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the alley alley oh

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x georgia x | 18:06 Sat 15th Apr 2006 | History
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the childrens nursrey rhime goes : the big ship sails on the ally alley oh the alley alley oh alley alley oh on the last day of september


i worked out the alley alley oh was the manchester shipping cannal but what was the big ship ?

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I always thought the alley alley oh was the Atlantic Ocean!
Wikipedia says the Manchester Ship Canal, but that would seem to conflict with the last verse:
"The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea"
asn't it the ARMADA
Quite a number of Spanish ships are recorded as being lost off the coast of Ireland in the last week of September 1588. The words of the rhyme fit very neatly into the Atlantic Ocean and the Spanish Armada of August/September/October 1588.
I thnik I have read somewhere that Irish children used to call the sea the "Illey Alley O"
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does any 1 no 4 sure it was the atlantic ocean and the armada ?


wikipedia says it's popularly supposed to mark the opening of the canal, which was designed for ocean-going ships, so Manchester could become a seaport, rojash, so I guess it makes some sense.
georgia the Spanish Armada was defeated at the end of July 1588 so I doubt that was related. Also, the words sound quite modern.
Many armada ships did run aground off the coast of Scotland/Ireland in September 1588.
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this dosent help has any 1 got the right answer and were did the date 1588 come from ?


So sorry we're all letting you down georgia. 1588 was the date of the Spanish Armada; but it was in July, not September, so I don't think there's any connection with the rhyme. Nobody seems to know for certain what the rhyme's about but it has been traiditonally believed to be related to the Manchester Ship Canal. The big ship is probably just a big ship.
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thankyou every its much appricated if any 1 ffingd out what the big ship was could you post the answer thankyou


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i found it out the big ship was the bromley n it left the alley alley oh (the manchester shippin cannal) n sailed into the irish sea n sank on the last day of september thanks every 1
Having grown up in Salford ,the Manchester ship canal actually terminated in Salford Docks not Manchester, can i add a little. Even though the thread has been "dead" for a while.

Someone answered earlier and said about the Irish children referring to the sea as the Illey alley o,bear in mind a lot of the workforce on the MSC were Irish "Navigators" (navvies as they became known in the area) so called as they dug ,by hand, the NAVIGATIONAL canal's of the time.
A lot of them settled in the area and there families remained for generations,my own included, so originally it may have been from the Irish Illey alley o, but Anglicised.
One of the reasons for this Anglicisation may have been down to the geographics of the area. I recall as a child in 1960s and 70s that at certain points you could look down the alleys that ran between the back to back terraced houses and quite literally see the big ship sailing "down the alley".

The Docks are long since quiet and the area is now a Marina ,the warehouses of yesteryear are luxury flats.

The foghorns on the "Big ships" at midnight on new years eve at the Docks are still alive each year,but only in my mind,as I go back to those childhood days.

I may be an adult and moved away,but those days in Lowry's Salford have many happy childhood memories.

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