Cockersdale and Keith Marsden Doin’ the Manch

Doin’ the manch is the title and first song on a re-released album of songs from Cockersdale and the pen and fertile mind of Keith Marsden. Hopefully this song is playing as a tribute to Keith who died in 1991.
The Manch is Manchester Road in Bradford which contained a record number of pubs most of which get mentioned by Keith in his humorous manner. There was also a serious side to Keiths songs about social conditions in the Yorkshire mines and mills and Cockerdale still sing many of them on the 3 CD’s and in live performances. The live show entitled ‘Picking Sooty Blackberries ‘ is pure Keith but Cockersdale performed ‘Lest we Forget’ the songs of Rudyard Kipling and Peter Bellamy at the Whitby Festival 2008.
Cockersdale Top Ten

Bring Us a Barrel
Follow me Home
Hills of Mullaghbawn
Lost at 21
Three Cheers for Booze
Will Ye Go Te Flanders?
Cholera Camp
Raglan Road
St Aubin sur Mer
Left, Left, Right, Steady
Morley Main =
Home Lads Home

I originally penned this comment in 2009 and went on to watch the reformed Cockersdale at Whitby. The music pathos and humour are still as evocative as the early days with Keith and Cockerdale. Been Around For Years one of 4 LP’s is still available from Fellside

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4 Responses to Cockersdale and Keith Marsden Doin’ the Manch

  1. Tom Smith says:

    Awesome !

  2. Alan Mitchell says:

    Hi. Jack Ashton really nice song and your rendition is superb, I would like to perform it some day, can you mail me the lyrics and chords for guitar, of course all references to the writer and performers of the work will be given. Many thanks


    • Hortoris says:

      Sorry I do not have the record

      • Hortoris says:

        Sorry I do not have the words – you could try a web search which brings up
        (Keith Marsden)

        Oh the times were hard and mean and our childhood days were lean,
        In the land they said was fit for Flanders heroes.,
        It was all a seaside show where poor folk couldn’t go,
        We just stood outside while others watched the pierrots.,
        And we only had to spend what our friend Sam Clegg would lend, ,
        There was little of Lloyd George’s promised glories,
        But each evening down the street by the gaslamp we would meet.
        And we’d listen while Jack Ashton told his stories.

        Aye we sat there and listened with our mouths open wide,
        Though we knew in our hearts that the old devil lied.
        But we needed to believe in the magic he would weave,
        And we took a glass for old times’ sake the day Jack died.

        Now our all-wise parents said that he’d a screw loose in the head ,
        And that we were daft to listen to his lies.
        But we saw their daily grind and heard the magic in his mind,
        And we knew who was daft and who was wise.
        Though he nearly broke our necks playing soccer on the Rec.,
        And his bowling with a corky could be gory.
        As the evening sun went down by the lamp we’d gather round ,
        And we’d listen while Jack Ashton told a story.


        Now that Jacks been laid to rest if there’s any justice left,
        He’ll be telling yarns now to the Holy Ghost.
        And gathered round his knee open-mouthed as we would be,
        Sit saints and angels, all the heavenly host.
        And he’ll tell them how he saved old Moses from the waves,
        And slew Goliath with one mighty blow.
        While an all-forgiving Lord listens smiling at his words,
        As we did by the gas lamp long ago.


        The “Rec.” is the Recreation Ground and a “corky” is cricket ball which is hard cork covered in leather.

        Good song eh?