Henry's Songbook

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The Town I Loved So Well

  • (Phil Coulter / B. Martin)

    In my memory I will always see
    The town that I have loved so well
    Where our school played ball by the gasyard wall
    And we laughed through the smoke and the smell
    Going home in the rain, running up the dark lane
    Past the jail and down behind the fountain
    Those were happy days in so many many ways
    In the town I loved so well

    In the early morning the shirt factory horn
    Called women from Creggan, the moor and the bog
    While the men on the dole played a mother's role
    Fed the children and then trained the dog
    And when times got tough there was just about enough
    But they saw it through without complaining
    For deep inside was a burning pride
    In the town I loved so well

    There was music there in the Derry air
    Like a language that we all could understand
    I remember the day that I earned my first pay
    When I played in a small pick-up band
    There I spent my youth and to tell you the truth
    I was sad to leave it all behind me
    For I'd learned about life and I found a wife
    In the town I loved so well

    But when I returned how my eyes have burned
    To see how a town could be brought to its knees
    By the armoured cars and the bombed-out bars
    And the gas that hangs on to every breeze
    Now the army's installed by that old gasyard wall
    And the damned barbed wire gets higher and higher
    With their tanks and their guns, oh my God what have they done
    To the town I loved so well

    Now the music's gone but they carry on
    For their spirit's been bruised, never broken
    They will not forget but their hearts are set
    On tomorrow and peace once again
    For what's done is done and what's won is won
    And what's lost is lost and gone forever
    I can only pray for a bright brand-new day
    In the town I loved so well

    (as sung by The Dubliners)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1989:] Creggan Estate, an area that has become notorious for battles between the IRA and the British Army. (Denselow, Music 160)

  • [1994:] But of all the songs of those years [the early seventies] the one which has endured is, of course, The Town I Loved So Well. Coulter wrote it with Luke in mind, not only for his voice, but because, he said, 'Luke would bring to it the integrity that any writer looks for.' Luke's recording to this day has the power to move profoundly a generation hardly born when it was written. The song itself is arguably Coulter's best, but in my opinion far too many singers sadly trivialise it into sentimentality. When Luke sang it, it was a masterpiece because he brought his own heartbreak to the shocked, raw verses relating the destruction of home and childhood.

    Like all masterpieces, that song and its singer had universal appeal. Little else did as the '70s unrolled and circumstances became increasingly complex. Daily life in Northern Ireland began to ring with the calamitous echo of Clarence Mangan's apocalyptic translation of Róisín Dubh - 'O! The Erne shall run red with redundance of blood' [...]. The days when The Dubliners could bring huge audiences of Catholics, Protestants and dissenters together in Belfast's King's Hall to join in choruses of both Orange and green songs were suddenly gone - just as, decisively, were the times when the Miami Showband brought the young on to the same dance floor, far from the bigotry and tribalism of the older generations. (Geraghty, Luke Kelly 120)

Quelle: Northern Ireland

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aktualisiert am 03.05.2002