Ode to Manchester – Tony Walsh – Love to all!

A year ago today a terrorist religious fanatic attacked a bunch of kids at a concert in Manchester.

Somehow he believed that it was right to blow up young boys and girls attending an Ariana Grande concert. Somehow he believed that god wanted him to do this and would reward him.

I find it hard to understand that mentality. For me no sane god would reward such a cruel and callous act.

I find the doctrine that produces such a sick act an abomination.

That wicked act killed 22 innocent people and injured so many more. It tore the heart out of families and altered lives.

There can be no excuse.

Today we remember the innocent victims of that madness.

Tony Walsh summed up the response in his fabulous poem. He ended it with the most positive words:

CHOOSE LOVE MANCHESTER!!

That is the hardest thing!!

Today I remember that evil act. I remember the victims. I remember the sadness and grief.

Today I refuse to allow those people twisted by an evil doctrine to create hate and fear.

They must not win by dividing us, filling us with fear or making us hate. For that is what they want.

Today I say reach out, embrace, integrate and love. It is our unity and openness that is our strength. They must not be allowed to destroy that.

Tony summed it up-

LOVE NOT HATE – CHOOSE LOVE!!

This is the place in the North West of England It’s ace, it’s the best and the songs that we sing From the stands, from our bands set the whole planet shaking Our inventions are legends! There’s nowt we can’t make and So we make brilliant music. We make brilliant bands We make goals that make souls leap from seats in the stands And we make things from steel and we make things from cotton And we make people laugh, take the mick summat rotten And we make you at home and we make you feel welcome And we make summat happen, we can’t seem to help it And if you’re looking for history then yes, we’ve a wealth But the Manchester way is to make it yourself And make us a record, a new number one And make us a brew while you’re up, love. Go on! And make us feel proud that you’re winning the league And make us sing louder and make us believe it that this is the place that has helped shape the world And that this the place where a Manchester girl Name of Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side Led a Suffragette City with sisterhood pride And this is the place with appliance of science We’re on it, atomic, we strut with defiance In the face of a challenge we always stand tall Mancunians in union delivered it all Such as housing and libraries, and health, education And unions and co-ops, the first railway station So we’re sorry! Bear with us! We invented commuters! But we hope you forgive us – we invented computers! And this is the place Henry Royce strolled with Rolls And we’ve rocked and we’ve rolled with our own Northern Soul And so this is the place to do business, then dance Where go-getters and goal setters know they’ve a chance And this is the place where we first played as kids And me Mam lived and died here, she loved it she did And this is the place where our folks came to work Where they struggled in puddles, they hurt in the dirt And they built us a city. They built us these towns And they coughed on the cobbles to the deafening sound Of the steaming machines and the screaming of slaves They were scheming for greatness, they dreamed to their graves And they left us a spirit, they left us a vibe The Mancunian Way to survive and to thrive And to work and to build, to connect and create and Greater Manchester’s greatness is keeping it great And so this is the place now we’ve kids of our own Some are born here, some drawn here but we all call it home And they’ve covered the cobbles, but they’ll never defeat All the dreamers and schemers who still teem through these streets Because this is a place that has been through some hard times Oppressions, recessions, depressions and dark times But we keep fighting back with Greater Manchester spirit Northern grit, northern wit in Greater Manchester’s lyrics Banners referencing the bombing even reached Stockholm last year via support flags (Picture: Getty)And there’s hard times again in these streets of our city But we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity Because this a place where we stand strong together With a smile on our face, Mancunians Forever And we’ve got this* as the place where a team with a dream (*Forever Manchester) Can get funding and something to help with their scheme Because this is the place that understands your grand plans We don’t do No Can Do, we just stress Yes We Can! Forever Manchester’s a charity for people round ‘ere You can fundraise, donate. You can be a volunteer You can live local, give local. We can honestly say We do charity differently, that Mancunian Way And we fund local kids, and we fund local teams We support local dreamers to work for their dreams We support local groups and the great work they do So can you …help us help… local people like you? Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes Because this is the place that’s a part of our bones ‘Cos Greater Manchester gives us such strength from the fact That this is the place. We should give something back. Always remember. Never forget. Forever Manchester.

CHOOSE LOVE MANCHESTER!!

Lest we forget! Love to all those who suffered!!

Remember – those indoctrinated by hatred are victims too!

4 thoughts on “Ode to Manchester – Tony Walsh – Love to all!

  1. You’re right, Opher. Love IS a choice. And you have to know that those things don’t come from God. They come from fanaticism, narcissism, and a just plain evil spirit that influences this world. How do we get rid of that? Honestly, I don’t think we can. It’ a battle we will always fight because folks would rather blame some unknown God than see it for what it is. It’s always easier to blame someone or something else than take personal responsibility. Goes right along with the whole being in love with ourselves thing. (Not referring to you here, buddy. I know your heart about this whole mess that is our world… ❤ )

    1. Cheryl – I think the fundamentalist approach to religion is fuelling a fanaticism that is grotesque. Some of the teaching in the Koran and Old Testament are simply violent and tribal. How anybody can possibly believe that they would be rewarded for doing such evil things is beyond me.
      All I know is that we cannot stereotype people and that racism, xenophobia, fear and hatred are what the terrorists are wanting us to adopt. We have to respond with love and friendship. You don’t beat hate with more hate.

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