Lots of you have been asking about this beautiful song I sing as part of the live show. Here is the story behind “Noirin, mo Stoirin” – “Noreen”.

“Noirin, mo Stoirin” started life as an instrumental piece which Phil Coulter composed as a wedding gift for his friends Liam Neeson and his wife Natasha. Phil called the tune “Natasha” and performed it, for the very first time at the ceremony at Liam’s farm in upstate New York.
One other memorable performance was when he played Carnegie Hall a few years later with Liam and Natasha in the audience. She was delighted, excited like a kid.

The tune kept rolling around in Phil’s head and he kept telling himself that he ought to write a lyric and turn it into a song but could never get a handle on it and kept putting it on the back burner.

Natasha’s untimely death was an enormous shock to all of us, such a tragedy, such a waste of a young wife and mother. Such a loss.

Phil started thinking again about the tune but decided NOT to write a lyric that would specifically refer to Natasha but rather try and capture the sense of missing a loved one ‘with every bone in my body’.
In Phil’s words, “it was one of the most difficult writing jobs I’ve done in a very long time”.

The song is set in period Ireland, during troubled times, when perhaps fleeing persecution the singer is forced to leave his country and his sweetheart. It translates from Irish to “Noirin, my Darling”

“I curse the day that I left her, and the people that drove me away…”

“I also wanted to leave the ending open so that listeners might hope that, when it’s safe to do so, he does return to his Noreen and to the peace of the valley.”

Neil