Tempered in the fire
Along the unhallowed way of dirt and constant traffic
This old man pushes this other old man, in a wheelchair,
Down this long, dreary Salford road in late November.
Always talking: talking of nothing, talking of the past
Talking of everything,: their lives and what’s to come.
What life takes and never gives back. The load.
With wheels of fire and halos running all amuck,
These two desperados meandered along past
The pound shops, and the bookies, and the booze 24/7ers
They know all these places very well. Too well.
Dave pushes Gaz through the kebab and fag litter
Outside Hope’s old A & E. Past the smokers,
Through the entrance, towards the woman,
They’ve come to see: their lovely, lovely mum.
Dirty old town is a song written by Ewan MacColl in 1949, sung here by MacColl and his wife, Peggy Seeger. The song is about the town of Salford, England, where MacColl was raised.