Ballad of Wigan Pier

by Jack Winstanley

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Some people say that there's a pier in Wigan town somewhere
George Formby said it led to t'sands on stilts up in the air
Some folks'll say that it's a myth but I don't think that they're right
'Cos I once fell off yon Wigan Pier staggering home one night

'Cos it's long and it's strong and it leads nowhere
You can see it when the weather is clear
If you feel inclined, if you've got the time
You can spend a lovely day on Wigan Pier

I've taken part in catching tripe in waters deep and clean
You dangle mint balls on a string and hope that they are seen
Thy sticks of tripe'd swim around all shiny bright and new
And just to show where they come from, there's Wigan written all through

One day I saw the QE2 come sailing up to t'pier
The bunting flew and t'brass band played to show the Queen were here
She stepped ashore to thundrous cheers and started to recall
"I've seen some piers throughout the years but this pier beats 'em all!"

So if you are told that there's a pier in Wigan town somewhere
Don't laugh it off like others do, look round, you'll see it there
It's spick and span and painted white and standing out a mile
But if you're asked just where it is, don't say much, just smile!

Wigan Pier has been something of a 'joke' for many a year as Wigan is a considerable distance from the sea. The pier was actually a coal-loading jetty on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal where colliery wagons unloaded their coal into canal barges. It provided the title for George Orwell's 'Road to Wigan Pier' and has been a significant tourist attraction.

Recorded on :



Also on The Best of the Houghton Weavers - The Houghton Weavers (EMI Solo). Listen to it here :