Scenes of Manchester


The scenes of Manchester I sing
Where the arts and sciences are flourishing;
Where smoke from factory chimneys bring
The air so black, so thick and nourishing. [Note 373.1]
Where factories that by steam are gated¹,
And children work half suffocated,
It makes me made to hear folk, really,
Cry 'Manchester's improving daily'.

There steam-loom weavers and cotton spinner
Have sixty minutes to get their dinners;
And then to make the people thrive
They're rung up in a morning at four and five. [Note 373.2]
Then if you get a drop on a Sunday
To get yourselves in tiff¹ for Monday,
The raw_lobster¹ pops you in the Bailey¹,
Since Manchester's improving daily.

We've coaches now that by steam power
Will take you thirty miles an hour;
And what's still more, the devil's in it,
They killed a parliament man in a minute. [Note 373.3]
They go so fast on the iron rails, O,
To Liverpool with men and bales, O, [Note 373.4]
'Twould make either Newton, Locke or Paley,
Cry , 'Manchester's improving daily.'

We've building large and grand to view,
Likewise Mechanics' Institutions, too, [Note 373.5]
Where gentlemen go to learn gastronomy,
Gymnastics, optics and physiognomy.
Where doctor Lardnerº's LLD, sir,
A-lecturing on steam power you'll see, sir.
'Twould look better on to turn his head,
And teach poor folk to get cheap bread.

In Cromwell¹'s day, by Fairfax¹ led,
The men of Manchester have bled, [Note 373.6]
And what still lives to their fame and glory
Is the famous Shudehill fighting story, [Note 373.7]
But war and fighting's out of fashion,
And patriots grown quite scarce I' the nation;
All that bleed now, good people, hark it,
Are the cows and pigs in Shudehill Market.