A BUNCRANA-born singer has released a touching single which tells the story of boys from his home town who were cruelly killed in the Omagh bombing in 1998.
Paul Caldwell’s new single, on his latest EP, ‘Headlines’ was released on Friday and is available on all streaming platforms.
‘Headlines’ tells the story of that harrowing August Saturday 22 years ago; an afternoon that ripped the heart from Omagh and sent shockwaves reverberating in Buncrana.
Two boys from Buncrana – Sean McLaughlin and Oran Doherty – were among those killed in the deadly blast.
Another young boy, James Barker, who was from England and who lived in Buncrana, also lost his life in the atrocity.
The bombing is a visceral memory for Caldwell but not something he has been able to put into words until now.
“When I first sat down to write ‘Headlines’ I had a misunderstood feeling within”, Caldwell says.
“I had recently talked to a counsellor and started to reflect and think about my past. While talking to a friend’s mother we spoke about Van Morrison and how he writes about the past, his childhood; the people in it and the shared memories. With that thought in mind I wrote about my memories.”
Citing a slight idea of where it was going, Caldwell possessed the melody internally and had some chords he was playing with. Apparently the combination worked. “
“I wanted to think about my childhood”, he says. “I started remembering and writing down my earliest memories, growing up in Lisowen Avenue.
“I was playing in my front garden at the age of 9 when my sister heard on the radio there was a car bomb in Omagh, Northern Ireland.
“Nothing was certain as fear, panic and anxiety took over. No one knew what to do. There were no phones; there was no instant communication; they were miles away. That day went by for me, extremely fearful, and unsure.
“We heard the bus from Omagh was coming home.” verybody’s family was there waiting on their children to come home and as the bus unloaded, children were in shock and fear running to their mothers and fathers arms.
“The next day we went to mass and the missing and confirmed dead were announced. Word spread throughout a small town; an unforgivable atrocity in the name of what? We all felt the loss of our friends.”
Recorded by Jeff Zipp at Light Machine Records with artists from Mother Mother and City & Colour, ‘Headlines’ is Caldwell’s personal and touching homage of that fateful event.
When writing this song he was wondering what got him through – a combination of spirituality, faith and the question of it.
‘Headlines will always be a reminder of Caldwell’s friends who were taken; the life they had; their faces; their smile.Tags: