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Sinead Ryan: The soundtrack to my whole adolescence

I remember that summer in Dublin. Actually, it wasn't just the one summer. Bagatelle's anthem provided a soundtrack to my whole adolescence. What a fantastic song.

For a while it was played absolutely everywhere, all of the time. So much so, that you'd imagine you'd get sick of it, but you never did. Every single summer, radio stations stuck it on their daily play-lists and we never minded.

Part of the appeal was growing up in Dublin, smelling the Liffey and knowing the 46a bus route. We almost felt famous ourselves. It was the first summer we were allowed the freedom of going on a bus alone. Sometimes, it was the 46a as we coasted out to Dun Laoghaire and we'd yell out the song from the top deck at full volume. The driver had heard it all before.

Those were the days when you got on a bus from the back, swung around the pole and had a conductor sell you your ticket. We didn't stop off to pick up a guitar because you never knew when the next bus might come, but it didn't stop us dreaming.

Those summers were all about first loves and break-ups, living in a city beginning to find its fabulous feet, and feeling Dublin could really be something someday. Well, the young people are still walking on Grafton Street, but now, as then, they're more likely to be queuing for a job. Summer In Dublin wasn't trendy. You never admitted to loving it. It certainly wasn't played by John Clarke manning the discs in Blinkers nightclub every Saturday when we'd blag our way in wearing too much make-up and too-short skirts.

We could only afford a bottle of Ritz between two, but as we hoofed around to cooler songs like Come On Eileen, it was Bagatelle we wanted to hear late at night, listening to joyously illegal pirate stations like Nova, which had just started up, and Radio Dublin 253 (the numbers denote Medium Wave -- an alien concept, young readers!).

What a joy to be asked to hear it again 30 years after bigger, richer, global bands that came from little old Dublin made it.

Oh, they had good follow-ups: Second Violin; Trump Card. But they weren't special. They say that a smell or image can bring back a whole lifetime. Summer In Dublin puts me on a bus waving madly at a boy I loved. Or thought I did. I can still see that summer in Dublin and hear the scream of a low-flying jet. And for today, I'm a teenager again and I don't care who's watching.


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