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Belfast Child lyrics

Simple Minds

When my love said to me,
Meet me down by the gallow tree.
For it's sad news I bring,
About this old town and all that it's offering.
Some say troubles abound,
Some day soon they're gonna pull the old town down.
One day we'll return here,
When the Belfast Child sings again

Brothers, sisters, where are you now?
As I look for you right through the crowd.
All my life here I've spent,
With my faith in God the Church and the Government.
Some say troubles abound,
Some day soon they're gonna pull the old town down.
One day we'll return here,
When the Belfast Child sings again,
When the Belfast Child sings again

So come back Billy, won't you come on home?
Come back Mary, you've been away so long.
The streets are empty, and your mother's gone.
The girls are crying, it's been oh so long.

Come back people, you've been gone a while,
And the war is raging, through the Emerald Isle.
That's flesh and blood man, that's flesh and blood,
All the girls are crying but all's not lost.

Well, the streets are empty, the streets are cold.
Won't you come on home, won't you come on home?

The streets are empty... Life goes on...

One day we'll return here,
When the Belfast Child sings again...

Song Details

Belfast Child
A Belfast child

Music: Traditional - Same tune as She Moved Through The Fair.

Lyrics: Simple Minds - a Scottish band formed in 1977

Released: Jan 18th, 1989 - on the album Street Fighting Years

Brief: The lyrics reflects upon the troubled history and conflict in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The impetus to write the song came after the news that a bomb had been planted by the IRA during a Remembrance Day service at Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, killing 12 people and injuring at least 63 others... read more

Belfast Child is a powerful and compassionate song that captures the struggles, resilience, and yearning for peace in Belfast. It serves as a reminder of the human cost of conflict and the universal longing for healing and rectification.

Asked why he used the traditional Irish melody, Jim Kerr, the lead singer of the band replied;
I first heard the melody a few days after the Enniskillen bombing, and like everybody, when you see the images I was sick. In the second part of the song, I'm trying to relate to people in Northern Ireland who lost loved ones. I'm trying to talk about the madness, the sadness and the emptiness. I'm not saying I have any pearls of wisdom, but I have a few questions to ask. Jim Kerr

Category: Anti-War

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