Glossary entry for
Tree-lined Cyprus Avenue (shown at right) is phenomenally close to Hyndford
Street (the street where Van grew up in East Belfast), but in Belfast a
five-minute drive can take you into a completely different world.
The homes on
Cyprus Avenue are stately, grand even. The inhabitants of Cyprus Avenue are
upper-middle class professional people. The houses, many of them double-fronted,
date back to Victorian times, when the development of the railway encouraged the
more wealthy Belfast inhabitants to move out from the city centre and its
unhealthy conditions. A small boy growing up in the working-class neighborhood of
Hyndford Street would naturally be in awe of the obvious wealth on Cyprus Avenue.
Steve Turner's biography Too Late to Stop Now
mentions how Van, as a boy walking down Cyprus Avenue, would "suddenly be struck
by a sense of timelessness, in which everything seemed beautiful and 'right'.
This feeling could last for minutes or hours, or sometimes even for days."
Cyprus Avenue is mentioned explicitly by name in several Van songs, but also
through lyrical references in others (Cyprus Avenue is most likely 'the avenue'
refered to in "And The Healing Has Begun", and 'the avenue of trees' in "Ro Ro
Beyond the southern side of Cyprus Avenue is a disused railway cutting, which
once belonged to the Belfast And County Down Railway (this railway is mentioned
in the song "Cyprus Avenue"). The North Road railway
bridge itself is also mentioned (in "On Hyndford Street"). This line now serves
as the Bloomfield Walkway.
Including contributions from Stuart Bailie
Van references in:
Part of the van-the-man.info unofficial website