Mudcat Café message #737384 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #48907   Message #737384
Posted By: GUEST,Nerd
26-Jun-02 - 11:29 AM
Thread Name: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
I don't think Jimmie Miller (aka Ewan MacColl) was ashamed of his Salford roots-- he was just proud of his Scottish heritage (his mum was from Auchterarder, after all). He was also an internationalist/communist, so his urban working class Salford roots were important to him. Remember, he wrote songs like "The Manchester Rambler" clearly indicating where he was from.

I agree it was dodgy to pretend he spoke in broad scots, especially when he imposed his guideline of "don't sing songs from outside your own culture" on others. But I think he saw himself as a Scot by breeding and a man from industrial northern England by birth, and believed he could fit into both categories, not deny one of them.

Clint--it's a great song. I agree it's not as sweet as "First time ever I saw your face" or as magical as "Sweet Thames Flow Softly," but it's fierce and emotional and vividly descriptive if you understand the words and have been in towns like that.