A Taste of Belfast and Brussels
(gentle acoustic guitar music) - Hello everyone. Good afternoon, and welcome to the first Presbyterian church here in Rosemary Street. My name is Sean Kelly, the director of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and the Out to Lunch festival, and today's event is part of the Out to Lunch in association with Culture Night Belfast.
We've got the immense talents of Anthony Toner, Ursula Burns, Ciara O'Neill and Stephen Connolly. It's going to be a treat. And I would like to thank The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels for supporting today's event.
I'm now going to hand you over to Anthony Toner. (gentle acoustic guitar music) - Hi Lynsey, thank you so much for joining us today at the start of what I think is going to be a really nice afternoon. Can you tell us a wee bit about yourself and your relationship with this particular event? - Thanks Anthony. My name's Lynsey Moore. I'm the director of The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive of Brussels, and the reason I'm here today is because over the last number of years, we've been collaborating with the Arts Council on what we call the Brussels platform, which is a way for us to bring artists from Northern Ireland over to Brussels to showcase their talents and obviously as well to showcase everything that Northern Ireland has to offer in Brussels. - Well, I have to declare an interest here because I am one of the artists who's made the trip over to Brussels and it's an extraordinary thing to do.
And I knew that there was a connection there with the Arts Council. So can you tell me how that has developed? It's kind of a nine year thing now, isn't it? - Yeah, I think it was actually one of the previous directors that started this and we started off with having a few artists come over at different times to have a showcase in our office, and we have quite a big conference and events space that we use, which is great not as beautiful as where we are today but it's still a great space to use. And then it's really built up to be something that is a program that we have throughout the year.
So we always do something to mark Culture Night and we have it more of a festival kind of affair, so it's culture night in Belfast, we have culture night in Brussels, and we have a couple of artists come over. We have some sort of street food or food you could eat in your hands to give that really sort of relaxed sort of feeling to it. But then we also we'll stage a play at the Bozar which is one of the main cultural centers in Brussels.
So we help bring a play over, usually a sort of one or two person play every year in February time. So we have something in September or something in February and then often we have other things throughout the year. For example, when you came over for our winter gala with Frank Ormsby and you know, that was a great event as well, to have the opportunity to expose, perhaps as the right word, your talents to a lot of people who are decision makers in the EU, ambassadors, et cetera. - Yeah, it was lovely, I mean, the point I was just going to make actually is that for artists, it's an extraordinary thing because you know, when you're doing a gig at home you don't get often the chance to play for ambassadors and decision-makers at that kind of level. It was a really nice audience. And I mean, I was going to ask you about what you think the artists would get out of it.
What's the plus for them. I know it's a different audience for them but it's a really good experience. - Well, for some artists it's the first time they've gone outside of UK and Ireland to perform, and sometimes that can create problems.
I don't want to name any names, but one singer didn't arrive because they forgot their passport when they got to Dublin Airport. But it is an opportunity for them to come and to have an international gig effectively you know, with the knowledge of knowing we're they're at the other end to support them and to provide the audience and help. But it is just really, for us, it's a win-win to be honest because it's a real chance to showcase everything that there is to offer from Northern Ireland from our great arts and culture scene. And, you know, we are always trying to make sure that we get that message out really, as far as we can. And that's been really difficult to actually in the last year, which is one of the reasons why we're so excited to do this event because we haven't been able to have our normal cycle of events. And we've tried to keep up that contact a little bit in the last year with our contacts in Brussels, with a arts and culture newsletter, where we're trying to showcase all the online events that are happening in Northern Ireland, but it's just really, it just helps us to show that just when you start to scratch the surface it's such a rich heritage and sort of scene, music scene, or art scene here that I don't think people would get when they, if they didn't have that exposure to it in the office of Brussels.
- Well, we're going to get a flavor of that today. And your support for it is hugely appreciated by everybody concerned. Can you tell us a wee bit about what we can expect from today's event? - Yeah, well, I mean, I'm certainly very excited about the acts that we have lined up today. They've all been to Brussels before so this is the, our best of, a sort of collection to sort of, and, you know, I'm going to sort of start with our Ursula Burns because I think she provided us with a moment in the office, we've never had, a moment of shock and awe.
- That's what Ursula does. - When Ursula and her harp played on the stage, filled with lots of Brussels dignitaries and diplomats, etc, for Ursula's performance, but we'll certainly never forget it. And it was fantastic to have that completely different. And that's what I like so much about our Brussels platform, what we do compared to what other people do in Brussels.
It's always a little bit different and that's the sort of real kind of wonder of what people come because they want to what happens next. So how do you top Ursula? Well, it's really quite hard sometimes for that shock and awe factor, definitely. But we've got Ciara as well who's going to be playing this afternoon.
And, you know, I just remember as well when she started to sing in the office we were just completely blown away and it felt such an intimate experience there, even though it is, you know, as I said it's sort of a corporate venue, it just felt like we could have been in Nashville, you know, with her, it was so wonderful. And even in what we do get is these little surprises there. So Ciara and Matt who was also there at the same time we were able to collaborate and sing something together, which I don't think they'd ever done before.
So those possibilities that happened as well. And we've Stephen as well coming and again, that's just, that's a completely other dimension to, so that is just something that's very different and it's very reflective and it just is something that perhaps people don't get a lot of exposure to. So that's just a really lovely sort of contrast to say something that's a little bit more raucous or frivolous, and then something that's a little bit more thoughtful.
So I think that's the sort of nice balance. And then of course, yourself and Frank when you came and that collaboration, which, again people were just very moved by as well, you know, entertained and moved. And I think that's what we always seek to have is something that gets people to think, that moves them emotionally, but entertains them too. So I think we get that from all of our artists today. And I think now we're going to hear from you. And I'm so excited because it's been two years since you were in Brussels.
So I'm really excited to hear your performance today for us. - Well, I hope you enjoy it. And I promise not to lie down. Thank you so much, Lynsey. - Thank you.
- This is a newish song that is a due out on an album hopefully sometime this year, a suite of songs about East Belfast which was commissioned by Eastside Partnership. And this was the first of these songs that came through. It was originally written for the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society's Heritage Angels project. And it's a song I wrote about Templemore Baths. This is called "Six Inches of Water".
(vibrant acoustic guitar music) ♪ Coming home with a face so dirty ♪ ♪ Your mother wouldn't know you ♪ ♪ All week catching steel in the wind ♪ ♪ With the shipyard below you ♪ ♪ When Friday comes and my bones are sore ♪ ♪ I join the queue down at Templemore ♪ ♪ We get the chance to let the working week ♪ ♪ Go down the drain ♪ ♪ 'Cause I live by the sweat of my brow ♪ ♪ Like my father did before me ♪ ♪ He said, 'son you have to look your best ♪ ♪ Or the world will just ignore ye' ♪ ♪ Just when you think you're going to lose all hope ♪ ♪ You get a towel and a bar of soap ♪ ♪ Lay back and let the working week ♪ ♪ Go down the drain ♪ ♪ We get the same six inches of water ♪ ♪ We get the same six inches of water ♪ ♪ All the workers and the kings and queens ♪ ♪ They come in dirty and they go out clean ♪ ♪ We get the same six inches of water ♪ ♪ There's a girl on McMaster Street ♪ ♪ We're nearly going steady ♪ ♪ I clean the dirt from my fingernails ♪ ♪ And get my shoes ready ♪ ♪ I hear the hammers ringing in my dreams ♪ ♪ But I let it all go up in steam ♪ ♪ Start thinking about the way we're going to look ♪ ♪ On the dance floor ♪ ♪ We get the same six inches of water ♪ ♪ We get the same six inches of water ♪ ♪ All the workers and the kings and queens ♪ ♪ They go in dirty and they come out clean ♪ ♪ We get the same six inches of water ♪ ♪ We get the same six inches of water ♪ ♪ We get the same six inches of water ♪ ♪ We won't worry if we're rich or not ♪ ♪ Some like it cold, some like it hot ♪ ♪ We get the same six inches of water ♪ Here's a song from a few years ago. This is a little bit of South Tyrone gothic. And this is called "The Road to Fivemiletown".
(morose fingerpicked guitar music) ♪ She was the youngest of four daughters ♪ ♪ And she married way too fast ♪ ♪ In the days when vows were iron ♪ ♪ And you had to make them last ♪ ♪ But her father was a bruiser ♪ ♪ And he bruised them twice a week ♪ ♪ She couldn't live the life her mother had ♪ ♪ And turn the other cheek ♪ ♪ So when she turned sixteen ♪ ♪ She started counting off the days ♪ ♪ Til she could find herself a husband ♪ ♪ And finally get away ♪ (morose fingerpicked guitar music) ♪ He was a farmer with big farmer's hands ♪ ♪ And she met him at a dance ♪ ♪ She set her sights upon him ♪ ♪ And he never stood a chance ♪ ♪ She thought the price of being choosy ♪ ♪ Was to live upon the shelf ♪ ♪ And she thought he'd do the job ♪ ♪ As well as anybody else ♪ ♪ And when they both stood at the altar ♪ ♪ He said he'd never let her down ♪ ♪ He had a farm and forty acres, either side ♪ ♪ Of the road to Fivemiletown ♪ (morose fingerpicked guitar music) ♪ That first year the river burst its banks ♪ ♪ And half the countryside was drowned ♪ ♪ All the food that he had planted ♪ ♪ Lay and rotted in the ground ♪ ♪ He'd come home at night exhausted ♪ ♪ And lie dead between the sheets ♪ ♪ And she'd lie all night and listen to ♪ ♪ The roaring of the beasts ♪ ♪ And it was dark, as dark ♪ ♪ As being lost and never found ♪ ♪ You wouldn't even know your eyes were closed or open ♪ ♪ On the road to Fivemiletown ♪ (morose fingerpicked guitar music) ♪ Once upon a time she thought the world ♪ ♪ Would be hers to wrap her arms around ♪ ♪ Now she makes the beds, and lays back down ♪ (morose fingerpicked guitar music) ♪ She drew a disappearing heart ♪ ♪ When there was no-one else around ♪ ♪ On a steamed-up kitchen window ♪ ♪ Looking out on the road to Fivemiletown ♪ (morose fingerpicked guitar music) I just want to say a big thank you to Culture Night Belfast and Out to Lunch for asking me to be part of this terrific lineup in this absolutely beautiful building. And I'm going to finish off with a song that's also about Belfast and about a little district in the center of Belfast that's not what it used to be. So thank you, and I'll finish with this, this is called "Sailortown". (vibrant fingerpicked guitar music) ♪ Me and Elaine, we've been hanging around ♪ ♪ In what was once Sailortown ♪ ♪ Drinking cheap red wine by the light of the Belfast moon ♪ ♪ There's nobody left here that works at the docks ♪ ♪ It's all urban renewal and apartment blocks ♪ ♪ Summer is fading, winter will be coming soon ♪ ♪ The walls in the city have a lot to say ♪ ♪ About the UVF and the IRA ♪ ♪ It's cold by the river but the sky is full of stars ♪ ♪ But these walls say nothing 'bout who I am ♪ ♪ When I'm singing in the garden at the Rotterdam ♪ ♪ Doing 'Brown Eyed Girl' and 'Whiskey in the Jar' ♪ ♪ And I know, they're tearing it down street by street ♪ ♪ Look out below, there goes the ground beneath your feet ♪ ♪ Elaine's mother thinks I'm some kind of crook ♪ ♪ She meets me at the door with a dirty look ♪ ♪ My welcome round there's starting to wear thin ♪ ♪ Because I promised everybody I would knuckle down ♪ ♪ But my grades weren't good enough this time round ♪ ♪ All my time runs out in the end ♪ (vibrant fingerpicked guitar music) ♪ And I know, they're tearing it down street by street ♪ ♪ Look out below, there goes the ground beneath your feet ♪ ♪ Me, I can't wait to be rid of school ♪ ♪ But Elaine's got a place at Liverpool ♪ ♪ By the time September comes, she'll be gone ♪ ♪ And she says she'll text me every day ♪ ♪ But that's something she feels she has to say ♪ ♪ She'll call me once at Christmas, and then move on ♪ (vibrant fingerpicked guitar music) ♪ Me and Elaine, we've been hanging around ♪ ♪ In what was once Sailortown ♪ Well, as I say, I'm delighted to be part of this lineup and we have some wonderful artists.
The next one we're going to meet is a very dangerous harpist. Somebody who's been completely rewriting the rule book on performance and music, a wonderful songwriter and performer, Ursula Burns. (lush harp and piano music) ♪ November Snow ♪ ♪ Softer than rain ♪ ♪ November snow ♪ ♪ Coming again ♪ ♪ As for the lovers ♪ ♪ On patchwork quilts ♪ ♪ As for the lovers ♪ ♪ Houses on stilts ♪ ♪ As for the lovers ♪ ♪ Kissing goodbye ♪ ♪ November snow ♪ ♪ Heart is on ﬁre ♪ ♪ Space in between ♪ ♪ Is all we desire ♪ ♪ As for the angels ♪ ♪ Falling through space ♪ ♪ As for the angels ♪ ♪ Falling with grace ♪ ♪ As for the angels ♪ ♪ Falling like November snow on the face ♪ ♪ When we pull back in ♪ ♪ To ourselves again ♪ ♪ The space in the November snow ♪ ♪ Spells our name ♪ ♪ When we pull back in ♪ ♪ To ourselves again ♪ ♪ The space in the November snow ♪ ♪ Spells our name ♪ (lush harp and piano music) ♪ As for the lovers kissing goodbye ♪ ♪ As for the lovers kissing goodbye ♪ ♪ As for the lovers kissing goodbye ♪ (gently fading piano music) - So my name is Ursula Burns and I play the harp. That's proof.
And I play the piano, and I was granted money from the Arts Council to work on a body of work that incorporated playing them both at the same time. So I bought myself a fancy headset mic to be able to do it, and these are some of the songs. So the next one is called "Beautiful Clown".
(lush harp and piano music) ♪ Beautiful clown ♪ ♪ You wear your frown on the inside ♪ ♪ Beautiful clown ♪ ♪ What have you found on the outside ♪ ♪ With your vulnerable smile ♪ ♪ Diamonds are not the treasure you're after ♪ ♪ It's the peel of laughter ♪ ♪ That echoes, echoes, echoes ♪ ♪ Beautiful clown ♪ ♪ You wear your frown on the outside ♪ ♪ Beautiful clown ♪ ♪ What have you found on the inside ♪ ♪ With your vulnerable smile ♪ ♪ Calm under the skies, the skies ♪ ♪ With the sun in your eyes ♪ ♪ And you blow your nose ♪ ♪ And get on with your show ♪ ♪ Beautiful clown ♪ ♪ You wear your frown on the inside ♪ ♪ Beautiful clown ♪ ♪ What have you found on the outside ♪ ♪ If he does not make you laugh you have no heart ♪ ♪ If he does not make you cry you have no heart ♪ ♪ If he does not make you love you have no heart ♪ ♪ Beautiful clown ♪ ♪ Beautiful clown, clown ♪ ♪ Beautiful clown, clown, clown, clown ♪ ♪ If he does not make you laugh you have no heart ♪ ♪ If he does not make you cry you have no heart ♪ ♪ If he does not make you love you have no heart ♪ ♪ Beautiful clown ♪ ♪ Beautiful clown ♪ ♪ Beautiful clown, clown, clown, clown, clown ♪ (glossolalia) So I think it's about five years since I headed off with Alice McCullough, a performance artist, and we went to Brussels together and well, we had an amazing weekend, the gig itself was so beautiful. We both felt so inspired coming home and the audience were so receptive and they stayed around for hours to talk to us, and it was such a great experience. Corinne, who was hosting us, took us for lunch in a beautiful restaurant, and, oh my goodness, the hot chocolate.
One of the highlights for me was going to the art gallery with Alice and having her explain some of the beautiful paintings. And the highlight was definitely the instrument museum. And I would love to go back to Brussels alone to go back to the musical instrument museum. When thinking about what song for this I thought I would play you the song, I wrote it years ago.
And because it's Belfast and Brussels, I wanted to sing you. This song I wrote about the stress of growing up on the Falls Road. And yeah, that's sort of energy. This song is about Belfast. It's called "Small Square Parks".
(playful piano music) ♪ Small square parks ♪ ♪ Remind me ♪ ♪ Of cheap trickery ♪ ♪ And arm-chair piffle ♪ ♪ Small square parks ♪ ♪ Remind me ♪ ♪ Of the pain dissolving in your eyes ♪ ♪ Small square parks remind me ♪ ♪ Of the pain of rejection ♪ ♪ Like a bolt from the blue ♪ ♪ I told you I would be true ♪ ♪ But pacts made in the dark ♪ ♪ Are often thrown to the sharks ♪ ♪ The pain in your eyes the pain in your eyes ♪ ♪ I can hear breaking glass ♪ ♪ Screeching brakes ♪ ♪ Children's laughs ♪ ♪ Vehicles out of control control control ♪ ♪ This is where we shall end now where do we go ♪ ♪ The pain in your eyes your eyes your eyes ♪ ♪ Your eyes your eyes ♪ ♪ Your eyes your eyes ♪ ♪ Small square parks ♪ ♪ Remind me of Belfast winos ♪ ♪ Brown paper bags ♪ ♪ And vomit ♪ ♪ Small square parks are waiting ♪ ♪ for the life that we bring ♪ ♪ The life that we sing ♪ ♪ The life that we take ♪ ♪ The life that we break ♪ ♪ The life that we think ♪ ♪ The life that wishing ♪ ♪ We breathe, we breathe, we breathe, we breathe ♪ ♪ Small square parks are waiting for the life that we find ♪ ♪ The life that we grind ♪ ♪ The life that we hope ♪ ♪ The life that we choke ♪ ♪ The life that we need ♪ ♪ The life that we grieve ♪ ♪ We breathe ♪ ♪ We breathe ♪ ♪ We breathe ♪ ♪ We breathe ♪ ♪ We breathe ♪ ♪ We breathe ♪ ♪ We breathe ♪ ♪ Small square parks ♪ (gently fading piano music) Well, considering that's a little bit intense, I think I'll leave you with a little lullaby on the harp, that I wrote for my son, when he was younger, when he was cute. It's called "WiFi Lullaby". (exquisite harp music) ♪ My little boy ♪ ♪ He ask me ♪ ♪ Mummy what's the difference between heaven and hell? ♪ ♪ Oh my little child ♪ ♪ There's no difference that I can tell ♪ ♪ Now close your eyes and go to sleep ♪ ♪ My little boy ♪ ♪ Ask me again ♪ ♪ Mummy what's the difference between heaven and hell? ♪ ♪ Oh my little child ♪ ♪ There's no difference that I can tell ♪ ♪ Now close your eyes and go to sleep ♪ ♪ My little boy ♪ ♪ Ask me again ♪ ♪ Mummy what's the difference between heaven and hell? ♪ ♪ Oh my darling child ♪ ♪ There's no difference that I can tell ♪ ♪ Now close your eyes and go to sleep ♪ ♪ But the only difference I can see ♪ ♪ Is the children in heaven ♪ ♪ get the wifi code ♪ ♪ Yes the children in heaven get the wifi code ♪ ♪ Yes the children in heaven get the wifi code ♪ ♪ So be a good boy and go to sleep for mummy ♪ (playful harp music) G-O-D, 1-2-3, with a small "g". - Thank you so much for that. - There is only one Ursula Burns, and somebody else there is only one of, and it's fantastic to have him here as part of this, is Stephen Connolly, someone who I've known as a poet for quite a while, and a major talent in that respect. But he's also important in the world of poetry as one of the founders of the Lifeboat Press, and look forward to hearing from our next guest, Stephen Connolly.
- I'm Stephen Connolly, and I was sent to Brussels several years ago to read poems alongside Ciaran Carson. What I'm going to read now, reflects on some of the things that happened that evening. There are two things to note, the first being that in the later part of what I'm going to read, the "you" who's addressed is Ciaran Carson.
The second is that Robert Frost's poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", is mentioned throughout. And if you don't know it, it goes like this. Whose woods these are I think I know, His house is in the village though, He will not see me stopping here, To watch his woods fill up with snow, My little horse must think it queer, To stop without a farmhouse near, Between the woods and frozen lake, The darkest evening of the year, He gives his harness bells a shake, To ask if there is some mistake, The only other sound's the sweep, Of easy wind and downy flake, The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. It began in a marquee in Custom House Square some time about four or five years ago. Somewhere about two thirds of the way into the crowd, I saw him, a friend of mine I'll leave unnamed: his gentle demeanor immediately recognizable, his height and gait undeniably his and I thought, I didn't expect to see you here.
The last time I had seen him, he was at a dinner party somewhere between Belfast and Bangor, in good form, and though they'd taken one of his lungs, he sang "The Parting Glass" before the night was through. I believe I read "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening", although now that I think of it, it could have been MacNeice's "Snow". And of course I didn't expect to see him in that marquee that night, seeing as he was six months dead. More and more, I'd have moments just like this and never tell a soul.
These brief and sudden double-takes. Once, it was a friend on University Road, gone the moment I raised my hand to wave to her, her face becoming that of someone I did not know, a person who was really there. More often than not, friends would arrive and disappear in crowded bars, the usual haunts, and more often than not, it felt as brief as deja vu, but had no sense of ever having happened before. This is not at all to say that I believe in ghosts, or to ascribe to these encounters anything of the supernatural, chilling though they were, if only for a moment. And I don't think it's a trick of grief, since these are never people I could claim to know that well, though I enjoyed their company and would count them among my friends.
It's more to suggest that these glimpses are what I might think of as the opposite of memory: not a recollection as much as a visitation, not willfully conjured, but revenants into the literal world. I have tried and failed on many occasions to recollect the specifics of an evening spent with you in Brussels in and around a restaurant, down a side-street, off a side-street. Of the short time spent in the city with you, I remember so little of the whats and wheres, the only physical things are vague and impressionistic. I remember a large, open and busy kitchen, green leather and mahogany, though it could, of course, have been any other dark wood. I remember cold white wine, delicious and expensive. I remember the cobbled street outside the restaurant as busy, though now that I think of it, perhaps there were flagstones underfoot.
And when you ordered oysters, you asked if I knew of the wonderful poem where the shells clacked on the plate. Perhaps that's where the part of the night I remember perfectly began, when you began to talk of Seamus Heaney. "At the funeral," you said, "the word he used was beauty, and, you know, I weighed it up and thought about it and he was right: Heaney really was a beautiful man." I remember that you ordered grappa with a flourish, and toasting when it arrived in tulip-shaped glasses, its heady aroma new to my palate. I remember that you told me, later, that it was the simple things that are lasting and important: you said, "when we were a young couple, and we didn't have much of anything, and our eldest son was but a babe in arms, I remember sitting one summer evening in the garden of our house beside a mint bush, lush and loud with the buzzing of bees. The smell of the mint, and the sound of the bees.
Simple, you know? But simplicity is important." Since you died, I have been half expecting to turn a corner, or enter a bar, and catch sight of you. I have not been afraid of it, though the occurrences I've mentioned are always unsettling, but not once has it happened. Perhaps there was something of it in your manner: I remember two things in particular.
The first being that you told me once of a Saturday morning: you, a professor, going into your office out of hours and setting off the building's alarm. "Naturally," you said, "I ﬂed the scene." The second, a cold December evening and the memory begins in a doorway of some university building or other, you telling me about the suit you'd bought on eBay, how the perfect fit had got you thinking of the man who had worn the suit before, his name embroidered in the lining. "I wear what I wear, you wear what you wear, I speak how I speak and you speak how you speak." Suddenly, it began to snow. You told me to call a taxi and seemed to delight in my attention: "Do you know Frost?" you said.
"Yes," I said. "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening?" you said. "Yes," I said. "Whose woods these are..." you began. "I do not know" I continued. "No, no, no, no, no. Whose woods these are I think I know,"
you continued, and told me how you thought it was a spin on the Inferno of Dante: "The Inferno begins in the woods, and progresses to a frozen lake, and Frost's poem has that interlocking rhyme which is a form of Dante's Terza rima." The taxi reached the destination. Years later, I read how you'd written of this years before. So the story was rehearsed, yes, but never told the same way twice. That night you bought a round of drinks, Brambles with crushed ice and a blackberry garnish.
You punctuated a Christmas party with a rendition of "The Wild Colonial Boy", spilt a Guinness I bought in return and, naturally, you fled the scene. Only once or twice did I see you in the wild, as it were, a meeting by chance instead of by design. Once, at the junction of Cornmarket and Arthur Square, our paths crossed, and within a minute or two you said, "Good to see you, good to chat, as it were, now I must be on my way." I've realized since, or perhaps I'm only realizing now, that the tricks of memory I might have expected will not arrive, or certainly not as the fleeting, momentary apparitions of a person seen from afar, but are ever-present in the everyday: the aroma of strong drink, the way in which I navigate the streets, the first signs of snow, the sound of bees and the smell of mint. It is not at all simple, but an indelible strangeness that is everywhere and is unrubbable.
- Thank you so much, Stephen. Our last guest for the program is another wonderful songwriter. Somebody who I've had the pleasure of sharing the stage with on a number of occasions. She's been in Nashville, she's been in Brussels of course, like the rest of us, but she's here with us today in Rosemary street. Ciara O'Neill.
(gentle acoustic guitar music) ♪ Does a river know its ﬂowing ♪ ♪ Down towards the sea ♪ ♪ Does the storm know it changes ♪ ♪ To a warm summer breeze ♪ ♪ Does the city know its secrets ♪ ♪ Are found within the streets ♪ ♪ Does the lock know ♪ ♪ It opens with a key ♪ ♪ Does beauty know how much ♪ ♪ Its craved by young and old ♪ ♪ Does money know the length ♪ ♪ Some people will go ♪ ♪ Does a mirror know its power ♪ ♪ To see inside your soul ♪ ♪ Does your favorite song ♪ ♪ Know it gives you hope ♪ ♪ One day soon you will know ♪ ♪ Your place in the world ♪ ♪ One day soon you will know ♪ ♪ Just how much your worth ♪ ♪ Just because your eyes are open ♪ ♪ Doesn't mean you see ♪ ♪ The beauty in everything ♪ ♪ Does war know its end ♪ ♪ Can begin with a smile ♪ ♪ And one little footstep ♪ ♪ Turns into a mile ♪ ♪ Does love know it haunts ♪ ♪ Heals and destroys ♪ ♪ Does a baby know ♪ ♪ Its laugh brings you joy ♪ ♪ One day soon you will know ♪ ♪ Your place in the world ♪ ♪ One day soon you will know ♪ ♪ Just how much you're worth ♪ ♪ Just because your eyes are open ♪ ♪ Doesn't mean you see ♪ ♪ Just because your eyes are open ♪ ♪ Doesn't mean you see ♪ ♪ Just because your eyes are open ♪ ♪ Doesn't mean you see ♪ ♪ The beauty in everything ♪ ♪ Just because your eyes are open ♪ ♪ Doesn't mean you see ♪ ♪ The beauty in everything ♪ - Hi, my name's Ciara O'Neill and I'm delighted to be in this beautiful church, Rosemary Street. And, yeah, this is an association with the "Out to Lunch" festival and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. This next song is called Hurtin'.
I wrote this a few years ago in Nashville and I played this for one of the first times in Brussels, when I was playing there for Culture Night, and that was 2018, which was an absolutely amazing trip. So yeah, this, this is called "Hurtin'". (gentle acoustic guitar music) ♪ I got a trail of lost loves ♪ ♪ Haunting me at night ♪ ♪ Their voices still whisper ♪ ♪ Making me shiver ♪ ♪ 'Til the morning light ♪ (gentle humming) ♪ How many hearts ♪ ♪ Have I tore apart ♪ ♪ Without ever striking a blow ♪ ♪ Some were angels, some were sinners ♪ ♪ I'm not one to judge souls ♪ ♪ Please forgive me ♪ ♪ I know not what I do ♪ ♪ And all this time I thought ♪ ♪ It was something wrong with you ♪ ♪ But now I'm certain ♪ ♪ I done the hurtin' ♪ ♪ I done the hurtin' ♪ ♪ The sun sheds light on this hard truth ♪ ♪ Here I'm alone again ♪ ♪ The trace of your scent ♪ ♪ Is growing more thin ♪ ♪ Reminding me it's the end ♪ ♪ Please forgive me ♪ ♪ I know not what I do ♪ ♪ And all this time I thought ♪ ♪ It was something wrong with you ♪ ♪ But now I'm certain ♪ ♪ Now I'm certain ♪ ♪ I done the hurtin' ♪ ♪ I done the hurtin' ♪ ♪ I done the hurtin' ♪ ♪ I done the hurtin' ♪ This last song is a new song that I'll be releasing at some stage in 2021, and it's called "La Lune Voit Tout", which means, "the moon sees everything." (gentle acoustic guitar music) ♪ Don't close your eyes on a fight ♪ ♪ Make your peace then turn out the light ♪ ♪ Don't fear the dark unknown ♪ ♪ I'll help you find your way back home ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune Voit Tout ♪ ♪ Don't be scared, it'll turn out just fine ♪ ♪ Even the worst days will rise with the tide ♪ ♪ Don't you settle for anything less ♪ ♪ Than what you deserve ♪ ♪ Live no regrets ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune Voit Tout ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune Voit Tout ♪ (glossolalia) ♪ Don't look back ♪ ♪ Just start where you are ♪ ♪ One step at a time. ♪ ♪ Just you, me, the stars ♪ ♪ Don't avoid change ♪ ♪ There's so many roads ♪ ♪ Even the seasons will turn green to gold ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune Voit Tout ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune Voit Tout ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune ♪ ♪ La Lune Voit Tout ♪ - Thank you so much to Ciara. That was absolutely beautiful.
And thank you very much for tuning in and enjoying this wonderful afternoon. Thank you first of all, especially to all of the artists to Stephen Connolly, to Ciara, to Ursula, and also to the people who've supported this event, the Out to Lunch festival, Culture Night Belfast, The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels and the Arts Council. But as I say, most of all, thanks to you for tuning in and don't forget Out to Lunch runs until the end of January, so make sure you tune in and have a look at some of the other wonderful events that they have lined up.
Thank you. (vibrant acoustic guitar music)