The Town I Loved So Well lyrics

Phil Coulter

In my memory I will always see 
The town that I have loved so well 
Where our school played ball by the gas-yard 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 walked the dogs 
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 learned about life and I'd 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

Song Details

Hands Across The Divide Sculpture - Derry, Northern Ireland
'Hands Across The Divide' sculpture
Derry, Northern Ireland

Composer: Phil Coulter

Born: Philip Coulter on the 19th February, 1942

Music Styles: Traditional Irish, Folk, Pop

Occupations: Singer-songwriter, musician, record producer

Instruments: Vocals, piano

Active Years: 1967 - present

Brief: The song is about Phil's childhood growing up in Derry, Northern Ireland where he was born - its beauty in simplicity and the sadness he felt when he left to pursue his career. Towards the end of the song, he relates the despair he felt when returning to his beloved town during the Troubles in Northern Ireland - to find it converted to a military outpost surrounded with barb-wire, guns and tanks and some of his favourite places in ruins - all so beautifully described by the line "Oh my God, what have they done".

Covers: The Dubliners, The High Kings, Pierre Bensusan, Paddy Reilly, and The Irish Tenors.

Category: Folk

Album by Phil Coulter - The Songs I Love So Well (Jan 1, 2000)

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