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Lyr Add: The Flowers of Manchester (The Spinners)

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Fiolar 06 Feb 08 - 09:00 AM
Raggytash 06 Feb 08 - 09:04 AM
Brakn 06 Feb 08 - 09:11 AM
Folkiedave 06 Feb 08 - 09:16 AM
mandotim 06 Feb 08 - 09:19 AM
8_Pints 06 Feb 08 - 09:53 AM
The Villan 06 Feb 08 - 10:23 AM
GUEST, Sminky 06 Feb 08 - 10:33 AM
r.padgett 06 Feb 08 - 11:20 AM
Bernard 06 Feb 08 - 12:00 PM
Leadfingers 06 Feb 08 - 12:12 PM
r.padgett 06 Feb 08 - 12:56 PM
Brakn 06 Feb 08 - 01:59 PM
goatfell 06 Feb 08 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Roughyed 06 Feb 08 - 03:59 PM
Bernard 06 Feb 08 - 05:33 PM
Jim Carroll 07 Feb 08 - 02:43 AM
Folkiedave 07 Feb 08 - 04:00 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Feb 08 - 04:24 AM
FreddyHeadey 17 Feb 18 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Ian Hendrie 18 Feb 18 - 07:00 AM
FreddyHeadey 19 Feb 18 - 07:47 AM
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Subject: ADD: The Flowers Of Manchester
From: Fiolar
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 09:00 AM

Today (February 6th 2008) is the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster in which many members of the Manchester United football team died. The memory lives on in the marvellous song by The Spinners - "The Flowers Of Manchester".

THE FLOWERS OF MANCHESTER

One cold and bitter Thursday in Munich, Germany,
Seven great football stalwarts conceded victory,
Seven men will never play again who met destruction there,
The flowers of English football, the flowers of Manchester.

Matt Busby's boys were flying, returning from Belgrade,
This great United family, all masters of their trade,
The pilot of the aircraft and the skipper Captain Thain,
Three times they tried to take her up and twice turned back again.

The third time down the runaway disaster followed close,
There was ice upon the wings and the aircraft never rose,
It ran upon the marshy ground, it broke, it overturned.
And seven of the team were killed when the battered aircraft burned.

Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor who were capped for England's side.
And Ireland's Billy Whelan and England's Geoff Bent died,
Mark Jones and Eddie Colman, and David Pegg also,
Before the blazing wreckage went ploughing through the snow.

The trainer, coach and secretary, and a member of the crew,
Also eight sporting journalists who with United flew,
And one of them was Big Swifty, we never will forget,
The greatest English 'keeper who ever graced a net.

They said that Duncan Edwards had an injury to his brain,
They said that Jackie Blanchflower would never play again,
Matt Busby he was lying there, the father of the team
Six months or more did pass before he saw another game.

Oh, England's finest football team its record truly great,
Its proud successes mocked by a cruel turn of fate.
Seven men will never play again, who met destruction there,
The flowers of English football, The Flowers of Manchester.

Forever in remembrance.


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: Raggytash
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 09:04 AM

I've been singing this recently, got my version which is very very similar from the Beggarmen


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: Brakn
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 09:11 AM

See here.

Also if you have Sky or cable, MUTV is free today with many programmes about the Munich disaster.


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: Folkiedave
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 09:16 AM

I believe Eric Winter finally admitted he wrote it - although it was Anon for a few years.

Happy to be corrected on that one since I can't fin the reference.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: mandotim
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 09:19 AM

This is about my earliest childhood memory; I couldn't understand why my mum couldn't stop crying when putting me to bed after my third birthday party; 6th February 1958. May those gifted young people rest in peace.
Tim


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: 8_Pints
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 09:53 AM

Steve Turner sings this in a really haunting style.

I don't know if he has recorded it however.

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: The Villan
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 10:23 AM

I still remember vividly today the news saying that the Man U players were in an air crash at Munich and taht quite a few players had lost their life. I walked down to the chippy about 5:30 that afternoon, it was a dull drizzly evening and I had tears in my eye's. I remember the people in the chip shop discussing it and everybody was stunned.

I was 13 at the time and already an avid Aston Villa supporter and had got great pleasure from Aston Villa beating Man U in the FA Cup in 1957. We had beaten the Busby Babes.

I can't remember all the players that survived, but 2 that made it and I was so happy for them, were Sir Matt Busby and Sir Bobby Charlton.


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 10:33 AM

A few years ago I was doing some work in the loft of an old building.

I found a copy of the Daily Express dated February 1958.

In the 'Stop Press' column were the words "Duncan Edwards dies".

RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: r.padgett
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 11:20 AM

Yes this is all over the tv at the moment and I have an old friend who knew Tommy Taylor well

Two days of this so far on Yorkshire tv and on National tv today I haven't stopped crying yet!

Ray


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 12:00 PM

Yes, it was Eric Winter wot wrote it... Geoff Higginbottom also does a fine rendition!


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 12:12 PM

The link Brakn gives is to an interesting article - Eric Winter gets the credit there .


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: r.padgett
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 12:56 PM

Eric was a journalist and a singer in the traditional style I recall

Ray


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: Brakn
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 01:59 PM

I've got the song by "The Two Beggarmen"(Tony Downes and ?).

Watched a good bit today on MUTV - quite moving.


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: goatfell
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 02:52 PM

i don't like football but it still sad


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: GUEST,Roughyed
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 03:59 PM

Two Beggarmen - was the other Tony Kelly?


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 05:33 PM

Nope, Martin Lynott! These days he's with the Britannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup.


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:43 AM

Folkiedave,
It first appeared in 'Spin' magazine in the sixties uncredited, but I agree with you about Eric Winter being the composer.
I was an apprentice on the docks in Liverpool at the time of the crash and was first told of it by a docker - in tears.
Good song.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: Folkiedave
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 04:00 AM

Thanks for all those confirming anon and Eric Winter - as I get older I fear for my memory. Nice to know it works sometimes.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Obit: 'The Flowers Of Manchesters'
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 04:24 AM

In the Spinners version, it was slush on the runway rather than ice on the wing .
Also, I think "The great Mat Busby lay there..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Flowers of Manchester (The Spinners)
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 04:11 PM

An article published in "Great United Songs" a publication created by Manchester United fanzine Red News, in January 2005:

We have always begun each Great United Songs volume with our most poignant of songs, the Flowers of Manchester. It's origins are now clear. It was sent into a folk magazine "SING", anonymously, in October 1958. The words were printed, but no music accompanied it, apart from a note saying it was to the tune of High Germany.

The folk group the Spinners (led by United fan Mick Groves) started to sing it and anyone who has heard their live version played to a solemn packed out crowd in a Liverpool club on one of their albums can't fail to be moved. Mick Groves told Red News that his proudest memory of Flowers is the night I sang it quietly in a corner to Sir Matt and Louis Edwards.

Red News stalwart Teresa McDonald was determined to find out who had penned this moving tribute. At a jazz festival in Italy she met the ex-Spinners penny whistle supremo Tony Davis. Teresa wrote in RN at the time:

As soon as lunch was over I got Tony in a corner and asked him about the Flowers authorship. No problem, he said, he told me shortly before he died he'd written it.
Who?
Eric Winter, the Editor of Sing magazine.

He said Eric had written it in early 1958 and it was published anonymously in SING in October 1958. Tony said it was the custom for folk singers to write anonymously because it gave more credence to the material.

He added that after the inquiry into the disaster, Mick Groves changed some of the lyrics. (The inquiry to clear the name of Captain James Thain took eleven years and actually involved 4 inquiries two British and two German.)

Returning to England I contacted Cecil Sharp House The English Song and Dance Society who very kindly sent me copies of the original published version in SING in October 1958 plus the music to High Germany and some biographical data on the (to me) unknown Eric Winter.

Winter's 1958 version has many different lines and words to the now more well known latter version that has appeared in all the Great United Songs. Some verses show that it must have been penned in the immediate days that followed the tragedy.

Tony Davis also said that Ewan McColl collaborated on the Spinners version the Great United Songs rendition which could go some way to explaining why for so many years rumours had it that McColl was the author. After all the years of trying to track down the authorship of Flowers of Manchester, the Guardian backed this up for Eric Winter's obituary on 31st October 2000 which clearly states that his song, The Flowers of Manchester, prompted by the 1958 Munich air disaster, was recorded by The Spinners.

UPDATE March 2010..I received an email from Tony Davis

A very small amendment to your notes about the song. I didn't actually EVER say that Ewan collaborated in the composition of the song. When Mick began to sing the original version, he based his MELODY on Ewan's version of High Germany. This fitted so well and eventually became the recognised tune for the song. I rather think that poor Eric was never quite happy with it however!
https://theflowersofmanchester.co.uk/history/

see the site for more info


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Flowers of Manchester (The Spinners)
From: GUEST,Ian Hendrie
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 07:00 AM

Thanks FreddyHeadey for, yet again, your helpful research and the posting of the above article.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Flowers of Manchester (The Spinners)
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 19 Feb 18 - 07:47 AM

Ah, I'd been listening to Geoff Higginbottom in Manchester the other night (
Free Radicals).
! Realised I needed to brush up on my history !

~~~~~~~~
his cd btw, with his own songs plus FoM :
https://www.all-things-considered.org/product-page/the-flowers-of-manchester-cd


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