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Originally written by Salford born Ewan MacColl in 1949, this song paints a vivid picture of his hometown – a grey and polluted place populated with factories spewing smoke into the Lancashire skies and industrial waste into the local rivers.
Despite the gloomy imagery the lyrics so effectively conjure, it’s clear that MacColl loves his town – the grime, the dirt, the bellowing towers and the barren landscape. ‘Dirty Old Town’ is about pride and telling it like it is, not shame and wishful thinking. The IQ team has a very special relationship with MacColl’s masterpiece and wanted their favourite lines to form an integral part of their fledgling brand.
We first heard the song at Manchester United home games and, to us, it symbolises a hard and dirty life that was synonymous with an industrial city post-Second World War. Even today, there is still a sense from the people of Manchester that working hard and enjoying life go hand in hand. ‘Work hard and play hard’ embodies Manchester living, either as a native Mancunian or an adopted member of the city. Our brand wants to emphasise one key message: whatever you do, wherever you live, Freedom of Speech belongs to you.
‘Dirty Old Town’ is an officially licensed T-shirt and has been manufactured with full permission from Sony Music.
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