When I first heard the lyrics for “One Love” from Manchester’s very own Stone Roses circa 1989, I was transformed from spotty-faced teenager to a wannabe Mancunian indie star. From bucket hats to flairs, to walking like a man monkey, Manchester was the epitome of COOL—and still is! Not to say that everything was a bed of Roses back then, but “One Love” really stuck with me. It was the anthem of my teens and, of course, what I told my then girlfriend.
To note, I’m a Northerner. A Scottish one, that is, from only a few hundred miles up the east coast from Manchester. Deep down, part of me will always be a Northerner. These days I seem to have found my way much further west — as far west as Brooklyn, New York — and seeing the Manchester arena tragedy unfold from afar two nights ago left me with a feeling of deep emptiness, and unease as to what might happen next.
Seeing the resoluteness, passion, and unity of the people of Manchester — from Tony Walsh’s uplifting poem “This is the Place” to the message of hope from the pupils of Chetam’s School of Music as they performed “Don’t Look Back in Anger” — Manchester is sending a powerful message of “One Love” to the world. And when Manchester says it, it means it.
We don’t need another love
One Love, one heart, and one soul
We can have it all.