Belfast Telegraph

Derry's City of Culture song made popstar Carly Simon weep with delight

Singer's joy on hearing City of Culture anthem


Pop superstar Carly Simon said she cried her eyes out when she heard her 1988 song Let The River Run being sung as the anthem of Londonderry UK City of Culture's year.

The ditty, which won an Oscar for Best Original Song for Working Girl in 1989, was performed by Derry singers Mairead Carlin and Damian McGinty at the opening Sons And Daughters concert at The Venue last January.

Now the song is being released worldwide tomorrow as a single by Simon's record company, Iris Records.

The accompanying video will feature many of the highlights of the City of Culture year including Lumiere, Radio One's Big Weekend, the Fleadh, the Walled City Tattoo, The Return of Colmcille and Other Voices.

Carly was so impressed that she invited Damian and Mairead to perform with her at a gala event in Beverly Hills earlier this year.

"I just played it and cried my eyes out and I'm still crying," she said.

"It's absolutely stunningly wonderful. Thank you for doing me proud. It was so special to have Mairead and Damian here. They have made the song famous in Derry and it has now become a theme song for Derry, and I thank them so much for that."

Damian said he was delighted that the song now had a new global audience.

"It's a very proud moment to represent Derry on a worldwide scale, showing the world how incredible our city is," he said.

And Mairead added: "Singing Let The River Run with Carly is something I will never forget."

The duo's version of the song was first heard in Derry last New Year's Eve as the soundtrack to the fireworks display held to herald the start of the city's reign as the first UK City of Culture. The song was also featured in the Silver Cities Rise promotional video and television advertising campaign.

Frank Gallagher, who produced the City of Culture version, said: "We were delighted when Carly Simon reacted so positively to our version of her great song.

"Let The River Run has become synonymous with the success of the City of Culture year and it is very fitting that a year after it was first heard, it is to be released as a single at the start of 2014."


American singer-songwriter Carly Simon (68) first rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records. Her 13 Top 40 US hits include the timeless You're So Vain. She became the first artist to win a Grammy, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe award for a song both written and performed entirely by a single artist.

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