Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Street Fighting YearsReleased: 1989Charted:
This song was inspired by the 1987 Enniskillen bombing, when a bomb planted by the IRA exploded during a Remembrance Day service at Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, killing 11 people and injuring at least 63. Simple Minds lead singer Jim Kerr
explained to Q
magazine in 1989: "In the second part of 'Belfast Child' I'm trying to relate to people in Northern Ireland who've also lost loved ones. I'm trying to talk about the madness and sadness and emptiness. I'm not saying I have any pearls of wisdom, but I have a few questions to ask. When I'm asked on American TV who my heroes are, rather than saying Lou Reed or Bob Dylan or someone who goes without saying, I say there are these people called Amnesty International and what they are doing I think is rather heroic. It only takes about 30 seconds."
The music is based on a traditional song called "She Moved Through The Fair," which Jim Kerr heard for the first time a few days after the bombing and decided to use the melody for this song.
This runs 6:39. At the time, it was the second-longest UK #1, after The Beatles "Hey Jude
The B-side of the single was "Mandela Day," which was written for Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday concert on June 11, 1988.
This was Simple Minds' first and only UK #1 hit, but they have charted in the UK Top-40 24 times.