The City’s Soul In Verse

“This has always expressed its soul in verse. ‘Derry mine! My small oak grove/Little cell, my home, my love!’ – Attributed to St Colmcille. The saint’s story is told as St Columb in the Cathedral and as St Colmcille in the Long Tower Church.
‘The purple headed mountains/The river running by/The sunset and the morning/That brightens up the sky.” – Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander.  The 19th century hymn writer was inspired by the view of the Creggan Hills.
‘My heart beseiged by anger, my mind a gap of danger/I walked among their old haunts, the home ground where they bled/And in the dirt lay justice like an acorn in the winter/Till its oak would sprout in Derry where the thirteen men lay dead.” – Seamus Heaney. The poet expressed his reaction to the events of Bloody Sunday, 30th January, 1972, in ‘The Road To Derry’.
‘But when I’ve returned oh my eyes how they burned/To see how a town could be brought to its kneesBy the armoured cars and the bombed out bars/And the gas that hangs on to every breeze/
Now an army’s installed by the 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.’ – Phil Coulter ‘The Town I Loved So Well’. The singer-songwriter summed up how many people felt during the Troubles.”

Double Bastion, Walls Of Derry


Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney

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