Well said, Jim Carroll. I was pondering how to say that without being called a "drunken Irish American".
GregB, I suppose it would be OK to go ahead and make such a general statement about you and your people, eh?
The songs are an important part of the history of the land of my Grandparents. There is absolutely no reason to be ashamed of them.
I remember going to my first Getaway, years ago. I was sitting in the main hall, trying to relax and singing a few songs. Mudcatter Bert (one of my very favorite 'Catters) came up and sat down. Bert is a Brit(I believe he is English) so I decided not to do any rebel songs. So I worked my way around the other parts of my repertoire. Finally, Bert asked to borrow my guitar and ripped out a wonderful rebel song. I chuckled and proceeded to do The Foggy Dew.
I still laugh about that today.
All the best,