WATCH: Stirring poem ’This is the Place’ read at Manchester vigil

Poet Tony Walsh reads a poem during a vigil in Albert Square outside Manchester Town Hall
Poet Tony Walsh reads a poem during a vigil in Albert Square outside Manchester Town Hall

Here is the full poem, entitled This Is The Place, by Tony Walsh read out at the vigil for the victims of the Manchester Arena atrocity:

Manchester! 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

Civic leaders and politicians listen as Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins (centre) speaks

Civic leaders and politicians listen as Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins (centre) speaks

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

A man gives out food during the Manchester vigil

A man gives out food during the Manchester vigil

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

And if you’re looking for 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

The vigil in Albert Square, Manchester

The vigil in Albert Square, Manchester

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 the place where a Manchester girl

Name of Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side

Civic leaders and politicians listen as Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins (centre) speaks

Civic leaders and politicians listen as Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins (centre) speaks

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, 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 we’ve 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 a place where we stand strong together

With a smile on our face, Mancunians Forever

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.

Choose Love.

Poem reproduced in full with the consent of the author, Tony Walsh (@LongfellaPoet). The poem was originally commissioned by the charity Forever Manchester.