Soldiers Farewell to Manchester

One of the original broadsides we performed a version of last Thursday night. ¬†This was a plagiarised version of a much older song which was re-written to mention the newly opened Angel Inn on Rochdale Rd (1807), just a few hundred yards from Band on the Wall and the place where the soldier meets ‘the prettiest girl he ever did see’. ¬†Published in 1807 it is possible that the landlord commissioned the writers (who were based in Pearson’s Printers just a few hundred yards away) to re-write the song as a piece of marketing to attract men to come and drink in the tavern frequented by the most beautiful girls in Manchester – some things never change!

Soldiers Farewel

2 thoughts on “Soldiers Farewell to Manchester

  1. Clare Rose

    Marketing through songs was pretty common, though this is the earliest I’ve seen. In the 1840s there was a London shoe shop called Noah’s Ark with flyers parodying ‘Kelvin Grove’ :
    ‘If you wish to gain a spark [boyfriend],Bonnie Lassie O
    You must haste to Noah’s Ark, Bonnie Lassie O’ etc etc
    This shoe shop had a panoramic painting of the Deluge measuring 6ft x 16ft in one of it’s rooms – hence the name!

    1. Gavin Sharp Post author

      Hi Clare. Thanks for that and a really lovely example. It makes sense really that people would use songs in this way, and in some ways music is still used to promote products and commerce. Any other examples anyone? EII


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