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Springsteen Brings NI Politicians Together! 2006-11-22

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Intolerance.

In the end it didn’t take ‘The St.Andrews Agreement’ or threats from Peter Hain.

Ian Paisley Junior finally found something in common with Gerry AdamsBruce Springsteen.

The man they call ‘The Boss’ may still be blissfully unaware of what he has achieved.

But the closing night of his ‘Seeger Sessions’ tour at Belfast’s ‘Odyssey Arena’ was in some ways more interesting for politics watchers than a dozen days watching the inertia at Stormont.

What was happening on stage was interesting enough — part revivalist meeting, part traditional session worthy of anything in any bar in the west of Ireland — or the West Belfast Festival for that matter.

The first attribute will have resonated with the watching Mr Paisley Junior who will have recognised a natural born preacher man who might even give his father a run for his money.

The second will have gone down well with the watching Gerrys, Sinn Fein’s Adams and Kelly.

But forget all that. Politics took a back seat — as the politicians and everyone else got off their seats.

Indeed what greater sign that the times really are-a-changing? Here were two of Sinn Fein’s best known faces casually blending with the crowds at a night out in east Belfast.

Of course the presence of Mr Paisley Junior and the two Gerrys — they were not by the way together lest anyone get too excited — was in no way political… this was a night off.

But when Springsteen ended the night with the old civil rights anthem ‘We Shall Overcome’ it brought a shiver. Since it is the title track of his Seeger Sessions album we should have expected it, but still……

As Ian Paisley Junior said it is a song that ‘means very different things to many different people.’ Quite. And after all didn’t Springsteen once record a song called ‘No Surrender’?

It is more than 10 years since Springsteen played his only previous Belfast gig.

He recalled it from the stage at the Odyssey dedicating ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ to the city.

He said Belfast was looking well and wished us all the best.

From many stars this sort of thing sounds like a platitude. Springsteen sounded like he meant it — though it’s a fair bet he’ll be back in Dublin before he’s back in Belfast

After almost three hours of rip roaring showmanship at its best he was off back home.

By the time Mr Paisley Junior and the two Gerrys find themselves under the same roof again — at the first sitting of the transitional assembly at Stormont on Friday — its a fair bet harmony will be in short supply.



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