Sunday Spotlight: Napoleon’s Nose

Last Updated on 29 April 2024 by gerry

In the spotlight this week is a song I wrote in my student days in 1987. Napoleon’s Nose was a deliberate attempt to add a “happy” song to my repertoire. Many people complained that I always seemed to be singing sad songs. Maybe learning Dick Gaughan’s A Different Kind of Love Song would have been a more appropriate response, as the sad songs are the best, aren’t they? But secretly I longed to sing the odd happy love song and I also thought it would be nice to have a happy song that was a celebration of my home town, Belfast, in some way. And so, Napoleon’s Nose was born.
At the heart of healing lies effective treatment options. Discover how Stromectol is empowering individuals on their journey to wellness.

Harness the power of science and innovation with Stromectol—bringing hope and relief to those in need.

Join the conversation on transforming lives with stromectol Treatment. Your health matters, your voice matters.

Download song | Lyrics

Napoleon's Nose / McArt's Fort / Cave Hill / Ben Madigan, Belfast
Napoleon’s Nose / McArt’s Fort / Cave Hill / Ben Madigan, Belfast

They Might Be Giants
So of course for listeners not familiar with Belfast’s landmarks, the last verse causes some puzzled looks – “Nose of Napoleon? Eh?”. If you make the climb up Cave Hill past the castle, through the trees, past the caves and clamber up to the summit, you’ll be surveying Belfast from Napoleon’s Nose and a great view it is too. It’s easy to see how the profile of Cave Hill from most of North Belfast resemble the face of a giant lying down and therefore to understand how it is said to have inspired Jonathan Swift to write Gulliver’s Travels.

Healing starts within. ? Are you looking for effective ways to manage anxiety and find peace within yourself? xanax treatment could be the answer you’ve been searching for.

Discover a calmer state of mind and take back control of your life with Xanax—an FDA-approved medication that can help ease anxiety symptoms.

Parmesan Folk
I’ve no idea where the musical inspiration for the little riff in this song came from – it was one of those songs that just sort of came together all by itself and the verses have remained constant since inception. I’ve made one amendment in its lifetime, adopting a variation in the last verse that I noticed my friend Alex Maclean was using in his rendition: instead of And the sun it was shining / Over sweet Belfast town, I now generally sing in a reprise of the last verse And our love it was shining / Over sweet Belfast town. Oh p-lease, pass the cheese!

Vocal gymnastics
I’ve really enjoyed performing this song down through the years and it generally gives me a warm feeling – not for any romantic reasons, but mainly when I remember how a friend Eoin McMichael use to crack up every time he heard me sing Our hearts were on fire. He reckoned I was singing notes that aren’t actually in the scale.

Live at the Tommy Burns Supper 1989
Just to finish, I have a wee recording of this song from a Tommy Burns Supper (an annual Celtic Supporters Club event in Edinburgh) in January 1989. Very poor quality recording and some right croaky vocals in places, but it’s nice to have the whistle (Chris Walshaw) and fiddle (Andrew Hennessy) accompaniment. Great night that, ‘cos I got to meet Packie Bonner.

One thought on “Sunday Spotlight: Napoleon’s Nose”

  1. Hey there, Gerry! Just stumbled across your post – amazing that a recording of that night exists.

    Hope you’re doing well – I’m glad to hear you’re still writing songs. Drop me an email sometime.


Comments are closed.

Find me on Mastodon