There Were Roses
1. noun: a seller of ballads, esp on broadsheets.
2. Noun: a writer of mediocre poetry.
History & Synopsis
Tommy Sands (born 19 December 1945), Mayobridge, County Down, Northern Ireland,is afolk singer, song writer, radio broadcaster, and political activist. He performs with his three siblings as The Sands Family; solo as Tommy Sands; and with his son and daughter as Tommy Sands with Moya and Fionán Sands. Tommy was the prime song-writer for the 'Sands Family', one of Ireland's most influential folk groups of the 1960s and '70s.
Tommy Sands has hosted Country Céilí, a radio show on Downtown Radio in Newtownardssince 1976.
In May 2002 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno for hisoutstanding work as musician and ambassador for peace and understanding.
His song There Were Roses has been described as "... certainly one of the best songs ever written about the "Irish Problem"". The song recounts how Allan Bell (name changed), aProtestant friend of Sands, was murdered in Newry by republican paramilitaries. In the aftermath loyalist paramilitaries "prowled round the Ryan Road" for a Catholic to kill in retaliation; ironically, the man they selected, Sean O'Malley (name changed), had been a good friend of the Protestant victim and also of Sands.