Despite rumours of an appearance by Elton John and the use of a herd of dancing elephants from Dublin Zoo, a newly wed couple from Benburb performed a traditional first dance at their wedding reception, slowly moving to Islands In The Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, much to the shock and awe of a 250-strong guest list.
Peter Small and Lisa Hughes, who married after a 15-year courtship, managed to fool onlookers by having fireworks, a troop of little people, dogs and a PSNI water cannon lying around the reception, sparking rumours of a spectacular opening dance. Video footage subsequently showed guests preparing themselves for the anticipated extravaganza up to 30 minutes before the dance by standing on chairs and setting up tripods.
Videographer Patsy Killen admitted he was blown away by their performance:
“I’d heard rumours that Peter was going to fling Lisa up on top of the chandelier that was going to turn into a diamond-studded staircase which she’d walk down whilst twerking to some rap tune about muthafookers. You know, the standard stuff. Well, our jaws dropped when we saw them move slowly to the dulcet tones of Dolly and Kenny.”
Still disbelieving, guests waited patiently for the track to change mid-song, probably sparking a dance routine involving the bridal party whipping each other and the groom’s aged grandfather dabbing furiously to Snoop Doggy Dog. When nothing happened and the song ended, the hall erupted into rapturous applause with some guests reportedly crying with happiness.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. Well since 1998 anyway. They just….slow danced. It was quite remarkable.”
Mr and Mrs Small also refused to have a chocolate fountain and turned down the opportunity to be photographed peering around a tree in the middle of a lake.
A hardened Coalisland drinker has repeated his intention to sue Paul Brady over the lyrics to ‘The Island’ which he claims to have written in the mid-80s on a brown chip bag in Baldo’s Pub after meeting the woman of his dreams in the Greenvale the night before.
Conor ‘The Red Boy’ McGlinchey (48) maintains he wrote the song as an ode to Ursula McStravick after a whirlwind romance at the Cookstown disco the night before Dennis Taylor won the World Snooker Championship in 1985. Brady, who released the song a year later, has yet to comment on the accusations and it is understood no one has asked him about it either.
Locals have questioned the legitimacy of McGlinchey’s claims after studying the lyrics of the song which include:
I want to take you to the Island,
And trace your footprints in the sand,
And in the evening when the sun goes down,
We’ll make love to the sound of the ocean.
They’re raising banners over by the markets,
Whitewashing slogans on the shipyard walls,
Witchdoctors praying for a mighty showdown,
No way our holy flag is gonna fall,
Up here we sacrifice our children
McGlinchey is adamant that Brady changed a few of the lines:
“There’s no way I mentioned anything about the ocean. I referenced the Lough but that’s probably not romantic enough for big-shot Brady. And for shipyard I said Kelly’s Yard. Everything else is spot on.”
Archaeologists have been called to the premises of one of Coalisland’s most hallowed drinking establishments to ascertain the exact date of the brown paper bag which was found down the back of a radiator during renovations. Initial reports suggest a sticker saying ‘Landi’s 12/10/15‘ casts immediate doubt on McGlinchey’s claims.
Meanwhile Kenny Rogers has confirmed that his ditty ‘Islands In The Stream’ was penned after visiting Coalisland during a particularly wet day, revealing he phoned his mother in America to say that ‘the Island’s in the stream’.
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.”