Category Archives: Poetry

Shadows of Salford

Ok, you’ve heard of Manchester United, right? You know, as in David Beckham? Well in the city of Manchester, England, is a place called Salford. It is a lonely place, a place where streets of boarded up terraces keep each other company with memories of the past. It is where the working class factory workers lived, it is the place where my Grandparents live, my Dad was brought up, and I was born.

This is a picture I took when I visited my Grandparents at Christmas. It always makes me sad to see the town, I feel bad for all the children roaming the streets and the general emptiness of the place. Although it’s always beenpoor, I imagine that once upon a time it was a lively town with a sense ofcommunity. Now it seems like a cluster of empty houses trying to cling onto their memories.

The famous artist, L.S. Lowry, created many paintings of Salford, painting a gloomy picture of the factory town, with ‘match stick cats and dogs’:

So there’s this song, it’s called ‘Shadows of Salford’, and it’s written by The Doves’. I think it just captures the whole feel of the place, and I hope that when you hear it you’ll be able to imagine what it feels like to be there. I always feel almost discontented, like it could become so much more – like it is only half way through a film which will have a happy ending. But at this time, the happy ending seems hopeless, like a far-fetched dream.

Read the lyrics:

Listen to the song here

In shadows of Salford
You will walk again
The shadows of lovers
All will be quiet then

The roads that your mothers
They would follow down
In shadows of Salford
Let me walk again

The love that you left there
Spoke without a sound
A love was so haunting
Lost and never found

The roads that your mother
They would follow down
For in shadows of Salford
You will walk again

I think what’s amazing about the song is that the lyrics, although capturing Salford’s ghost town feel, (‘haunting’ and ‘shadows’) there is hope. The song is declaring that it will ‘walk again’. However, perhaps the tune of the song gives a different perception – it is so melancholy and reflective of the past. Perhaps it is merely false hope.

I hope that Salford will walk again, for the sake of those memories, for the sake of the ghosts, for the sake of those houses with no owners…

Listen to the song here

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