‘This is the Place’ – Tony Walsh aka Longfella

I heard this poem, by Tony Walsh, who performs his poetry as Longfella, when I was at the vigil in Albert Square, and it’s honestly become one of my favourite poems. I’m sharing it here, so that if you haven’t heard of it before, you can read it now. It’s as powerful reading it now as it was when I first heard it, this amazing poem, this beautiful ode to my city.

This is the Place

by Tony Walsh aka Longfella

This is the place in the north-west of England

It’s ace, it’s the best and the songs that we sing

From the stands, from our bands set the whole planet shaking.

Our inventions are legends! There’s nowt we can’t make and

 

So we make brilliant music.  We make brilliant bands

We make goals that make souls leap from seats in the stands

And we make things from steel and we make things from cotton

And we make people laugh, take the mick summat rotten

 

And we make you at home and we make you feel welcome

And we make summat happen, and we can’t seem to help it

And if you’re looking from history, then yes, we’ve a wealth

But the Manchester way is to make it yourself

 

And make us a record, a new number one

And make us a brew while you’re up, love. Go on!

And make us feel proud that you’re winning the league

And make us sing louder and make us believe it

 

that this is the place that has helped shape the world

And that this is the place where a Manchester girl

Name of Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side

Led a Suffragette City with sisterhood pride

 

And this is the place with appliance of science,

We’re on it, atomic, we strut with defiance,

In the face of a challenge, we always stand tall

Mancunians, in union, delivered it all

 

Such as housing and libraries, and health, education

And unions and co-ops and the first railway station

So we’re sorry! Bear with us! We invented commuters!

But we hope you forgive us – we invented computers.

 

And this is the place Henry Royce strolled with Rolls,

And we’ve rocked and we’ve rolled with our own Northern Soul

And so this is the place to do business, then dance,

Where go-getters and goal-setters know they’ve a chance

 

And this is the place where we first played as kids

And me Mam, lived and died here, she loved it she did.

And this is the place where our folks came to work

Where they struggled in puddles, they hurt in the dirt

 

And they built us a city. They built us these towns

And they coughed on the cobbles to the deafening sound

Of the steaming machines and the screaming of slaves,

They were scheming for greatness, they dreamed to their graves

 

And they left us a spirit, they left us a vibe

That Mancunian Way to survive and to thrive

And to work and to build, to connect, and create and

Greater Manchester’s greatness is keeping it great

And so this is the place now with kids of our own

Some are born here, some drawn here but we all call it home

And they’ve covered the cobbles, but they’ll never defeat

All the dreamers and schemers who still teem through these streets

 

Because this is a place that has been through some hard times

Oppressions, recessions, depressions, and dark times

But we keep fighting back with Greater Manchester spirit

Northern grit, northern wit in Greater Manchester’s lyrics

 

And there’s hard times again in these streets of our city

But we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity

Because this is a place where we stand strong together

With a smile on our face, Mancunians Forever

 

And we’ve got this place where a team with a dream

can get funding and something to help with a scheme.

Because this is a place that understands your grand plans

We don’t do “no can do” we just stress “yes we can”

Forever Manchester’s a charity for people round here,

you can fundraise, donate, you can be a volunteer

You can live local, give local, we can honestly say

we do charity different, that Mancunian way.

 

And we fund local kids, and we fund local teams

We support local dreamers to work for their dreams.

We support local groups and the great work they do

So can you help us help local people like you?

 

Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes

Because this is the place that’s a part of our bones

Because Manchester gives us such strength from the fact

That this is the place. We should give something back.

Always remember. Never forget. Forever Manchester.

 

Image credits:

Tony Walsh aka Longfella performing ‘This is the Place’ (23/05/2017) – newsamed.com

Poem by Tony Walsh aka Longfella (WebsiteTwitterFacebookYoutube)

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