Belfast Telegraph

Cyprus Avenue: Tree flattened in Van Morrison's mystical street

By Linda Stewart

It's one of the leafiest green streets in east Belfast, immortalised by music legend Van Morrison in his classic song Cyprus Avenue.

Now one of those famous huge trees has fallen victim to Storm Rachel - one of many giants brought low by the gale force winds that swept across Northern Ireland yesterday.

Last night, the road was closed from its junction with Kirkliston Drive to its junction with North Road while contractors worked to clear away the debris.

Fortunately there were no reports of any injuries or damage as the tree came down across the road.

The leafy street has a revered place in musical history as the song was frequently performed by Van Morrison in the 1970s, often at the close of his concerts.

He has described it as "a street in Belfast, a place where there's a lot of wealth".

"It wasn't far from where I was brought up and it was a very different scene," he said.

"To me it was a very mystical place. It was a whole avenue lined with trees and I found it a place where I could think."

Morrison references the trees on Cyprus Avenue several times. In the lyrics to his song, he describes how "my inside shakes just like a leaf on a tree" because he's in love with a young girl.

Last week the Belfast Telegraph reported that East Belfast Partnership, as part of EastSide Arts Festival, was in talks with Van Morrison to stage a live concert on Cyprus Avenue in August.

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