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Back button | Home | Social History | The State of Bradford, by Eddie Lawler
Image: Michael de Greasley Added to website: 17 December 2009

Eddie LawlerEddie Lawler writes: Bradford city centre has, in my lifetime, been more destroyed than regenerated, and its current lamentable condition has inspired me to write my latest song, The State Of Bradford.

We proud Bradfordians are ashamed of what we have to show visitors in our centre, and the current plans for its future, should any of them come to pass, give little further encouragement.

Bradford centre needs building up into a dense hive of commerce and culture. It has, in fact, been built down over the years.


Play the song

"The State of Bradford" by Eddie Lawler >


The State of Bradford

“Pity Poor Bradford” the lady’s ghost said
To the Earl of Newcastle on his Bolling Hall bed
Next day he’d lay waste to the town, he declared
No mother, no child to be spared

But he called off that massacre of Bradford then and there
The Civil War’s horrors moved on to elsewhere
But go to Bradford today and take one look around
And you’ll see that it’s massacred now

In the Second World War we got off very light
Just a few German bombs hit the centre one night
It was when peace broke out the destruction began
And since then it goes on and on

We looked on as our swish Swan Arcade met its end
We were shocked to watch packed Kirkgate Market condemned
A unique Central Library brought low in days
Local history swept clean away

Not to mention two stations both razed to the ground
Their replacements moved further away from the town
Every trace of old Tyrrel Street flattened and bare
Now they call it Centenary Square

City Hall has survived, for the powers that be
To look out of their windows and what can they see?
To the West empty property seeking a role
To the East just a gigantic hole

But the civic establishment still had the cheek
To shout “Capital of Culture”, it fair makes you weep
When they’ve wasted five decades in wrecking the best
To leave us this hell of a mess

And the final mad project’s a lake, would you guess
To mirror grey cloud that sweeps over our heads
So the wind can howl freely round Jack Priestley’s coat
Whistling:  “Thank You  – for nowt”

A city-centre that offers you nothing at all
‘Cept a dip in a pond or a jump down a hole
Is an achievement that fully deserves the award:
Capital of Nowhere-at-All

So we say to the ghost who once haunted our city
You can toddle off home love, there’s nowt left to pity……

Or roll up them long sleeves and get cracking and then
We’ll build Bradford back up again

© Eddie Lawler 2009
Recorded 25th November 2009

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