Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Dirty Old Town.

Image copyright Mark Page

There's a misconception that the song written by Ewan MacColl Dirty Old Town is an Irish song due to the popularity of The Pogues and The Dubliners versions. It's not though, it's about Salford. You can hear a good version of the ditty HERE if you've never heard it. The first verse of the song goes "I met my love by the gas works wall" And then it dawned on me that after passing these towers twice a day and doing a little research that this is what remains of Salford Gas Works and there is the bloody wall!
Another bit of useless information is that Salford Council were so upset at being called Dirty Old Town that they managed to persuade MacColl to change the lyrics from "Smelled a spring on the Salford wind" to "Smelled a spring on the smokey wind", thus loosing this song to the Irish and another piece of Salford heritage to oblivion.............

4 comments:

phillhunt said...

Interesting Mark. I knew Ewan MacColl wrote it but didn't know it was about Salford

Mark Page said...

Yep, wrote it in around 10 mins during a break at a play written by his misses called "Landscape with chimminies" that's the name of the play not the name of his misses.......... she was called Peggy Seeger I believe.

Mark Page said...

Yep, wrote it in around 10 mins during a break at a play written by his misses called "Landscape with chimminies" that's the name of the play not the name of his misses.......... she was called Peggy Seeger I believe.

Andy Clarke said...

I didnt know it was about Salford, always thought it was about a fictional town with the meaning embedded in the unexplained.

Interesting about the lyric change also!