Episode 2 Music Night at Brownlow


Episode 2

A new series that captures the variety and scope of the music that is Ulster-Scots. Filmed in Brownlow House, Lurgan.


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Transcript


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Fair faa ye from Brownlow House in Lurgan

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and the music of the Ulster-Scots.

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Yes, we have a truly impressive line-up for you tonight.

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On stage, we have Scottish fiddle player Mhairi Marwick.

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We also have members from Londonderry's Churchill Flute Band.

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As well as a very moving and special performance from

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Brunswick Accordion Band.

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So, to start us off, it's a group from the northwest of Ulster,

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and you'll need your dancing shoes for this one.

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It's Sontas with the delightfully-named Flubadub.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Fabulous start to the show, boys - thank you so much for coming.

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-Thanks very much.

-Thank you.

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And the track you just played was Flubadub - that's a funny name!

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Where did that come from?

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Well, I wrote Flubadub when I was at Newcastle University.

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When I went over, they couldn't really understand my accent,

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being from the northwest,

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and I couldn't really understand theirs, either, being Geordies.

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And I had this track written and I went to

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a local band practice to hear a few pipers playing,

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and the guy says, "You talk a load of flubadub."

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But I didn't know what flubadub was, but after looking online,

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I seen that it was from Bill And Ben The Flowerpot Men -

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it was the way they spoke.

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So I had this tune written and I says,

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"Oh, Flubadub would be the perfect name for that."

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Well, it's a great track.

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Michael, now, the group Sontas, has it been together long?

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Sontas actually hasn't - we haven't been together

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for the last two years. We've actually just come together

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for this tonight, actually, some of us former members.

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Sontas, originally, there was ten of us in it -

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we were a very large group originally, you know?

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So it's just a few of us here tonight,

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just come back for the show. But it was some good fun.

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The Battlefield Band are a well-known Scottish group

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founded in Glasgow in 1969.

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And there's been many a change in the line-up since then,

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but for the past ten years,

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their singer has been Sean O'Donnell from Londonderry.

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Sean's going to sing us a song composed by East Lothian

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songwriter Davie Robertson,

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and it tackles the age-old themes of lost love and passing time.

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This is Star Of The Bar.

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# Oh, I'll sing ye's a song if you'll gie's your attention

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# It's no tale of pity, it's no song of woe

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# And no word of honour or love will I mention

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# It's a tale of a lassie that I kent long ago

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# Nae better than maist and nae worse as many

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# And what drew me to her it's not easy to say

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# She was coorse, she was heartless, she wasnae that bonnie

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# Ah, but she was the star of the bar in her day

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# I've stravaiged the Royal Mile wi' her

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# Drinkin' in style wi' her

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# Rose Street from end to end ofttimes surveyed

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# I fought and swore in the pubs wi' her

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# Rolled round the dubs wi' her

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# I cadged many subs frae her never repaid

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# Nae better than maist and nae worse as many

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# And what drew me to her it's not easy to say

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# She was coorse, she was heartless, and she wasnae that bonnie

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# Ah, but she was the star of the bar in her day

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# So all you lads with fine lassies You know love soon passes

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# And all your bricht dreams are like tears in the wind

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# Best a lass who'll sit down wi' you

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# Pass the glass round wi' you

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# Sing a fine tune wi' you and drink herself blind

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# Nae better than maist and nae worse as many

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# And what drew me to her it's not easy to say

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# She was coorse, she was heartless, and she wasnae that bonnie

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# Ah, but she was the star of the bar in her day. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Behind me here in the ballroom at Brownlow House is

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Brunswick Accordion Band.

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Now, the band is based in a small rural town in Annalong

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in County Down, and the band has been running for over 50 years.

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Isn't that right, Iain?

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That's right, Nicola, the band are from Annalong,

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which is halfway between Newcastle and Kilkeel.

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It's an area traditionally known as the Kingdom of Mourne,

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and in that area it's somewhere with very strong

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Ulster-Scots traditions and music and dance,

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and its language traditions down in that part of the world, yeah.

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The piece that you're playing tonight, Men Of Mourne,

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that's a commission piece just for you, isn't it?

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Yeah, we've been working about a year and a half towards

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a World War I centenary project in the band,

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and it was a much wider project than just

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a piece of music - we commissioned a lot of research to people

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from the Annalong area who died in the Great War.

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But one of the aspects we wanted to do was compose

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a piece of music that we could play at the Last Post Ceremony

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at the Menin Gate in Ypres in Belgium.

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So, we got in touch with Captain Alex Knox from

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the Royal Irish Regiment, the former director of music there,

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and asked him to compose something

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specifically for the band for that trip. So, yeah.

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So, Emma, you took a trip to Belgium with the piece, Men Of Mourne.

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How did you feel when you were performing this?

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I don't think that this is a feeling that we're ever

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going to be able to replicate.

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We played it at the Thiepval Memorial and the Ulster Tower

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and then at the Menin Gate on the Sunday night,

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and I can honestly say that it was

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one of the best experiences I've ever had.

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We felt so united as a band and we were just all there together,

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and it was just an amazing feeling.

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What a moving piece there from Brunswick Accordion Band.

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I mean, if I was standing at Menin Gate with my band,

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the Vow Accordion Band, I can only imagine the emotions that

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would be running through my mind.

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Yeah, I've been there myself, actually.

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I was taken over with a group of musicians from Londonderry

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and we all went over and played at a commemoration service there.

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And to be at the Menin Gate when the Last Post is played

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is just incredible.

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But I can only imagine how more moving it would have been to

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have played your own composition there at the Last Post Ceremony.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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So, back again with us is Darren from Sontas and you're joined

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by Gordon from Churchill Flute Band.

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-And youse are pairing up for the next number.

-We are indeed.

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Yeah, we're going to play a piece called Holly's Air.

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And so, Gordon,

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when did you become a member of the Churchill Flute Band?

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I joined with my brother 22 years ago now.

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So, since that time, we've now got all six of my family in the band,

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so we've sort of took over since!

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-You've been paired before, with the Walled City Tattoo.

-Yep.

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We have, yes.

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Well, it's great to be able to connect with other bands in

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-the community, isn't it?

-It is.

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I know in the city of Londonderry itself

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there's a great camaraderie between all bands at the minute,

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so that's great to see, and we all help each other out all the time.

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We've been working with kind of a lot of the bands in the city,

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and especially these guys here.

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That new arrangement of Holly's Air, we wanted to add

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a wee bit of different style to it, so we have the concert flutes,

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which adds a kind of flute band,

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marching band texture, as well, to the piece.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Wookalily, so, you're an all-girl bluegrass line-up.

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How long have you been together?

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About seven years, altogether.

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We weren't friends before - we still aren't, really!

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So, Sharon, what do you play in the band?

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Banjo, mainly. I have a big interest in bluegrass instrumentals.

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And where did that come from?

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Well, I can't sing, so I thought, you know,

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may as well make myself useful!

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But I love the way all the instruments come down and when

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the instruments comes up, and then they put their own

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wee flavours on the melody.

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Could you tell me a bit about the track you're going to play

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for us tonight, Lyndsay?

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Hands Pass In Time is the first track off our debut album.

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It's basically about wanting someone you can't have and likening that

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onto hands on a clock - passing but never touching.

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So, seeing this person every day but never being able to reach out.

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# Hands pass in time

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# Never touching, crossing the line

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# Clock ticking on the wall

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# You are never really here at all

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# In my mind I saw you smile

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# In my heart you stayed a while

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# We weren't meant to be

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# But I'll love you endlessly

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# You pass me on the street each day

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# I smile, you have to look away

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# Your hand nearly touching mine

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# Does love really fade with time?

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# Hands pass in time

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# Never touching, crossing the line

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# Clock ticking on the wall

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# You were never really here at all

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# I want to love you out loud

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# Shout it from the clouds

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# Fate dealt a different hand

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# I suppose heaven had a better plan

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# You pass me on the street each day

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# I smile, you have to look away

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# Your hand nearly touching mine

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# Does love really fade with time?

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# Hands pass in time

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# Never touching, crossing the line

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# Clock tick-ticking on the wall

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# You were never really here at all. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Performing next week on Music Night At Brownlow...

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we have Ballylone Flute Band...

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..The Battlefield Band...

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..and the Drum Corps from the Pride of Ballinran.

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Haste ye back.

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