'Stonington' celebrates living in seaside town

Bergin O'Malley performs on The Day's Live Lunch Break program Thursday at The Telegraph in New London.
Bergin O'Malley performs on The Day's Live Lunch Break program Thursday at The Telegraph in New London.

Stonington — Thanks to Bergin O'Malley, the town has it own song.

The 35-year-old singer-songwriter who has spent summers in the borough since she was a child and now lives here full time with her husband and two children, has recorded a three-song CD that features the regular and children's version of the song as well as "Sounds of the Sea," another tune she wrote about the town several years ago.

The Stonington song — called "Stonington" — features references to places locals know well such as borough restaurants, the Town Dock, Tom's News, Sandy Point and the James Merrill house. She calls it a celebration of living in Stonington.

"I can't believe how many people have come up to me at the farmers market and asked if I wrote that song," she said. "I feel like people have taken ownership of the song and have pride in it. I'm excited people are sharing it."

She began writing the song last fall for the preschool music programs she does at the Stonington Community Center.

"There's just this feeling when you come into Stonington," she said about driving down North Main Street, smelling the salt water and relaxing.

"It's more about the feeling of Stonington. It really is a special, special place," she said.

As an example, O'Malley said that when one of her sons left his stuffed bunny outside Noah's restaurant, one of the employees found it, knew it was his and brought it to their Elm Street home.

"That's not happening in New York City. We're so happy to be here and be by the water," said O'Malley, who also works in business and marketing for Cottrell Brewing.

O'Malley said it took her a long time to appreciate living in Stonington, having spent much of her life in places such as New York, London, Brussels and Mexico. When she and her husband, David, were moving back to New York from London in 2007, he began talking about Stonington.

When she said she wanted to live by the water, he said "like Stonington," and when she said she wanted to be in a place with strong community ties, he said "like Stonington."

Two years ago they moved here full time and found many of her childhood friends had done the same with their families.

She said the song is a celebration of a special, salty place, with small independent stores, friendly shopkeepers and people who know each other. She said it is also a place of traditions, such as when her father takes one of her sons down to Tom's News on Fridays and buys Oreos for them to eat.

She said that on one recent trip home she stopped just outside the borough to take some photos at sunset.

"I'm always amazed at how stunningly beautiful this place is," she said.

A video of the song featuring photos taken by O'Malley and her husband is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZFy8nM7fyE.

The CD will be available as of July 4 at Tom's News and other borough businesses.




The fishing boats go out

the foghorn blows

walk down the street

you'll see someone you know

Stop by Toms for candy or the news

so happy to be …

..In Stonington.. our village by the sea

Our fire trucks

And our library

climb the lighthouse and you will see

Sandy Point and all the boats

so happy to be

….in Stonington ... our village by the sea

Farmers market at the docks or the mill

grab a seat at Water Street and watch the room fill

with your friends old and new

So happy to be

..In Stonington.. our village by the sea

When you come to our town, you have to slow down

Like the salt in the air,

You'll want to hang around

For a sunset, a friend or a view:

The stars in the sky or the waves on the sea

Either way, you're just happy to be

In Stonington ….our village by the sea

The Merrill house and the barber shops

The Holy Ghost and Skippers Dock

church bells ring, trains zoom by

...in Stonington …

Pancakes from Noahs, and Dinner at Zack's

Pizza from the Palace, the train tracks

the cannons in the square that kept us free

so happy to be

..In Stonington….our village by the sea

home to you and me ….so happy to be in our village by the sea.


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