I Was Born In Liverpool Down By The Docks

Art, Artwork, John Atkinson GrimshawJim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: HOME TOWN OR CITY

Well you probably won’t have heard of the exact spot I grew up in, nor the village that used to house a maternity hospital where I was born. But they were both on the outskirts of Liverpool. The town I grew up in was full of Liverpool people, so that is the city I associate with my identity. Liverpool has a famous history all of it’s own as a major port for many decades. It also shares the shame of being a hub during the horrible slave trade – as is well documented at the Maritime Museum.

Beatles, Statue, Lennon, MccartneyWhat a city! I am spoilt for choice when it comes to musical heritage. I have decided to choose a song that I first learnt at primary school. Our Headmaster played the guitar. Some of my favourite memories of primary school were when the whole school gathered for afternoons of song. He would play the guitar whilst we sang the lyrics projected onto a screen.

It was great! We sang songs made famous by The Beatles and many other folk songs, some of them Irish. Liverpool is definitely a city with strong Irish connections. I have included below a video and the lyrics that I deem “safe”. I remember that the version we sang a primary school had some lyrics that were politically incorrect. There was a verse about the second world war and another about the fighting in Northern Ireland. Looking back, I am shocked that as little children we were singing those verses every week.

Three Graces, Liverpool, England, SunsetI love Liverpool I have to admit. It does feel like home. Liverpool people are on my wavelength (for the most part). I love the famous buildings, including the beautiful old gin palaces and the customs buildings. It is a big part of my identity.

One very distinctive aspect of the Liverpool culture is the strong sense of humour. Nothing is sacred (except football) and so it is not unusual to hear the most controversial of subjects turned into comedy. I grew up in a town where teasing was part of everyday life. I must admit, I loved that culture. It was a shock to me to leave Liverpool and move to a wealthy area where people seemed to take both themselves and politics seriously.

Water, Watercraft, Travel, River, ShipThe chorus lyrics below reference the distinctive scouse accent, the naked statue outside the old Lewis’ store (where couples would meet each other), two cathedrals that Liverpool has – the Catholic and Anglican cathedrals. I could tell you many more hints at the culture of growing up in Liverpool. The famous docks are also mentioned. For many years the docks were the provider of employment for many a Liverpool man, including my own father and his brothers. But I have to go to work…so I will end there and let you research if you are interested in the city of Liverpool and the song “In My Liverpool Home”.

 

CHORUS

In my Liverpool home,

In my Liverpool Home,

We speak with an accent exceedingly rare

Meet under a statue exceedingly bare

If you want a cathedral, we’ve got one to spare

in my Liverpool home

 

I was born in Liverpool, down by the docks,

My religion was Catholic, occupation – hard knocks

At stealing from lorries, I was adept

and underneath overcoats each night I slept

 

CHORUS

In my Liverpool home,

In my Liverpool Home,

We speak with an accent exceedingly rare

Meet under a statue exceedingly bare

If you want a cathedral, we’ve got one to spare

in my Liverpool home

 

When I grew up, I met Bridget Mc Cann

She said, “You’re not much, but I’m needing a man

I want sixteen kids, and a house out in Speke”

well, the flesh it was willing, but the spirit was weak

 

CHORUS

In my Liverpool home,

In my Liverpool Home,

We speak with an accent exceedingly rare

Meet under a statue exceedingly bare

If you want a cathedral, we’ve got one to spare

in my Liverpool home

 

Written by: Pete McGovern

 

 

 

20 thoughts on “I Was Born In Liverpool Down By The Docks

      1. How funny, I have the same horrible memories crossing from Le Havre to Southampton many years ago. Dreadful storms and of course we were on the only ferry that ran that night. I have never puked so much in my life 🤮🤣

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  1. Catchy little tune. Thanks for adding the link to your blog about the bad time in history about slavery. It was history that I needed for my novel. The part that played out in England is far in the background of my characters, but important data for me to have. You just helped me piece some of what was in my head together. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a very moving experience to visit the Maritime museum, especially as children. I also visited Cape Coast in Ghana, where they took us down to what was essentially like a dungeon where hundreds of people would be packed before being transported on boats over the the Americas. It really filled me with the full horror of what people did to members of their own human family.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed the slideshow and the song. Schools are places where children are culturally indoctrinated, so it is no surprise if there were putdowns in the song that the teacher had you singing it. What a horrible way to continue prejudice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had no idea until years later that the lyrics were so controversial. But that is a reflection of the humour around us when we were growing up. There has been a lot of suffering in the North of England (the work houses and factories) and from that developed a tenacious sense of humour, one that often poked fun at the wealthy and political.
      I remember as a child people were still making fun of World War Two sensitivities (the infamous episode of Fawlty Towers “you started it…” is a prime example of that kind of humour. The verse about the orange and green is taking a poke at the idea that the fighting was not really a holy war, but one primarily fueled by financial interests. As soon as I realized what those verses meant, I decided to steer clear of them. I don’t want to get involved in those issues or that kind of humour – it’s too sensitive. Too many people lost their lives for it to be a comedy.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you may be right. Didn’t Liverpool have a spit and polish before it was City of Culture a few years back. The camera may not have been great back then either. Cameras seems to have come a long way.

      Liked by 1 person

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