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From City Life student special Oct. ’88.
A tongue in cheek article on the fine art of Manc- Speak for the newly initiated students to the jewel in the crown of the North West.
Pretty much like any migrant to a foreign land of the same mother tongue I often get the blunt statement “you’ve got an accent! ” to which I can only reply with the witty rejoinder along the lines of .”so have you...”.Well what can you say....? Funnily enough when I pop home from time to time I get the “you sound like an Aussie....” line ( if it’s true please shoot me!), so I may have to study this write-up before my next visit. Accents do change though. I know my Dad’s generation sounded slightly different and I think the accent’s got stronger amongst the young ‘uns, at least to my, by now, unaccustomed ear, over the ensuing years, especially post the “Madchester” thing, when everyone and his budgie claimed to be from round them parts. In the early ‘90’s, when I first arrived in Oz, you’d often bump into expats, backpackers and bratpackers round the watering holes who’d claim to be from M/c. Often, when queried , they would reply , well....Southport or some such, but on occasion when it turned out to be Hemel Hampstead, just south of the Cheshire border, well that was just taking liberties! It’s kind of interesting how many regional accents there are around the U.K. and I think Manchester’s got more than its fair share. It never crossed my mind in my whole life till I moved away and I started to wonder, why is that?Bit like ‘enry Higgins in "My Fair Lady".I remember on the odd time I’d have drive over the Woodhead or Snake Pass in the winter for some work thing and the road would be closed due to snow/ ice etc. and there must have been times when in the not so distant past when weeks or months would have passed and I think all those little hamlets and villages along the way would have been isolated and cut off from the world for a time.I reckon that sort of thing’s got something to do with it. I suppose those sort of idiosyncracies happen in most cultures around the globe.
Aaaanyway I won’t keep banging on; it’s just having seen the place from an outsider’s point of view, it’s kind of unusual and unique, and for some reason interests me. It might sound daft but when I was young there was no such thing as music sung with a noticeable Northern accent, except maybe for novelty songs from the likes of George Formby, Gracie Fields, Stanley Holloway's rendition of "Albert and the Lion" etc, and I suppose it was inconceivable that there ever would be.The majority of “serious” rock and pop music had either a pronounced American type accent, or some non descript middle England/ mid Atlantic accent. I’m probably way wrong but until particularly The Stone Roses, if I’d ever thought about it, it seemed highly unlikely to ever happen. Maybe you could tell Freddie and the Dreamers were from up north somewhere but it’s not quite the same thing. Of course J.C.C. might have been one of the first to add a hint of “coolness” to being from round the way, for which I think the Arctic Monkeys gave a respectful nod in his general direction; otherwise, from an outsider’s perspective it was business as usual with the cloth cap, whippets and “eh up chuck” type of thing that them down south had come to expect from the likes of Coronation St. etc...
Phew! Where did that come from?Never thought I’d write something like that; just this upload set me to thinking and as usual, that's a dangerous thing.....there’s a tinge of musical stuff in there though so it might sneak in under the radar.
Better move on before somebody notices.....
At a later date and after much soul searching"way wrong" = right.:- "Bootboys", "Kinnel Tommy","Bingo Masters", "orgasm Addict", "Attack", Discipline" spring to mind regarding singing with a noticeable regional accent. I was thinking more along the lines of Mindbenders, Hollies, Sad Cafe, 10cc and so on.Roses were certainly on the outernational stage though ,as The Mondays became too.
Phew!Glad I cleared that one up;think that butterfly in the Amazon was messing with my head....wants shooting etc...
Artefact added : 9th July 2011
by dubwise-er
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