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’.
Newlyweds Paul and Julia Brannigan have put Tattyreagh on the map after making it through to the TV stages of the X-Factor auditions singing a song they made up in the taxi on the way over to the show. Scribbled on the back of a packet of sweetie cigarettes, “Tattyreagh – You Don’t Have A Picture-house But You’re Deadly To Me’ wooed the judges so much that Simon Cowell is considering visiting the townland before the end of the month. Paul said it’s a dream come through:
“To be honest, we were going to sing “Islands In The Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Then, with a few shots in us, we thought feck it and wrote a song there and then in the taxi about the homeland. We’ve since lost the piece of cardboard it was on but we managed to include stuff like the scrap metal yard, sheep farming and the bath-doctor. It was hard rhyming something with bath-doctor so we pretended there was a Costcutters and that was near enough. We sang it to the tune of Raglan Road, cupping our ears and all, but they didn’t seem to notice.”
All four judges sent them through with Louis Walsh saying that Tattyreagh is the new New Orleans and that they were his favourite. Gary Barlow criticised the lengthy song title but maintained the heart-breaking line “The Quiggery Waters won’t run through us/But we don’t kick up a fuss” won him over and praised the couple for looking so clean and upright for not having a river. Simon Cowell added:
“This will be up there with Africa by Toto or London’s Burning by The Clash. Tattyreagh seems so exotic. “We normally go to Darcy’s Coal merchants/And after to the HalfWay House for a lock of pints” might not be an exact rhyme but it’ll be on the tip of the tongue of every 15-year old next week. Dannii Minogue was crying and she wasn’t even judging. We WILL build a picture-house for these people”
The Brannigans say they’ll definitely sing Islands In The Stream in the TV auditions unless they “start on the shots again and make up a song about the road to Fintona and the bastard tractors that houl everyone up.”