A young couple from Tyrone hope to make it big in the charts by launching their debut single which could also put Coalisland firmly on the pop music map.
Using a cover version of the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers classic ‘Islands in the Stream’ with amended lyrics, Killian Grugan and Clare Toner, both from Brackaville, will release ‘Island in the Stream’ next month, inspired by the heavy rain experienced by the town in recent weeks, when at one stage Main Street almost turned into a river.
Unemployed sandwich-filler Toner, 22, agreed to share the lyrics of the first verse, which retains the same tune as the Dolly Parton version:
You do something to me that I can’t explain
Maybe it’s the people or the pelting rain
Or our Belfast links, it’s fifteen minutes there and back
Disneyland has nothing on our Newell Stores
Tiger Woods once played at Brackaville’s golf course
And our wemin he loved, Coalisland girls are mad for craic
The chorus then goes on:
‘Island in the Stream
Of that there is no doubt
Come see our deadly Spar
Take a lovely cruise on our quare canal
And we’ve the Central Bar, ha ha
And the Yankee Star, ha ha
Other verses remain a secret but Toner revealed,
“We’ve done a whole verse on the parking facilities in the ‘Island, and we were going to do more on transport links but we couldn’t think of a word that rhymed with Ulsterbus”.
She went on to explain how the idea came about on the spur of the moment.
“One day we popped into O’Neill’s when it was bucketing down for a quick one, and we had this wile idea. Let’s put the ‘Island on the map. They were playing Dolly Parton in the background and we both love Dolly so what better way to big up the ‘Island than re-writing one of her best songs? To be honest we were hammered by that time, but fair play we’ve carried it through. We’re going to be the biggest boy/girl pop group since them ones like Sonny and Cher, or Cagney and Lacey.”
Grugan, 24, a full-time ear defender, responded to questions over the accuracy of the lyrics, saying,
“Aye, well maybe a fifteen minute round trip to Belfast is stretching it a bit, but we’ve got to appeal to the tourists from Americay. That’s why we’ve mentioned the canal, see? And I’m sure I heard that Tiger Woods once played golf here. Or maybe it was Darren Clarke. Or somebody”. He went on, “There’s plenty songs that have put places on the map before. Where would London be without ‘The Streets of London’, Glasgow without ‘I belong to Glasgow’ or New York without ‘Viva Las Vegas’? Even ‘Mountains of Pomeroy’ made Pomeroy world-famous”.
Hopes are high for interviews in the London Times, Le Monde and the Coalisland Post. If the single is successful, the duo intend to record another re-written Dolly Parton classic entitled ‘Nine To Five-miletown’.
Tyrone stepped onto the international sports stage yesterday as the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICGC) announced that its team for the newly created ‘Benefit Fraud’ sport at the 2014 Commonwealth Games comes almost exclusively from Drumquin.
“It’s amazing”, said Roland Quinn of the NICGC, “we scoured the whole of Northern Ireland for the very best to compete on the world stage, and by a remarkable coincidence we found them all in Drumquin. We have to hand it to them – they’ve got some of the best chancers in the world”.
Benefit Fraud will be new to the 2014 Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow next year, starting in July. It has has enjoyed increasing popularity across much of Europe with many hundreds of thousands of amateurs taking up the event, and has now been recognised as an official sport.
Frank Cassidy, an unemployed painter from ‘somewhere near the Dooish mountain’ has been selected for the demanding ‘Doing the Double’ pentathlon event which centres on five discrete disciplines completed over a 3 day period, combining signing on at the Social, going for a job interview and failing, working at a chicken factory, clearing glasses in a bar, and helping to lamb sheep.
“The training’s been exhausting” said Cassidy, “but I’ve been preparing for this for two years and I’m nearly ready. And if anyone asks, you haven’t seen me”.
The gruelling ‘Form Filling’ hurdle event is likely to draw some stiff competition but Martina McCluskey, an unemployed shop assistant of Claragh Road, is ready for it.
“I’ve filled out some of the hardest forms in the whole of the DHS. Have you seen the Benefits for Occupational Diseases form? Jaysus, it’s a belter. It would make your eyes water. But I’m ready for it, even though we know the Jocks are going to be difficult to beat in front of a home crowd”.
“You could say I’ve been training for this event most of my adult life” said Kiernan Donnelly, an unemployed fork lift driver of Baronscourt Road. “Bring it on!” Donnelly has been selected to compete in the arduous marathon event, which is a 26 mile walk undertaken whilst pretending to have a limp.