Belfast Telegraph

Will Coulter pen a sequel to the tune he loved so well?

By Eddie McIlwaine

Songwriter Phil Coulter is considering a sequel to The Town I Loved So Well, the song he wrote about his native Londonderry at the height of the Troubles.

But the man who admits that his well-loved hit was a ballad of its time is still undecided.

“I have been asked more than once down the years if I am going to compose The Town I Loved So Well 2,” said Coulter, who turns 68 on February 19

“And I am tempted. However, it is something I have to think long and hard about.

“Songwriting is never easy and the original piece has turned out to be such a favourite with all sides of the community that the sequel would have to be extraordinary.”

And he reveals that The Town I Loved So Well was the one of the compositions that he anguished over the most.

“It was the song that had to earn respect,” he says.

“Its roots go deep, it is the most autobiographical piece I've ever created. You see, it defines an era and a place that is dear to my heart.”

In the verses, though, a hint can be detected that the time is ripe for the follow-up Coulter fans crave. The last line of the ballad goes like this: “I can only pray for a bright new day in the town I love so well.”

Pressure has just been renewed on Coulter to sit down at his piano again with his pen to start getting the notes of the sequel on paper.

It comes after a concert by The Celtic Tenors who were applauded by an audience in the Presbyterian Spires Centre in Belfast after performing the song.

But The Town I Loved So Well wasn't always accepted right across the religious divide.

Even though Phil has always maintained his stanzas are for all the people, it was looked on once upon a time as greener than green

Then one Twelfth of July a flute band in an Orange parade was applauded as it played the tune marching down Royal Avenue and The Town I Loved So Well.

Coulter added: “If eventually I do write that sequel it will be for everyone too.”

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