Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French and German. More than 60 percent of the people also speak Flemish. As people around the world showed their support in many more languages for the victims of Tuesday’s deadly terror attacks in Brussels, however, one international tongue emerged – music.
As night began to fall on the streets of Belgium’s capital city, an iconic tune could be heard playing from the bell tower of the largest and oldest university in Brussels. “Hope must survive. That’s why the University Library carillon played John Lennon’s imagine tonight,” the school tweeted. In the center of the city, a crowd gathered at the historic Place de la Bourse, linked arms and sang an impromptu version of the same song about world peace written by John Lennon, which was captured by the UK’s Press Association.
Across the North Sea, Adele was finishing the last of six concerts at London’s O2 arena as part of her Adele Live 2016 tour in support of her latest blockbuster album “25.” During a break between songs, the singer had decided to dedicate a song to Brussels. She encouraged the crowd to join in by promising, “If we make enough noise, they can hear us from here.”
The British singer, who has arguably the most-recognized voice in the world, also dealt a stinging rebuke to those responsible for Tuesday’s carnage at a Brussels airport and metro station, killing and wounding scores of innocent people. “You’re on you’re f— own, you loners,” Adele is heard saying in fan footage.
The pop superstar then began to sing, “Make You Feel My Love,” her well-known cover of the classic Bob Dylan song that appeared on her first album, “19.” The love song, which was also covered separately by both Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood for the soundtrack of the 1998 Sandra Bullock romance “Hope Floats,” took on new and deeper meaning as Adele crooned, “When the evening shadows and the stars appear / And there is no one there to dry your tears / I could hold you for a million years / To make you feel my love.”
The O2 arena itself looked like a starry night in a photo of Adele’s performance shared on Twitter by the arena’s operations director Steve Gotkine. According to one fan who posted a video of “Make You Feel My Love” on YouTube, Adele had asked the audience to light up their phones in a show of solidarity with the Belgian people.
At the end of the emotional recital, Adele conceded, “I don’t think I’ve ever actually been so moved in my life doing one of my shows.” And she was certain of one thing: “They heard us.”