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Origins: Who'll Come Into Our Wee Ring

GUEST,Stephen M 28 Aug 18 - 05:27 AM
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Subject: Origins: Who'll Come Into Our Wee Ring
From: GUEST,Stephen M
Date: 28 Aug 18 - 05:27 AM

Hello all,

Does anyone know if the origins of the song "Who'll Come Into Our Wee Ring"? Specifically, I'm interested to find out if the song has ever been claimed by republicans/nationalists or loyalists/unionists.

For a bit of background, I'm carrying out research on the use of political songs during the 'Troubles' and came across an instance of nationalist and unionist songs being sung by police in one of Northern Ireland's internment camps in 1971.

In Kennally and Preston's "Belfast August 1971: A Case to be Answered", they record what happened to John Murphy, a sixty-one-year-old man who suffered chronic bronchitis. Murphy recounted an instance where he and his fellow internees were forced to sing the British national anthem, before having to engage in pointless and exhaustive physical exercises, while being subjected to both nationalist and loyalist songs:

"They made us sing ‘God Save the Queen’ twice, which in Northern Ireland is degraded to a party song . . . I, along with 14/15 others, was made to walk around the room. I was breathless and exhausted by this. The military policeman hummed, ‘Who’ll come into our wee ring’, ‘Kevin Barry’, ‘The Soldier’s Song’, ‘The Lily O’, as we were walking" (Murphy in Kennally and Preston, 1971:63).

I'm aware of the other songs, but no one I've asked seems to have heard of "Who'll Come Into Our Wee Ring", so I thought I'd ask the group.

Many thanks for any light you can shed on this,
Stephen


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