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Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?

Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Jun 09 - 11:16 AM
Jack Campin 24 Jun 09 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,lox 24 Jun 09 - 11:43 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Jun 09 - 11:44 AM
MartinRyan 24 Jun 09 - 11:49 AM
wysiwyg 24 Jun 09 - 11:51 AM
Rapparee 24 Jun 09 - 11:54 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Jun 09 - 12:00 PM
maire-aine 24 Jun 09 - 12:12 PM
Jean(eanjay) 24 Jun 09 - 12:34 PM
MartinRyan 24 Jun 09 - 12:38 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Jun 09 - 12:49 PM
Emma B 24 Jun 09 - 12:54 PM
MartinRyan 24 Jun 09 - 12:58 PM
Rapparee 24 Jun 09 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,mg 24 Jun 09 - 01:29 PM
Rapparee 24 Jun 09 - 01:50 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Jun 09 - 02:32 PM
MartinRyan 24 Jun 09 - 03:35 PM
Deckman 24 Jun 09 - 04:50 PM
Marje 24 Jun 09 - 04:57 PM
Rapparee 24 Jun 09 - 06:09 PM
Leadfingers 24 Jun 09 - 08:41 PM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Jun 09 - 04:46 AM
MartinRyan 25 Jun 09 - 04:49 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 26 Jun 09 - 11:38 AM
Fiolar 27 Jun 09 - 08:44 AM
MartinRyan 27 Jun 09 - 11:20 AM
Keith A of Hertford 27 Jun 09 - 01:57 PM
MartinRyan 27 Jun 09 - 02:43 PM
Eric the Viking 27 Jun 09 - 03:29 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 28 Jun 09 - 04:46 AM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Jun 09 - 07:24 AM
Fiolar 28 Jun 09 - 08:55 AM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Jun 09 - 09:17 AM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Jun 09 - 09:53 AM
Greg F. 28 Jun 09 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Learaí na Láibe 28 Jun 09 - 11:08 AM
Eric the Viking 28 Jun 09 - 01:54 PM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Jun 09 - 03:39 PM
Eric the Viking 28 Jun 09 - 03:45 PM
Paul Burke 28 Jun 09 - 04:38 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 28 Jun 09 - 05:12 PM
MartinRyan 28 Jun 09 - 05:18 PM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Jun 09 - 06:19 PM
MartinRyan 28 Jun 09 - 06:47 PM
Marje 29 Jun 09 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,mayomick 29 Jun 09 - 11:12 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 09 - 03:51 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 09 - 04:07 AM
MartinRyan 30 Jun 09 - 04:44 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 09 - 06:05 AM
Fiolar 30 Jun 09 - 08:55 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 09 - 09:38 AM
MartinRyan 30 Jun 09 - 12:31 PM
Paul Burke 30 Jun 09 - 05:13 PM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jul 09 - 03:30 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jul 09 - 03:30 AM
MartinRyan 01 Jul 09 - 04:37 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jul 09 - 05:04 AM
MartinRyan 01 Jul 09 - 05:11 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jul 09 - 05:29 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM
MartinRyan 01 Jul 09 - 05:40 AM
Fiolar 01 Jul 09 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,T.Mooney 01 Jul 09 - 06:59 PM
MartinRyan 01 Jul 09 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,mg 01 Jul 09 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,T.Mooney 02 Jul 09 - 12:08 PM
MartinRyan 02 Jul 09 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,T.Mooney 03 Jul 09 - 06:12 AM
Fiolar 03 Jul 09 - 08:30 AM
MartinRyan 03 Jul 09 - 09:26 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 09 Oct 09 - 10:43 AM
Big Tim 09 Oct 09 - 12:06 PM
The Sandman 09 Oct 09 - 03:51 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Oct 09 - 08:48 PM
Liberty Boy 10 Oct 09 - 04:43 AM
Big Tim 13 Oct 09 - 04:42 AM
GUEST 13 Oct 09 - 07:58 AM
Keith A of Hertford 13 Oct 09 - 09:08 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 13 Oct 09 - 02:43 PM
Scorpio 13 Oct 09 - 06:05 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 13 Oct 09 - 06:15 PM
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Subject: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 11:16 AM

Just curious to know others opinions on this.

Being English with Irish parentage I have some interest in learning a few songs that relate to my the experiences of my Irish ancestry. Both learning about the history surrounding them, and simply for singing the songs in themselves. I am told that certain figures in my families ancestry were involved in the Fenian movement for example - something I need to learn more about. And later members emigrated to England to escape the privations caused by the civil war in the North - resulting naturally enough in my being born here in England :-)

I'm also interested in the songs as representing something of a historical and social document so to speak.

Yet, there does appear to be some (perhaps understandable or perhaps not?) political sensitivity in the UK about such songs, so I realise I may have to be careful about where I might sing certain songs. And yet what intrigues me, is how staunchly the folk community appear to value 'historical accuracy' over 'PC' revisions where sensitive material contained in songs is concerned.

I feel I am treading on possibly 'taboo' ground by learning some of these songs, yet have come to the conclusion that they represent a perfectly valid body of material for me to draw upon. Both due to the personal family associations, and due to their impersonal and objective value as a form of social document.

Curious to know how others feel about the singing of such songs? Either by Irish people, by people of Irish descent, or indeed people with no Irish ancestry at all?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 11:41 AM

There is a very good book about this - Georges Denis Zimmermann, "Songs of Irish Rebellion: Irish Political Street Ballads and Rebel Songs, 1780-1900", 342pp, Four Courts Press, 1966, reprinted 2002 (ISBN 1-85182-629-7).

Maybe somebody can suggest something to complement that for the 20th century?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 11:43 AM

Interesting,

Are you referring to the Irish civil war which was fought in the republic between supporters of De Valera and supporters of Collins?

If so then I would also be interested in knowing if there are songs that deal with this subject, which otherwise seems to get swept under the carpet a bit.

A link to a relevant thread would be greatly appreciated if one already exists.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 11:44 AM

Thanks for that Jack - I'll certainly look that one up!


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 11:49 AM

GUESTlox

There are a number of songs relating to the period of the Civil War in Ireland (1922/3) and its aftermath - though I don't offhand know of any published collection. Some more recent songs associated with the Northern "troubles" would reference the period and participants, also.

Regards

p.s. I'm sure we've looked at some of the songs concerned here over the years - I'll add links as I find them.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 11:51 AM

Please see my post of this AM in the "Colored Aristocracy" thread. If you find it relevant, go ahead and paste it here.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 11:54 AM

I wouldn't offend by singing "Broad Black Brimmer" or "My Little Armalite" in the UK. But then, there are also songs like "Boyne Water" and "No Surrender" I wouldn't sing in Ireland. Heck, there are places in the US where I wouldn't sing any of these.

But...

They are all good songs. Every song will offend someone -- from "Kick the Pope" to "Tantum Ergo" to "Jump Jim Crow" to "We Shall Overcome."

I'd suggest that you know your audience.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 12:00 PM

Lox, that's my dumb error - don't know why I put that down. Rightly I should have said "Troubles", which only ever verged on civil war. Though I do need to ask further about family history for that period too.

Possibly I should have a look at a family tree alongside the history associated with the songs. Minstrelry of some kind, is also supposed to be a part of my Irish families history, another rather tangiental reason for an interest in the subject.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: maire-aine
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 12:12 PM

Being in the US, not the UK, I haven't got quite the same problem. But there are certain audiences that are very anti-political no matter what their stripe. By all means, learn the songs and their historical background, for your own satisfaction. You will find occasions to sing them. A lot of the songs I sing are US political, labor & social justice themes, so I try to seek out audiences that will appreciate them.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 12:34 PM

I am English with no Irish ancestry. There are some excellent Irish rebel songs and I have some of them on vinyl. I have not heard any that would offend me.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 12:38 PM

Crow Sister

Which "few songs" did you have in mind to learn?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 12:49 PM

I will do appropriate reading around the history behind them, before deciding that. I'm not about to dive in, without gaining some understanding of context.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Emma B
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 12:54 PM

Tricky one Crow Sister

There are still people with many real memories of the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974 which were the most injurious terrorist attacks in England until the July 2005 London bombings; 21 people were killed (ten at the Mulberry Bush and eleven at the Tavern in the Town) and 182 people were injured.

Just after this I was in the Lake District and felt obliged to point out to a couple of German tourists that loudly singing songs advocating 'rising up' against British rule in a local pub was probably badly timed

"What rebel songs do not have to be, is anthems dedicated to perpetuating hatred. Perhaps it's a mark of my often buried idealism, but I believe that it's possible to honor the heroes and remember the dead, without advocating or glorifying further killing. In fact, understanding the sacrifices of those whom have gone before us can, and should, motivate us to do everything in our power to avoid future violence, and to appreciate what peace and freedoms we have."

A quote from an insightful web page The Art of Defiance - Rebel songs


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 12:58 PM

Good idea, crow sister! As you get a sense of Irish history - from all sides - you'll find lots of songs that can provide an insight into different periods and the characters that lived then. They don't all HAVE to be "rebel songs", of course.


Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 01:10 PM

But let's look then at ALL rebel songs -- not just those of Ireland. "Yankee Doodle"? "Flight of Doodles"? "The Triumph of General Ludd"? "The World Turned Upside Down"? "La Makhnovtchina"? "Die Moorsoldaten"?

Where does "Le deserteur" differ from "Neck Deep In the Big Muddy" in spirit? Where does "Waltzing Wharfie" differ from "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night"?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 01:29 PM

I am a firm believer in singing what you like and apologizing for any offense..unless it is really really bad, in which case I would do folk surgery on it or not sing it. I also now try to take out specific anti-British words, like "if the color we must wear is England's cruel red" and making a substitution, which I don't like doing, because I do not like altering songs, but nevertheless...Just a disclaimer that you do not support violence in any form or whatever your beliefs are. I got scolded for singing some rebel song once for fear of inciting a riot or whatever and really had not connected them to incitefullness, at least in Seattle. But I absolutely positively do not believe you need a DNA connection or cultural connection to sing any song. You might lose 92% of the meaning, but maybe whoever you sing it to will get something else out of it. I also tend to be one who doesn't really listen to words too much of a song and others differ...mg


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 01:50 PM

Because you can't understand the lyrics:

Не слышны в саду даже шорохи
Все здесь замерло до утра
Если б знали вы, как мне дороги
Подмосковные вечера.

Речка движется и не движетс
Вся из лунного серебра
Песня слышится и не слышится
В эти тихие вечера.

А рассвет уже все заметне
Так, пожалуйста, будь добра
Не забудь и ты эти летние
Подмосковные вечера.

Не слышны в саду даже шорох
Все здесь замерло до утра
Если б знали вы, как мне дороги
Подмосковные вечера.

in no way makes "Moscow Nights" a song to anger people. And yet it has, back in the '60s, simply because it was Russian.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 02:32 PM

It's been my experience that people who claim to object to political songs really mean that they object to songs that run counter to 'their' politics.
The British and Irish repertoires are full of political songs - as somebody said, 'you'll always find somebody who will take offence', and if you pander to that attitude you'll end up with a very anodyne repertoire.
Irish history is fully recorded in its songs; some of the most fascinating have been those made locally which, for one reason or another, haven't caught the attention of the general population - there are numerous ones in this area dating back to the Black and Tan atrocities.
"There are still people with many real memories of the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974"
There are indeed - just as there are those who remember the fact that innocent people were fitted up for the crime, and others, and served 17 years because of it - so where do you go from there?
I would strongly second the suggestion of getting hold of Zimmermann's book; it was re-issued in paperback not so long ago - try 'The Book Depository' website. usually very reasonable and postage free.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 03:35 PM

Jim

It's been my experience that people who claim to object to political songs really mean that they object to songs that run counter to 'their' politics

Bit like the objections to the idea that BNP supporters might actually have voices!

More seriously, of course, the converse of your argument is very often true: people who claim they sing songs because of the history - implying some quasi-objective status - are doing so in support of a specific political outlook and aim. Nothing wrong with that, really - apart from the illusion of truth. Me? I'd settle for balance - which has to be worked at.

Regards

p.s. See you soon!


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 04:50 PM

Interesting thread! As I said to someone recently: "Folk songs are powerful songs." As a performer I feel it's important to understand that power ... to understand where the power came from and where the power can go. Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Marje
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 04:57 PM

Crow Sister, I think the fact that you're aware that you might offend sensiblities is pretty good guarantee that you won't. The most offence is caused when people carelessly sing songs about events that are much closer to the experience of the listeners than they realise, and casually use words that are terms of abuse in some communities. If you're taking the trouble to think about the songs you sing, and finding out a bit about how they fit into Irish history, you'll probably present them in a thoughtful and appropriate way. You can always show by the way you introduce a song that you're aware of where it comes from and how it came to be written or sung, without suggesting that you endorse the all sentiments it expresses or believe they're appropriate today.

I don't think being of "Irish descent" is of any particular significance. Irish history belongs not just to the Irish, but to the Scots, Welsh and English too - we and our forebears were all a part of it to some degree. It's more important that you have some awareness of the issues and events that the songs refer to, and it sounds to me as if you're already taking the trouble to prepare the ground. You'll be fine - the worst thing would be to ignore the songs and let them die out.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 06:09 PM

Every nation has done things in the past of which is isn't proud. Slavery in the US, the Holocaust in Germany, the Japanese sex slaves, Cromwell's excesses in Ireland, the Albigensian Crusade in France, and many many others. History is full of these.

We should remember them and learn from them so that we don't do them again. However, this is an imperfect world and we are imperfect people (even I once had an very slight imperfection). Certain sights, smells, sounds can trigger bad old memories, memories of people and events long gone by but still alive inside our heads.

Know your audience and don't do anything to deliberately offend. "Broad Black Brimmer" and "A Nation Once Again" are wonderful songs that can get the audience "going" -- unless the audience has memories of the IRA and the Troubles recently ended (and not necessarily all of the audience).

I'd try not to cause unnecessary and deliberate pain, but the songs should still be sung. And I include the songs of ALL sides.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 08:41 PM

I got involved in 'Folk' song in the mid sixties (In UK) and thoroughly enjoyed singing songs like 'Dublin in the Green' and other
similar Irish Rebel songs , as did all my Folkie mates . They were GOOD choruses and were sung in Drunken nights in The NAAFI on a lot of Military bases .
That all changed when the Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland was Hijacked by the I R A in 1969 . Who wanted to sing about 'The Glorious Struggle' when a good percentage of your audience could well have loved ones serving in Belfast , and being shot and bombed by 'The Boyos' !
Now that there is a sort of peace in Ireland , it is not so bad to sing some of the songs , but as has been pointed out , there are too many memories of stupid things done by ALL participants in 'The Troubles' , so a degree of circumspection wold seem to be called for .
A Bloody Shame in MY opinion , as they are STILL Good Chorus songs !


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 04:46 AM

The value of a song as a social document must be considered with reference to when it was written.
There are many songs now about WW1 that aspire to speak for the soldiers of the day, but are modern songs that reflect modern values and mores and not the ethos of the time.

Many Irish rebel songs were written long after the events they portray, and are imbued with ideas that may not have been as prevalent as the revisionist authors would like to believe they were.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 04:49 AM

Keith

Fair, calm comment.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 11:38 AM

I really appreciate the considered responses to this thread. I wondered if I might be opening another Pandoras Box on Mudcat.

Martin - with respect to your comments yes indeed. Precisely so. My feeling is I wish to find a vivid and active inroad into some of my Irish heritage through song. But to clarify, 'Rebel Songs' are not the *only* area of interest, I simply felt that they in particular may perhaps be somewhat 'taboo' for me to engage with - being English (albeit Anglo-Irish) rather than Irish - hence my interest in others opinion on the matter.

It has been a very useful thread, and great to see such temperate and well-informed views expressed on such a potentially contentious issue.

I'd be happy to garner anecdotes about their own singing of 'Rebel Songs' too, if anyone wanted to share them?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Fiolar
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 08:44 AM

Crow Sister. Just to mention that there were some beautiful songs written years and years before the 20th century which dealt with various aspects of Irish history and the various rebellions. For example, just to mention a few:
"The Wind that Shakes the Barley" (1798 rebellion); "The Bold Fenian Men" (the 1860s); "The Blacksmith of Limerick" (1690); "Skibereen" (possibly the 1840s)


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 11:20 AM

Fiolar

Mind you, all of those were written well after the events they describe - which limits their impact as social documents.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 01:57 PM

Indeed, Skibbereen and Bold Fenian Men (Down By The Glenside) are both 20th century.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 02:43 PM

Keith

While I've always believed that Skibbereen is probably late 19C. or early 20 - it's a hard one to date or find an author for. What you know, please?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 03:29 PM

As someone whose great grandmother was exiled because of her love for an English soldier there is a part of me that feels an association with catholic Ireland, and a bit of pride in this link. I've sung and played many tunes that come from Ireland over the years. It's never bothered me and I sung many of the songs around clubs in London in the late sixties. A group of us were playing tunes on the P&O ferry from Rotterdam to Hull one night after the 1st eurogathering. Late at night after a good session where we gathered quite a good audiencea drunken angry Irishman accused us of playing rebel songs (actually tunes) and tried to berate us. His embaressed wife pulled him away and we told him that the words hadn't been added to the tunes until long after they were written. He eventually left amid comments from people who were just enjoying the music and didn't seem to care at all.

I suppose many people don't know or don't care where the songs or tunes have come from.

Marje, above adds, "I don't think being of "Irish descent" is of any particular significance. Irish history belongs not just to the Irish, but to the Scots, Welsh and English too - we and our forebears were all a part of it to some degree." Which I think is true for many of us (It's up to you to chose whether to take a side or not or whether to just view the tunes with history).

And Terry (Leadfingers) is right about the songs being sung with gusto in the sixties, ignoring the history behind them. The songs were sung in clubs all over the place and with often full audience participation.

Mike Ryan of CARA wrote a song; Exile's son. It sums up his and your right to sing.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 04:46 AM

The idea of songs composed retrospectively eulogising heros of the past is interesting as a form of 'folk propaganda' I think - especially as it's almost echoing the tradition of doing same with ancient heros of Irish mythology. So in as much as they might not represent a genuine take on events of the time, they can possibly be seen in light of how the past is intentionally drawn upon to inspire action in the present, and indeed in light of a long tradition of doing the same?

I learned 'Bold Fenian Men' (Down by the Glenside) yesterday, and I found that propagandist element very intriguing. Along with the notion that these men were somehow 'other', in as much as "*There* was a race of men that were so brave and beautiful that *we* could never possibly match their kind again, but nevertheless we might find their image one to inspire us to attempt to emulate them", so to speak.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 07:24 AM

It is not just eulogising heroes.
Songs (and movies) have created a false social history because the true history does not fit with the writers' political philosophy.
They require a history of a downtrodden Irish people united in hatred of the English oppressor.

Martin, all I know of Skibbereen is from reading the discussion and research on Mudcat to which you were a contributor.
I think that you found no reference before the second decade of 20thC.
Being such a good song (I sing it myself minus the last verse) I am sure it would have become known very quickly.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Fiolar
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 08:55 AM

"Skibbereen" is a traditional song. There is no known author but the events mentioned deal with the 1840s. One verse is as follows:
    "It's well I do remember the year of forty-eight,
      When we arose with Erin's boys to fight against our fate.
      I was hunted through the mountains as a traitor to the Queen,
      And that's another reason why I left old Skibbereen."
That verse is left out of some versions. "The Bold Fenian Men" was written by Peadar Kearney (1883 - 1942) who was involved in the Easter Rising of 1916.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 09:17 AM

The author of Skibbereen is not known.
Obviously it was inspired by the famine.
Lack of early references does not prove it a later song, but that is the most likely explanation.
The other two songs you mention were both written by the same person in the second half of 19thCentury. He was an an emigrant in USA known for his writing of emotive patriotic songs for the Irish community there.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 09:53 AM

As Kearney's songs were written in 20thC after the rising, it would be very misguided to see them as a social history of earlier centuries.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 10:16 AM

I also tend to be one who doesn't really listen to words too much...

I'm with Phil Ochs on this one:

Why sing the songs and forget about the aim?
He wrote them for a reason. Why not sing them for the same?


If you just want background noise, there's MuZak.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: GUEST,Learaí na Láibe
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 11:08 AM

quote:
"Yet, there does appear to be some (perhaps understandable or perhaps not?) political sensitivity in the UK about such songs,"

That applies to Ireland as well, Crow Sister. Rebel songs went out of favour during the events in the North from 69 onwards. There appears to have been a bit of a revival since the peace process mostly amoung a younger age group who weren't about when the Provos were engaged in what they and their supporters euphemistically refer to as the "armed struggle".

A few rebel songs are often included in the repertoire of the one man ballad bands who put on entertainment for the tourists and visitors are thereby often misled as to the popularity of the particular genre of Irish songs.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 01:54 PM

I remember in the 60's Hallmark (sold in Woolworths) had an albulm called "Songs of the Irish rebellion". It sold quite well I believe and I still have my copy. It had the Tricolour on the front. This was before the mainland bombings etc. Nobody seemed to mind the songs being sung then.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 03:39 PM

I have a Dubliners LP of that time with My Ould Alarm Clock, about planting bombs in London.
It was just an amusing song then.
No sinister overtones.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 03:45 PM

I remember them singing it at the Royal Albert Hall in about 1968/69?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 04:38 PM

When very much younger, I sang the Men from South Armagh, a 1970s song, in a bar on Cape Clear. A bloke from Dublin was very upset; some local youths highly impressed to hear an Englishman singing a rebel song. Cape is a hell of a long way from Warrenpoint. I certainly wouldn't do it now.

But if that song is to be deprecated, why is the Battle of New Orleans acceptable?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 05:12 PM

Keith A: "I have a Dubliners LP of that time with My Ould Alarm Clock, about planting bombs in London."

Interesting.
I have vague recollections of a song about 'the clockmaker', though I'm guessing the associations were the same?
Fully naive at the time, of the possible implications of course. Wish I could remember more.

Any more songs of that ilk?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 05:18 PM

You may be thinking of "clockwinder" - different associations!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 06:19 PM

1998 thread about Ould Alarm Clock.
Early contributor, MartinRyan.
thread.cfm?threadid=6774&messages=9


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 06:47 PM

Keith

No argument about the alarm clock, of course! It's just that "clockmaker" seems closer to "clockwinder " than anything else. Localised Dublin versions of THIS ONE were very popular at one stage. I wondered if that's what Crow Sister had in mind.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Marje
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 06:24 AM

The difference between a song about the Battle of New Orleans and a 1970s Irish song is about 150 years - in other words, the difference between something that's now history, and something that's in living memory. When there are people alive who have suffered personally, or lost friends or family in the 20th-century Irish troubles, it's wise to be sensitive to this when choosing your song.

And yes, there was a time when you could sing rebel Irish songs even in very Protestant parts of the North of Ireland. I'm thinking of the early 1960s (I know because I lived there then), in the lull between the IRA action of the 1950s and the violence that marked the start of the more recent "Troubles". It was quite cool then to support the Republican cause and the civil rights marchers. But once the violence began in the late 60s, you had to be more careful what you sang and where. And (as implied above) it may be OK for an Irishman to sing a certain song but less so for an Englishman to do so - it's a bit like telling a joke against your own nation, I suppose, in that it's less acceptable coming from a (relative) outsider.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 11:12 AM

The advice about knowing your audience is sound .The thing is about these songs is that ,if they are good ,and if you sing them well , your audience will forgive you if they are music lovers and not attending a performance solely for political reasons.
There is often a lot of demagoguery mixed up with the singing of rebel songs - especially when drink is involved . I'm sure that would be the same in Orange circles. Performers have to learn to distinguish between whether audiences are appreciating songs for their political content or for their artistic merits . It can be both .
You should feel free to leave out offensive verses. I recall reading with horror the unexpugated words of the Irish(?)American song ,The Days of 49 , with all its racist verses . The song without those verses had always been one of my favourites. It's not so good nowadays as a social record of the prevailing racist attitudes in 19th century America because it's always sung with those verses ommitted , but it is better as a song .


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 03:51 AM

After some thought, I wish to change my position on Skibbereen.
It is the song of a man who was too young when he left to have any memory of Ireland.
A man who grew up in USA with only the possibly romanticised reminiscences of older family members, and steeped and imbued with the emotive and romantic, but false history promulgated by songs and verses churned out by professional writers like Robert Dwyer Joyce.
As a social history it does offer an insight, but an insight into the history of second and third generation immigrants in USA.
Its dangerous message is that it would be a good thing to go and do some killing of new generations as a response to the plight of previous generations.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 04:07 AM

When I posted about falsely historical rebel songs, their pernicious influence was immediately demonstrated by Fiolar.
He offered 4 examples of songs not in that category, and every one was.
The songs he has always known and loved were not what he thought them to be.
He said he had many more examples, but none offered yet.

For me the enjoyment of these songs is tainted by the knowledge that they bear a responsibity for the human and economic catastrophe of the last 40 years.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 04:44 AM

Way over the top, Keith! Bear in mind the distinction between "causation" and "correlation", please. Your use of "falsely historical" as a synonym for "romanticised" is also tendentionus.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 06:05 AM

OK Martin.
Is it fair to say that you are challenging me on the degree but not the principal?
The phrase "illusion of truth" was yours.
keith.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Fiolar
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 08:55 AM

Keith: I know exactly what they are. Many of them tell of the real events in Irish history. For example: "Henry Joy" about Henry Joy McCraken (1767 - 1798) who was a United Irishman of Hugenot descent and who was executed on July 17th 1798. "The Boys of Kilmichael" about the Kilmichael ambush and as a matter of interest, I personally knew many of the "boys" who took part in it and went to school with their children. "Kevin Barry" (1902 - 1920). "Upton Ambush"; "Boulavogue" which deals with Father John Murphy (c1753 - 1798); "Kelly, the Boy from Killane"; "Shall My Soul Pass Through Old Ireland" about Terence MacSwiney (1879 - 1920): "The Bold Robert Emmett" (1778 - 1803).
Funny enough Thomas Moore wrote a song about Robert Emmett's fiance, Sarah Curran who died in 1808. It is called "She Is Far From The Land".


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 09:38 AM

Thanks Fiolar, but you promised songs written "years and years before 20thCentury"
That just leaves Henry Joy, date unknown.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 12:31 PM

"She is far from the land" is an interesting one in that it shows that is perfectly possible to be contemporaneous with a historical event - and still be hopelessly romantic!

I'll come back to the more general point when I have time.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 05:13 PM

Keith has a point that romantic attitudes and pseudo- history bear A responsibility, as he said (not THE), for the conflicts of the late 60s to recently- but it's surely far from the only one, and certainly not unique to Ireland, and there certainly not confined to one side. In the same way, Kipling bears A responsibility for the First World War, and Francis Scott Key A responsibility for McCarthyism.

If we have to get our facts right before singing any song, we'll have precious few to sing and pretty dull they'll be. That's leaving aside the question of "facts" in history. And if we have to wait till a conflict is over and forgotten before we can sing about it, Ireland will have to shut up, yea even unto the 12th century...

The starting point of the thread was song (specifically "rebel" songs) as a social document. A song can document times other than the one it purports to depict. See the wonderful WAV's thread about his imagined village. All peoples use their history as a way to comment on the present, and given Ireland's rather turbulent past, it's not surprising that there's an element of projection of past wrongs into the present. As the Irish monk said to Gerald of Wales, who accompanied King Henry II's invasion of Ireland, and ragged the Irishman for their church's lack of martyrs, now that the English have come, we'll have plenty of those.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 03:30 AM

Paul, thanks for clarifying my point, but I am going to take issue with your analogy.
Every country does have its plethory of patriotic songs, but if such songs had influenced Britain in 1914, we would have joined Germany to fight the French!
Remeber too that Irishmen enlisted with as much enthusiasm as Englishmen.

I am saying that the rebel songs have helped to create a false history of an oppressed Irish people united in hatred of an English oppressor, and that these encouraged impressionable young men to believe that they were joining a centuries old crusade that never really existed.

I am also suggesting that these songs began appear in the latter half of 19thC, predominantly in USA, where they were produced by professionals writing for misty eyed descendants of immigrants, and did not become popular in Ireland before the rising.

(How am I doing Martin?)


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 03:30 AM

plethora!


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 04:37 AM

Keith

Still too busy to tackle the general point - but let me pick one nit, if I may!

With the possible exception of "Will you come to the bower?", I can't think offhand of any song of American origin that would fit into the class "Irish Rebel Songs" as I would think of it. While there were lots of sentimental Oirish songs produced in the 19th and early 20th C., few of them are overtly or even covertly political. I suspect that to regard anything that, directly or indirectly, comments on British rule in Ireland as an "Irish Rebel Song" is not going to be helpful!

Regards

p.s. Skiberreen is an interesting one alright - whatever its origins. The alternative endings of "Remember Skibbereen" and "Revenge for Skiberreen!" can have very different impacts!


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 05:04 AM

Martin, some of Fiolar's songs are out of that stable.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 05:11 AM

Keith

Which? Offhand, I can't recall the origins of Shall my soul.. - and Skibbereen is debatable - but the rest were surely written on this side of the pond?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 05:29 AM

Just "The Wind That shakes The Barley" and "Blacksmith of Limerick".


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM

I should withdraw that claim. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 05:40 AM

Yeah - both of those were written by R D Joyce, IIRC. Fairly standard late 19C. romantic perspective.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Fiolar
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 08:56 AM

Many songs were written anonymously and more than likely in Irish. There is a long history of the oral tradition in Ireland and especially if you were a travelling bard very few of your songs were likely to make it into print. Many of the ones people are familiar with today were written by well known figures in English.
Just to mention one or two others; "Ned of the Hill" (In Irish "Eamonn an Chnuic") is attributed to Samuel Lover (1797 - 1868) and deals with Edmund Ryan (1670 - 1724). "Rory Of the Hill" by Charles J. Kickham (1828 - 1882) refers to Rory O'Moore (1620 - 1655). An interesting item relates to a song called "Come To The Bower" which was allegedly played by Sam Houston's men at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836.
I was surprised to learn that there are two statues of Robert Emmett in the US. One is in Embassy Row, Washington DC and the second one is in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
Admittedly most of the rebel songs composed in the 20th century relate to the War of Independence and to later events mainly in Northern Ireland.
To conclude, every country has its songs dealing with its history and to ignore them would be a sad loss. For example Jesse James is remembered beautifully in the ballad "Jesse James"; "Sam Hall" deals with the execution in 1701 of Jack Hall, a chimney sweep. "The Bonny Earl of Murray" remembers the murder in 1592 of the Earl of Murray probably at the instigation of King James VI. "Casabianca" is a reference to the Battle of the Nile in 1798.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: GUEST,T.Mooney
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 06:59 PM

Fiolar, you are on the right track. Rebel Songs (as others refer to them) were composed in Irish also but, for this very reason , were either not written down or were written in a translated form in later times. They may very well be heard as a comment on the time contemporary to their composition.
There is another factor too to be considered. Irish Composers ( certainly those using the English language ) may have feared to commit themselves to a written word at the time of the events being commented upon (in song or poem)
There are also those "dual language" songs to be considered. These were composed in such a manner as to mock the subject while appearing to praise and honour it. Would not some of those have been "social comments" ?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 07:23 PM

Hi GuestTMOONEY

There are obviously differences of opinion as to what constitutes a "rebel song" in the Irish tradition. Even with a pretty broad interpretation, however, I can think of only a handful which are translations from Gaelic originals - The Connerys/Na Conarigh is one that comes to mind. Have to say I've never thought of Eamonn an Cnoic/Ned of the Hill as a "rebel song". Which songs did you have in mind?

Your mention of "dual language" songs is a bit confusing, also. "False praise" songs are common enough in both languages - not particularly in macaronics, in my experience.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 07:51 PM

Why sing the songs and forget about the aim?
He wrote them for a reason. Why not sing them for the same?



---

Because your reason might not be his/her reason. Because you might like the "sound it makes" as someone said. That is my basic interest in the music frankly. Because you might be on emotional overload and can't really get into one more miner with lung disease but you can still sing the song for someone else. Because you might not know the history or even make sense of the song but if you like it sing it and again someone you sing it to might know more and not have heard it otherwise.

There are as many reasons for singing a song as there are people singing them. As long as they are not used to abuse people, what business is it of anyone else's, or why do they feel the need to socially coerce people to get on board a particular train. mg


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: GUEST,T.Mooney
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 12:08 PM

Yes Hi Martin Ryan, I suppose it is taking a very broad view to call any song that encouraged people to think of Ireland as a country and people who should be free of domination by a stronger neighbour but such are often included in the "Rebel Songs" catalogues.
As "Fiolar" suggested I believe that there must have been many, many "rebel" songs composed by the old travelling Bards that were never translated much less written down, which were also comments on the times in which they were written. This was how they made a living I understand. Many , perhaps most, have probably been long forgotten.
I am not a collector of old songs much less a scholar but I have memories of learning several "poems" in my schooldays that had alternate verses in English and Irish that also professed alternating sentiments towards the rulers of the times in which they were written. Have you come across any of these ?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 12:28 PM

GUESTTMooney

Can't say I remember macaronic songs or poems where the sentiments expressed alternate with the language. The definitive book on them is Diarmuid O'Muirithe's An tAmhrán Macrónach. I'll have a look through it later.

On the question of the "bards", composing in Irish: remember that the modern perception of Ireland as a nation-state is just that - modern, basically post French revolution. (I know that's a simplification, but it's a reasonable starting point). English was the language of politics through the 19C., there was a strong English-literary tradition involved in the development of political song in Ireland (The Nation etc.) - and the broadside tradition was essentially in English also, of course. Historically, the tradition of song in Irish was generally lyrical rather than narrative or, indeed, directly political. Political songs that made the transfer to English might include Sliabh na mBan, I suppose (one of my favourites). Other than that, there were things like Mangans translation of Róisín Dubh.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: GUEST,T.Mooney
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 06:12 AM

Yes Martin , but weren't many of such songs allegorical in a way, like "Dark Rosaleen"?
There would have been an "alternative" forum of political comment going on also surely. Such would, of necessity, have had to be "disguised" in some way, in most cases, to protect those involved? There is still a, mostly rural, tradition in Ireland of composing narrative songs and poems (most of them in a doggerel form unfortunately. I find it difficult to think that this is a "newer" development given the Irish delight in "Searabhus" (Hope I've spelled it correctly ?) going back into the cultural past ?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Fiolar
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 08:30 AM

There was the classic "code" song, "An Raibh Ag An gCarraig?" ("Were You At The Rock?")which dealt with the times that the Penal Laws were in force. "The Rock" related to the rock on which the Mass was said. In those times there was something like £30 for the head of a priest. Quite a lot of history associated with those rocks.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 09:26 AM

Fiolar/T.Mooney

I agree completely with the underlying argument that there is a vast wealth of Irish songs, in Irish, English and occasionally both-at-once, which, directly or indirectly act as social documents or provide an insight into the times from which they came or to which they refer. My sole point in the context of this thread is that "rebel songs" - however defined - are a particular subset of Irish songs whose social comment has to be approached with an awareness of the political baggage they often carry - as well as of the history that begat them.

Nothing uniquely Irish about that, of course but given the international spread of Irish music and song and the world's familiarity with thirty recent years of Northern Ireland "troubles", we tend to bump into it more often, perhaps, than similar situations in other folk traditions.

Regards

p.s. GUEST,T.Mooney Why not sign up to Mudcat and hang around here a while? No charge, no spam, not more abuse than anywhere else ...!


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 10:43 AM

Two short additions: first, there's a reference to "Skibbereen" in the introduction to Hughes, "Irish Country Songs" (1909), so that's the first decade of the 20th century (with the likelihoood that the song itself is a bit older than that). Secondly, in O'Sullivan's "Songs of the Irish" there's a good deal of historical information on both "Eamonn a chnuic" and "Roisin Dubh", together with some other "Patriotic Songs" including "The Races of Ballyhooley". I think O'Sullivan makes some suggestions, with regard to the last of these, that humorously/satirically naming an ignominious retreat/rout a "race" became commonplace or traditional, as in "The Races of Castlebar" in 1798.

I see these two additions have become three. Incidentally, with regard to songs written long after the events, while one version of "The Croppy Boy" is certainly nineteenth-century ("Good men and true..."), isn't the other ("It was early, early in the Spring...") generally regarded as coeval with the events?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Big Tim
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 12:06 PM

Martin,

The Bold Fenian Men (not Down by the Glenside) was published in 1866, the Fenian 'revolt' was in 1867: hardly long after the event!

For me, the rebel (and loyalist songs) are very much social documents. I have never managed to read 'a history of Ireland' from cover to cover but I have learned a helluva lot of history by following up, as objectively as I can, the subjects of the songs.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 03:51 PM

in reply to the OP,I am very happy for anyone to sing them,and have on occasions sung them myself.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 08:48 PM

Depends which song and when. I recall reviewing a record in the 80s, height of the last lot of 'Troubles' [I think it was by Frank Harte], and remarking that it was perhaps not the best of times to be singing songs rejoicing at "all the dead khaki soldiers in Erin-go-Bragh", which might just put a fair number of people [e.g. the wives of such soldiers] off what was, all-in-all, a beautifully performed collection of fine songs. I would stand by that to this day; and don't think I was going outside legitimate criticism, or suggesting any sort of censorship [except perhaps some intelligent self-censorship] in saying so.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Liberty Boy
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 04:43 AM

I would imagine a prerequisit to commenting on "Irish rebel songs" would be to at least have a working knowledge of the history of Ireland, tough though it may be to plough through it.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Big Tim
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 04:42 AM

Correction, The Bold Fenian Men was first published in 1864, in a newspaper in Chicago, where the author Michael Scanlan was then living. It first appeared in book form in Scanlan's poetry collection 'Love and Land' in 1866. It was then titled simply 'The Fenian Men' - tho each verse ended with the line 'the bold Fenian men'!

'Love and Land' included this verse which I have never heard sung, quite possibly because it's never been recorded.

Up for the cause then, fling forth our green banners,
From the east to the west, from the south to the north,
Irish land, Irish men, Irish mirth, Irish manners,
From mansion and cot, let the slogan go forth.
Sons of old Ireland now,
Love you your sireland now?
Come from the kirk, or the chapel or glen,
Down with all faction old,
Concert and action bold,
This is the creed of the bold Fenian men.

Scanlan was a senior Fenian and took part in the Fenian 'raid' on Canada, from Buffalo, in 1866. For more detail on Scanlon, see the book 'From the Bog to the Bishop' by Dr. Margaret Doody-Scully (2005) which includes a chapter on Scanlan by myself titled 'Limerick is Beautiful', the title of another of Scanlan's great songs (he was a native of of Mathúnach,(Mahoonagh, Castlemahon) County Limerick.

The 'other' so-called 'Bold Fenian Men', by Peadar Kearney (1907) is properly titled 'Down by the Glenside'. Kearney was well aware of Scanlan's song and wouldn't have given his own song the same title. He wrote, of a visit to London by the Abbey Theatre, of which he was a member,

'I think it was Humphrey Murphy (a big man with a bigger voice) started singing Scanlon's [sic] 'Fenian men' and when we all joined in at 'Out and make way for the Bold Fenian Men' we actually hushed the surprised mob into momentary silence, the only remark I heard was 'Oirish! Co blimey - barmy'!


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:58 AM

Big Tim

Is that the "See who comes over the red-blossomed heather" song of which you speak? Don't remember hearing it since the days of the Walton's programme.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 09:08 AM

Big Tim, thanks for giving the date for Kearney's song.
Where did you find it?


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 02:43 PM

Re. hearing the song beginning "See who comes over the red-blossomed heather", and including the line "out and make way...", I heard this sung at the Fleadh Cheoil of 2005 in Leitir Ceanainn. I'm pretty sure the singer was female.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Scorpio
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 06:05 PM

I was playing Arthur Mcbride in a pub in Copenhagen. An Irish lady wanted to know by what right I, an Englishman, was singing 'Rebel songs'.


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Subject: RE: Irish Rebel Songs as Social Document?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 06:15 PM

"An Irish lady wanted to know by what right I, an Englishman, was singing 'Rebel songs'."

What was your answer to her question?


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