Thus began his beguiling presentation of song and story about life along the Ryan Road and the families and people who inhabited it.
They were like so many in Northern Ireland whose lives were turned upside down during The Troubles so drastically for a score of years.
Twenty years ago the historic Good Friday Agreement at Stormont was one long in Sands’ sights as a peace activist who reached all sides. He used that as a fitting bridge in the show to attach his stories and songs leading up one of Ireland’s most important achievements.
The tale of the RUC officer on the road as he tried to get to Stormont, the bus to Newry Town along the Ryan Road and the heart-wrenching story behind “There Were Roses” all put in a context that kept people on the edge of their seats with emotions close to the surface. They were all masterly delivered along with the history of the Sands family in music and song.
As we know peace and justice are not a done deal in the North, and while it is far worse in other quarters around this troublesome world, it is people like Sands who provide hope and inspiration.
Jump at the chance to see Ballad of a Songman if you ever can, and to learn more about the extraordinary human being that is Tommy Sands visit tommysands.com where you can order CDs and his book.