Author Topic: What's Belfast  (Read 875 times)


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What's Belfast
« on: November 30, 2006, 02:57:56 AM »
Here's why Belfast is so dear to all of us. Coats


Iíll speak to you dear stranger, if you really want to know,
So listen and Iíll tell you why I love this city so.
Belfast is an Ulsterman with features dour and grim,
Itís a pint of creamy porter and a Sunday morning hymn;
Itís fish and chips in paper or vinegar with peas;
Itís a banner on July the twelfth, a sticky toffee apple.
A righteous little Gospel Hall, a Roman Catholic Chapel;
Itís a Telly Boy with dirty face, a piece of apple tart,
A fry up on a Saturday, a coal breek on a cart.

Itís a Corporation gasman, complete with bowler hat,
Itís a wee shop at the corner, a friendly bit of chat;
Itís an ould lad in a duncher, a woman in a shawl,
A pinch of snuff, a tatie farl, a Loyal Orange Hall.
A tobacco smell in York Street, a beg o yellow man,
Itís an Easter egg thatís dyed with whin, a slice of Ormo pan;
A youngster with some spricky backs inside an oul jam jar,
Itís a meeting at the Custom House or the old Victoria Bar.

Itís mud banks on the Lagan when the tide is running low,
Itís a man collecting refuse, bonfires on Sandy Row;
Itís a beg of salty dullis, a wee bowl of Irish stew,
A goldfish bought in Gresham Street, a preacher at a queue,
Itís a painting of King Billy upon a gable wall,
A fat flower seller on a stool outside the City Hall;
A half-moon round the doursteps, a polis man on guard,
A man whoís crying ĎDelf for Regsí, a little white-washed yard.

Itís the market on a Friday, the ships lined at the docks,
Itís a shiny polished fender, a bunch of green shamrocks;
Itís herrins fried in oaten meal, with a glass of buttermilk,
Itís a snowy linen handkerchief as soft as finest silk;
Itís a bap with country butter, a dander round the zoo,
A climb up tough Ben Madigan, to get the splendid view.
Itís a bunch of savoury scallions, a plate of buttery champ,
The hopscotch on the footpath, a swing arouní the lamp.

The delf dogs on the mantelpiece, yer wee man from the Pru,
Itís chimney sweep on a bicycle coming in to do the flue;
Itís the ever-present visits to the Hills of Castlereagh,
Itís the deathless hush on Saturday when Linfield plays away.
Itís ĎBy Killarneyís Lakesí on the bells oí the Assembly Hall,
Itís spiky coloured broken bottles on yer neighbourís backyard wall.
Itís a visit to your Grannyís and a wee hot cup o tay;
Itís bacon boiled with pamphery served up, piping hot,
With Skerry spuds Ď like balls of flourí cracked laughing in the pot.

Itís the Barney Hughesí hot cross buns, a canary in a cage,
An old man talking in the park of a past and glorious age;
Itís that sharp expressive dialect of everyone at large,
Itís a heap of coal on the Lagan floating on a barge;
Itís women on the windy stool when summer shines down;
Itís a great big wedge of apple tart, or a wee race into town;
Itís a needle from an anchor in Smithfields busy mart,
I think Iíd better call a halt before I break my heart.

So the answer, stranger, and now Iím sure youíll see,
Belfast, my city, is the only place in all this world, for me.


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Re: What's Belfast
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2006, 03:30:07 AM »
Did you write this poem Twocoats ??? It looks similar to one based on an original idea by Bill Nesbitt which appeared on the BBC "Your Place and Mine" Greater Belfast board It also appears in the Poetry section of Mary Lennon's website. I'm extremely surprised you made no mention of the fact that it is based on an idea by Bill Nesbitt when these other sites did so .. it's only common courtesy and takes so little time to give an acknowledgement.


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Re: What's Belfast
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2006, 03:34:55 AM »
No I didn't write this poem. It was sent to me in an email. As it cane over the internet and no one told me who it was written by I didn't try to find out who wrote it. I thought it would be nice for Belfast Forum participants. So please do not chastise.


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Re: What's Belfast
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2006, 04:12:18 AM »
 Absolutely loved it and have sent it to my folks in Belfast, .New Jersey, Washington D.C, Canada and to   lots of old G I buddies and 3 guys in Iraq .  It is getting around l T.C  They will all enjoy it


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Re: What's Belfast
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2006, 04:18:38 AM »
Glad you liked it Mageeka. It sums up things we knew as kids growing up in Belfast no matter what part. Coats