Big thank you from

Home thoughts from Belfast...

I'll speak to you, dear stranger, if you really want to know.
So listen and I'll tell ye why I love oul' Belfast so

Belfast is an Ulsterman with features dour and grim
It's a pint o' creamy porter and a Sunday mornin' hymn;

It's a grimy little café where they serve ye dainty teas
An' fish and chips in paper, or vinegar w' peas;

It's a banner on July the Twelfth, a Roman Catholic Chapel,
A righteous little Gospel Hall, a sticky toffee apple

It's a "Tele" boy with dirty face, a slice of apple tart,
A fry upon a Sat'ray, or coal breek on a cart.

It's a corporation gas man complete with bowler hat'
It's a wee shop on the corner, a friendly bit o' chat;

It's a oul lad in a duncher, a woman in a shawl,
A pinch of snuff, a tatie farl, a loyal Orange Hall;

The tobacco smell in York Street, a beg o' yellaman,
An Easter egg that's dyed with whins, a slice of Ormo pan;

A youngster with some sprickly backs inside an oul glass jar,
It's a meetin' at the Customs House, or at the old ‘VIC’ bar.

It's mudbanks on the Lagan when the tide is runnin' low,
A man collecting refuse bins, bonfires on Sandy Row,

A bag o' salty dullis, a bowl of Irish stew,
A goldfish bought in Gresham Street, a preacher at a queue.

It's a portrait of King Billy on a gable wall,
A flower-seller on a stool, outside the City Hall;

A half-moon roun' yer doorstep, a polis man on guard,
A man who's crying, "Delf fer Regs!" A little white-washed yard.

It's market on a Friday, the ships lined at the docks
It's a shiny polished fender, a bunch of green shamrocks;

It's griddled herrin's fried in oat meal, with a drink of buttermilk;

It's a bap wi' country butter, a dander roun' the zoo,
A climb up tough Ben Madigan to get that splendid view;

It's a bunch of savoury scallions an' a plate of buttery champ,
A hopscotch on the footpath, a swing around the lamp.

It's delph dogs on the mantel piece, a wee man from the Pru,
A chimney sweep on his bicycle, coming to do the flu;

It's that ever present vista of the hills of Castlereagh,
And that deathless hush on Saturday when Linfield plays away.

It's by Killarney's lakes and Falls, on the bells of the Assembly Hall,
An' spiky broken bottles stuck on top the backyard wall;

It's bacon boiled with pamphrey, served when piping hot,
With Skerry spuds, like balls of flour, cracked laughing in the pot

It's the smell of mansion polish on the lino down the hall,
The Sunday School Excursion, a treat for one and all;

It's the Islandmen who build great ships that take us far to sea,
It's S.D. Bells in Ann Street, where they sell the best of tea;

It's friends home from America, who have been thinking long,
The Salvation Band on Sunday to save the sinning throng;

It's a wee walk up the Lisburn Road and back down the Malone
It's the Albert Clock in High Street, with its rich and mellow tone.

It's a Barney Hughes hot cross bun, a canary in a cage,
An old man talking in the park of a past and better age;

It's the sharp expressive dialect of everyone at large,
It's a ton of coal on the Lagan on float upon a barge;

It's wemen on the windy stool when summer sun shines down,
It's the V of the apple tart or a wee race into town;

It's a needle to an anchor in Smithfield's famous mart,
I think I'd better call a halt before this breaks me heart.

An' that's the answer stranger, and now I'm sure you'll see,
It's a big fry on a Saturday and a great wee cup o' tea,

That makes oul Belfast the only place in all the world for me.