Ewan MacColl was a key figure in the second English folk-song revival of the 20th century. Like his peer & sometime friend A.L.Lloyd he was a committed Marxist & talented radio broadcaster. The Radio Plays he made with Peggy Seeger are quite amazing pieces & you can find them on YouTube & I recommend them. Ewan was a very talented songwriter & Dirty Old Town is one of his finest works. I love the Dubliner’s version. Luke Kelly was part of Ewan MacColl’s circle for a while & exported his songs into the Irish folk vernacular. Luke Kelly was one of the finest singers of any style in the 20th century. He had an ability to connect with material that is very rare.
There are many versions of this song about MacColl’s home town of Salford. Here is another.
If you want to hear more follow the link