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Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal

Richard Mellish 04 Jan 20 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Ian Hendrie 04 Jan 20 - 02:04 PM
Brian Peters 04 Jan 20 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Ian Hendrie 04 Jan 20 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,Ian Hendrie 04 Jan 20 - 02:46 PM
Reinhard 04 Jan 20 - 03:03 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Jan 20 - 03:44 PM
Ian Hendrie 04 Jan 20 - 04:14 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Jan 20 - 04:33 PM
Richard Mellish 06 Jan 20 - 03:32 PM
Steve Gardham 06 Jan 20 - 05:09 PM
FreddyHeadey 10 Jan 20 - 04:11 AM
Richard Mellish 10 Jan 20 - 04:41 AM
Ian Hendrie 10 Jan 20 - 06:00 AM
FreddyHeadey 10 Jan 20 - 11:41 AM
Richard Mellish 11 Jan 20 - 05:48 PM
Richard Mellish 12 Jan 20 - 06:45 AM
GUEST 12 Jan 20 - 03:10 PM
Brian Peters 19 Jan 20 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Ian Hendrie 20 Jan 20 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Ian Hendrie 20 Jan 20 - 02:42 PM
Jeri 20 Jan 20 - 03:48 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Jan 20 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,Ian Hendrie 21 Jan 20 - 06:12 AM
Brian Peters 21 Jan 20 - 06:31 AM
FreddyHeadey 21 Jan 20 - 09:27 AM
FreddyHeadey 21 Jan 20 - 09:59 AM
Brian Peters 21 Jan 20 - 10:25 AM
FreddyHeadey 22 Jan 20 - 11:13 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 04 Jan 20 - 09:32 AM

A posting on another thread prompted me to start listening to Harry Boardman and Dave Hillery's album Trans Pennine, which I had downloaded a few years ago but then forgotten about. One of the songs sung by Harry Boardman is The Manchester Canal. Nonsense canal boat songs, of which this is one, have always appealed to me, so I am minded to learn it.

(There are some existing general threads about English canal songs, but those concern serious songs, not the nonsense ones.)

I have transcribed the words but there are a few that I'm not sure of and would be grateful to have clarified. The tune is the one best known as Yankee Doodle, though it has been used for many other songs before and since that one.

Oh the SS Irwell left this port, the stormy sea to cross.
They heaved the lead and went ahead, on a voyage to Barton Moss.
No fairer ship e'er left the slip from this port in the [town?]
Than the boats that plough the waters of the Manchester Canal.

The third day out or thereabout, a great storm swept the main.
The captain called his officer: I just forget his name.
"You see that light there on the right?" "Aye aye" he did exclaim.
"Well it's the Wilson brewery lightship at the ['ead/end?] of Ancoats Lane.

The captain's brow was darkened for he saw a storm was brewin'.
And the engineer reported that the 'orse it wanted shoein'.
"Is there a chart aboard this barque?" he asked of one or two.
The captain he was ashy pale, and so were all the crew.

"By gum we've lost our reckoning. Whatever shall we do?
We must be near to Bailey Bridge* and the banks of Pin Mill Brew."
Then all became confusion as the stormy winds did roar.
The captain wished himself and crew were safe again on shore.

"Let go the anchor, boys", he cried, "for I am sorely puzzled.
The mate is drunk and in his bunk. See that the cook is muzzled,
We're short o' grub in this 'ere tub, and we are far from land.
There's not an oat in this 'ere boat and the engine's broken down."

"Close reef the sales", the bosun cried, "We're in a great dilemma.
Just run [the pawl?] from [Ona Bay?], she cannot stand the weather.
She's sprung a leak. Now all is lost. Let each man do 'is best.
For soon she'll be a total wreck on the shoals of Throstle Nest†."

But soon the storm abated: it was rather over-rated.
When captain, crew and officers were quickly congregated.
They searched the chart in every part, to find the situation.
They were east-nor-east of Bailey Bridge, just south of Salford station.

* Bailey Bridge may refer to the bridge over the Irwell between New Bailey Street (named for the adjacent prison, which was there from 1790 to 1868) and Bridge Street, though an 1845 map does not name the bridge and a 1921 map identifies it as Albert Bridge.

† There are places called Throstle Nest but I can't find one anywhere near Manchester. There is a Throstles Nest pub in Old Trafford, but that's nowhere near the canal.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: GUEST,Ian Hendrie
Date: 04 Jan 20 - 02:04 PM

This might help :

http://www.waterwaysongs.info/manchester_canal.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Brian Peters
Date: 04 Jan 20 - 02:23 PM

Richard, I think Ian Hendrie's link will give you what you need - the only fault I can find is that it should be 'Wilsons' Brewery'. I learned this after Harry Boardman's death many years ago - like him I sing it to 'The Girl I Left Behind Me'. I seem to remember that the canal which passes the various named landmarks is actually the Rochdale, but should probably check.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: GUEST,Ian Hendrie
Date: 04 Jan 20 - 02:32 PM

Thanks Brian,
I've taken note of your observations and have corrected the fault, hopefully.
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: GUEST,Ian Hendrie
Date: 04 Jan 20 - 02:46 PM

Hi Richard

If 'funny' canal songs are what you are after then permit me to promote my website of canal songs some of which attempt to be humorous. I shy from self-promotion but as the website has had no visitors at all in the last three months perhaps I ought to be a bit more forthright.

My Waterway World

I know it's not proper folk music but what is?

Cheers
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Reinhard
Date: 04 Jan 20 - 03:03 PM

One small typo: The street name in the third verse is Pin Mill Brow.

I've added your transcription to a new page on Mainly Norfolk, The Cruise of the Calabar / The Manchester Canal.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Jan 20 - 03:44 PM

Another parody of TCotC, The Sheffield Canal, is on the Yorkshire Garland website www.yorkshirefolksong.net which you might like to link to.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 04 Jan 20 - 04:14 PM

Hi Steve,

I appear to have The Sheffield Canal on the website.

http://www.waterwaysongs.info/sheffield_ship_canal.htm

I'm not sure where I got it from, maybe your website, but I can't seem to locate it on The Yorkshire Garland site.

Cheers
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Jan 20 - 04:33 PM

Could have sworn it was on there. Maybe not. We included it on our last album sung by Mick. Our version came from Sue Sutherland of Sheffield whose dad sang it. I have a copy of the original sheet music to TCotC.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 03:32 PM

I am much releived that access to Mudcat seems to be back to normal again. It took me about four goes to get this thread started.

Thanks all for the clarifications, and for putting me right about the tune. Dunno why I said it was Yankee Doodle. The old brain suffers from glitches.

I would however beg to differ about it's being a version of The Cruise of the Calabar. The couplet
"Then all became confusion as the stormy winds did roar
And the captain wished himself and crew were safe again on shore"
is similar to one in TCotC, and of course the general theme is the same, but that's all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 05:09 PM

I don't think anyone has said that any of these canal songs are versions of each other. Their connection in style and format is obvious and together they form a strong family of songs. TCotC seems to have been seminal within that family.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 10 Jan 20 - 04:11 AM

For the sake of this chaotic journey I don't suppose exact locations were critical; or even all the better for being all over the place!

Pin Mill Brow is on the River Medlock over to the east of Piccadilly.

* Bailey Bridge
Yes, according to CanalPlan maps
New Bailey Street Bridge ('Manchester Ship Canal (River Irwell Upper Reach)')
 is at New Bailey Street\Bridge Street West(a continuation of Bridge St, not picked up on googlemaps except on streetview)
https://canalplan.uk/place/kp2q

† Throstles Nest Footbridge is on the Bridgwater, west of Pomona
Stretford, Manchester M16 9FG
https://maps.app.goo.gl/3hHhwNXYwttZ8sgK7


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 10 Jan 20 - 04:41 AM

FreddyHeadey, thank you. In my innocence I thought the places might at least be all on the same stretch of canal, but having them unconnected makes the nonsense even greater, for those who can identify them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 10 Jan 20 - 06:00 AM

I echo Richard's thanks to FreddyHeadey. I hope be adding some of his info to the webpage when I get a break from daily struggles with modern technology.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 10 Jan 20 - 11:41 AM

Here are some more links then

Barton Moss
About 8 miles from central Manchester.
Barton Moss, Eccles, Manchester M30 7RE
https://maps.app.goo.gl/n8vame4LHoLnrSae9

Wilson's Brewery
On http://breweryhistory.com/wiki/index.php?title=Wilsons_Brewery_Ltd the two storey building on the right looks like what is left of Wilson's Brewery, now 'Wilsons House'. It's a couple of miles from Ancoats; I don't see any evidence of an Ancoats Lane on today's maps.
Wilsons House, Monsall Rd, Manchester M40 8WN
https://maps.app.goo.gl/FMHvLyb6hCykVcGF6
It's about 500 yards from the Rochdale Canal.
When it had a chimney it would have been identifiable from a greater distance than today.

Salford Station(2020 'Salford Central')
about 200 yards north of the New Bailey Street Bridge
A34, Salford M3 5AX
https://maps.app.goo.gl/RxXJA9DnqiT7M5n39


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 11 Jan 20 - 05:48 PM

The song doesn't mention which "port" the voyage started at, but if they were passing Wilson's Brewery on their way to Barton Moss logic (insofar as logic has any place in such a tale) suggests they started somewhere further out on the north-west side of Manchester along the Rochdale Canal.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 06:45 AM

Oops! I meant north-east!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 03:10 PM

http://www.waterwaysongs.info/manchester_canal.htm

That may help you correct lyrics mentioned in the OP.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 10:23 AM

Good work, Freddy! Ancoats Lane became Great Ancoats Street, and the brewery certainly wasn't 'at the end' of it. Wilson bought the brewery in 1865, but it says here the name wasn't changed until 1884.

HB and DH's sleeve notes mention a print source but don't specify that it was a broadside. It would be instructive to dig it out in the Paul Graney archive.

At any rate, this thread encouraged me to sing the song again after a gap of about30 years, so thanks Richard for the OP!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: GUEST,Ian Hendrie
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 02:38 PM

This Old Map of Manchester shows most of the above venues. I'm working on adding Freddy's locations to the Songs of the Inland Waterways webpage, possibly with a map of some sort. This may take some time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: GUEST,Ian Hendrie
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 02:42 PM

O bother - map doesn't load.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 03:48 PM

Ian I don't know which map it is, but try right-clicking on the name of it, select "Copy Link Location", then paste that in here. It can be turned into a clicky.

Of course, if I'm lucky, this will be the one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 04:18 PM

If indeed the original is The Calabar which seems likely it's dated 1870.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: GUEST,Ian Hendrie
Date: 21 Jan 20 - 06:12 AM

Thanks Jeri,
The link you give goes to the right map - you just need to scroll to the east to get to Manchester. The slider allows the transition into a more modern map.
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Brian Peters
Date: 21 Jan 20 - 06:31 AM

What a wonderful map, thank you both. I was looking for something like this but hadn't found anything nearly as good.

Note that by this time (1888?) Ancoats Lane had already become Great Ancoats Street.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 21 Jan 20 - 09:27 AM

Excellent.
Here's that map centered on Manchester
https://www.archiuk.com/cgi-bin/build_nls_historic_map.pl?os_series=1&latitude=53.48&longitude=-2.24


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 21 Jan 20 - 09:59 AM

Some maps of Manchester dated 1874 but no fancy slider thing
http://www.artus-familyhistory.com/Manchester%201874/Main%20Map%201874.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: Brian Peters
Date: 21 Jan 20 - 10:25 AM

No Ancoats Lane in 1874...

Of course, we should allow the possibility that the wordsmith chose to use a defunct street name because it rhymed with 'main'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: The Manchester Canal
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 22 Jan 20 - 11:13 PM

*To go on about Bailey Bridge\Albert Bridge,,,
only because I was in Manchester today and saw a painting of it, 1912, titled "Bailey Bridge" by a local artist but captioned by the gallery "Bailey Bridge, more correctly known as Albert Bridge..."

And I see it has its own wiki page saying
"The new bridge was opened on 26 August 1844. The first vehicle to cross was a donkey cart, from Manchester.
... Albert Bridge replaced an earlier structure, New Bailey Bridge."


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Bridge,_Manchester


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Wilsons Brewery was on Monsall Road but the continuation of it, crossing the Rochdale Canal, is called Grimshaw Lane. That would have had a nice northern\Lancastrian industrial ring to it though I suppose it wouldn't have been particularly Mancunian.


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