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Wednesday, 28 November 2007

TOP 8 Animals

I'm posting two pieces from my Moss Side collection today - one of them is about animals - sort of...

Smoking in Moss Side
the working girls do it most.
Standing there, their long hair
tied back – leaning on somebody’s
car, laughing, checking out the ‘dong’
on the police horse as it trots by.

It was Saturday afternoon at three o’clock when the chant went up.
Manchester Boot Boys!
And the Bovver Girls joined in, taking the bubble gum out of their mouths.
And expertly spinning it round and round and round an index finger.
Manchester Boot Girls!
They cried, flicking the sticky gum over the heads of the police line.
Towards the Rockers who gathered on the left side of the steep terrace.
The Boot Boys were a makeshift mob of Skinheads and Scooter-boys and Mods.
Most had Steelies, Hobbies and Docs on their feet and the Mods wore Oxfords.
The Bovver Girls wore Monkey Boots to the match in those days, with red socks.
And the Mods and the Skinheads and the Bovver girls all wore Crombie coats.
The Scooter-boys had Fishtail Parka’s with tin badges on the front.
They rode Lambretta’s with ‘Sex Machine’ emblazoned on the side panels.
The Greasers wore leather jackets with studs and sleeveless denim colours.
They all said that they rode Triumph Bonneville’s and six-fifty Norton’s.
The ageing Ted’s used to stand next to the Rockers on the left hand side.
The Ted’s always wore their drainpipes and winkle pickers or blue suede shoes.
When the game went quiet the Bikers would taunt the Scooter-boys like this:
‘Are you there skin?’
They would sing,
And the chant would come back,
‘Are you there Grease?
And the Rockers would laugh, giving a little wave to provoke the Mods.
‘Back to school on Monday!’
The Greaser’s would jeer.
‘Back to school on Monday!
But soon things would settle down and the whole of the Kippax Street would cheer.
When City scored a goal – everywhere, all round the ground the chant would ring.
Manchester la, la, la, la,

Manchester la, la,la, la...

This is a link to a story about the Moss Side Stadium with pictures of The Kippax Street Stand!

My 2nd place prize winning lyrics
for the 'Overdrive' competition
have been posted on my Proper Joe's blog.


  1. What a great read. I was living in London at that time, yet it could have been a million miles away from what you described.

  2. Thanks for the comment Keith, I'm describing a small segregated section of a very large standing crowd at Maine Road - There were similar things happening in the North Bank at Arsenal and The Shed at Chelsea. I know that most of the crowd in those days wore scarves - I have a picture of myself wearing two City scarves loose around my kneck and a third one tied in a knot. The Mods and the Rockers were into fashion first and football second, I think!

  3. Thanks be you're not a Man U fan (hate 'em -- though I support the other reds as my Dad was a Scouser). I really enjoyed this, it was vibrant.

  4. Thanks Jo, you know what they say? There's two great teams in Manchester, City and City reserves!

  5. i feel i totally absurd that the one time in our life cycle that we identify most with a group or fad is the same time that we fancy ourselves the most "individual"... why is that?????

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Mods, Rockers, Teddy Boys... you transported me back to the 60's in this super bit of a piece here... loved it!

    I was a greaser in the early sixties, in my pompadour with fenders on my twin 650 "Bonny", leaking Castrol, burning through Lucas Electric harnesses! My band played and sang DooWop until 1965, which saw me into the Mods camp as I took up playing the 'new' sounds coming cross the Mersey.

  8. Paisley, Good question!

    Rob, Many thanks for visiting and leaving such an interesting and well informed comment!

  9. Excellent! I was in a very different part of Manchester in 1969.

  10. Rambler and Tumblewords,
    Thanks for visiting.

    Crafty Green Poet,
    Are you really that old?

  11. Written so well!

    Juliet must mean when she was a kid. She ain't old!


  12. Hmm. Third try at leaving a comment, this time I'll skip the html.

    I could just about see you guys at the stadium, similar cast of characters, different costumes at our November cold High School American Football games. Oh, bad boys pressed into the crowd hoping to cop a feel, but too smart to try. The piece put me in mind of Take a Walk on the Wild Side: "and the colored girls sang, doh doh doh doh doh..."

    And thanks for commenting on mine. Too bad there's no podcast of you singing away...

  13. Thanks, Gautami...

    Rwellsrwells - Thanks for the visit and sorry you had trouble commenting.
    The song Manchester La la la la...
    was nicked from the kids tv show The Banana Splits! Tra la la, la la la la...

  14. Cool, a football poem and a very good one too. Pity it's Man City but at least it isn't the red bastards. Great football poem, there should be more in the world.

  15. Gingatao, So glad you liked it!


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