ll fill, and drink with a will
Prosperity to Manchester and her Ship Canal.
Text is from a broadside which stated it was to be sung to the air "Grandmother's Chair" which was written by the music hall song writer John Read. The song snippet is from the 'Manchester Ballads' CD, courtesy of Mark Dowding.

Recorded on :

broadside