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Lyr Req: On the One Road (Irish soldier's song)

Related threads:
Tune Req: On the One Road - midi or notation (10)
Lyr Req: On the One Road (Irish) (8) (closed)


Brad 26 Nov 97 - 01:37 PM
Nigel Sellars 26 Nov 97 - 02:40 PM
The Fenian 26 Nov 97 - 02:55 PM
MacCionaoith 26 Nov 97 - 03:18 PM
Murray 27 Nov 97 - 03:42 AM
Martin Ryan 21 Apr 98 - 10:17 AM
GUEST 15 Sep 04 - 12:28 PM
Snuffy 15 Sep 04 - 12:51 PM
Wolfgang 15 Sep 04 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha. 15 Sep 04 - 01:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Sep 04 - 01:20 PM
MartinRyan 15 Sep 04 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 16 Sep 04 - 02:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Sep 04 - 12:05 AM
GUEST,Ar Mhacha 17 Sep 04 - 05:31 AM
belfast 17 Sep 04 - 07:48 AM
Wolfgang 17 Sep 04 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha. 17 Sep 04 - 01:19 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Sep 04 - 07:57 PM
Leadfingers 17 Sep 04 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 18 Sep 04 - 07:00 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Sep 04 - 07:07 AM
GUEST 18 Sep 04 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Ard MHACHA 18 Sep 04 - 07:21 AM
belfast 18 Sep 04 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 18 Sep 04 - 11:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Sep 04 - 08:32 PM
Big Tim 19 Sep 04 - 02:52 PM
belfast 20 Sep 04 - 12:19 PM
GUEST 20 Sep 04 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,coyote breath in the Paha Sapa 20 Sep 04 - 02:38 PM
belfast 21 Sep 04 - 08:07 AM
GUEST 21 Sep 04 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 21 Sep 04 - 01:02 PM
Jack Hickman 21 Sep 04 - 04:33 PM
Wolfgang 21 Sep 04 - 05:01 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Sep 04 - 06:58 AM
belfast 22 Sep 04 - 10:31 AM
ard mhacha 22 Sep 04 - 01:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Sep 04 - 03:54 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 04 - 04:49 AM
Brian Hoskin 23 Sep 04 - 05:30 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 04 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,Gedboy 15 Sep 05 - 01:30 PM
Fergie 15 Sep 05 - 08:40 PM
Seamus Kennedy 15 Sep 05 - 09:58 PM
GUEST,American Mutt with Irish Ancestors 06 Jul 12 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Nick 17 Mar 14 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,boxplayer 02 Feb 18 - 01:36 PM
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Subject: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Brad
Date: 26 Nov 97 - 01:37 PM

I hope someone can help me puzzle out a song title - I don't have much to go on..

My wife heard a song in a Dublin pub years ago. I've been trying to learn the title so I can surprise her with a recording of it (if one exists that is)..

She remembers only a few snippets and it comes across as an upbeat march:

"We're on the one road, Oh it's a long road, we're on the road to God knows where"

...

....Cork, Galway, and Donegal, we're on the one road, Oh it's a long road, singing the soldier's song"

These fragments are VERY approximate and unfortunately, it's all she remembers. Apparently all the locals in the pub knew this tune and belted it out for the benefit of the "American girls" (along with Denver's "Country Road"!)

So far, lyric searches haven't panned out.

Ta.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Nigel Sellars
Date: 26 Nov 97 - 02:40 PM

I think this is "The Soldier's Song," which also the national anthem of the Irish Republic. I believe the Clancy's have recorded it on one of their songs of Irish Rebellion albums, but don't hold me to it.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: The Fenian
Date: 26 Nov 97 - 02:55 PM

Nigel sonuds right i've heard the song as well and it is now drivin' me crazy that i can't remeber it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ON THE ONE ROAD (Frank O'Donovan)
From: MacCionaoith
Date: 26 Nov 97 - 03:18 PM

One of my favorites . . .


ON THE ONE ROAD
(Frank O'Donovan)

Though we've had our troubles now and then
Now is the time to make them up again
Sure aren't we all Irish anyhow
Now is the time to step together, now!

[Chorus]
"We're on the one road, sharing the one load
We're on the road to God-knows-where
We're on the one road, it may be the wrong road
But we're together now; who cares?
North men, South men, comrades all
Dublin, Belfast, Cork or Donegal
We're on the one road swinging along
Singing a soldier's song.

Tinker, tailor, every mother's son
Butcher, baker, shouldering his gun
Rich man, poor man, every man in line
All together now just like auld lang syne.

Night is darkest just before the dawn
From dissension, Ireland is reborn
Soon will all united Irishmen
Make our land a nation once again!


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Murray
Date: 27 Nov 97 - 03:42 AM

Yes--but don't confuse with the Irish national anthem, called "A Soldier's Song", beginning "We'll sing a song, a soldier's song" [chorus: Soldiers are we" etc.], words and music by Peadar Kearney, 1912.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 21 Apr 98 - 10:17 AM

Must check the background to this one. I've a vague memory it dates from army camps during "The Emergency", which was the quaint Irish euphemism for Mr. Hitler's War!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 12:28 PM

Frank O'Donovan wrote it! Played in the Riordan's TV series.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Snuffy
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 12:51 PM

I have a recording of it by (I think) the Wolftones


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 12:52 PM

Funny coincidence this song coming up again today. Right this morning I started reading the autobiography by Gerry Adams.
It's title Before the Dawn is taken from the last verse of this song.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha.
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 01:05 PM

I remember hearing this being played at a gaelic football match in Belfast in 1954.
This song was a rallying song for those affiliated to the Fine Gael Party, it`s saying we have a 26 County Republic , let`s make the best of it, and bollocks to that, was the answer from the six County Nationalists.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 01:20 PM

"On the One Road" is on the cd "Let the People Sing," the Wolfe Tones. The last words of the last line, "A Nation Once Again," is the title of the last track on the same cd. Shanachie 52031, 1991.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 02:26 PM

The sheet music (Walton's) in the Irish Traditional Music Archive describes it as featuring in a show at the Theatre Royal in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day 1941 - proably the year of publication.

Ard M. I'm intrigued by the Fine Gael reference. Any evidence? If it's true, it's ironic that it has ended up being published in republican compilations along with H-block ballads!

Good marching air - not pushed about the words.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 02:42 PM

Martin, I remember a former political prisoner, {detained in the Curragh during the Emergency} telling me that this song was a "come on" effort written by a Fine Gael supporter.
The verses of the song would indicate such a theory, as it is nowadays it is adopted by one and all, as you say a good marching air.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 12:05 AM

The word 'obscure' heading this thread is somewhat inappropriate.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST,Ar Mhacha
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 05:31 AM

"Though we`ve had our troubles now and then,
now`s the time to make them up again
sure aren`t we all Irish anyhow
now`s the time to get together now"

Martin this is referring to the wee bit of bother in the twenties.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: belfast
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 07:48 AM

I wouldn't regard this as evidence but I have heard remarks that would support the info from Ard Mhacha. Many years ago I heard it referred to as a Free Staters' song. The reference was not to place of residence but to political outlook. In other words a song for the pro-Treaty side and their descendants, both political and biological. Yes, I know they are often the same thing.

I have seldom, if ever, heard the song performed by groups who include a lot of Repubican stuff in their repertoire and I suspect those who do are unaware of the songs origins.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 08:29 AM

I'm curious, why then does Gerry Adams cite a verse from this song at the title page of his autobiography first published more than a decade ago)? Was he yet then not a good republican anymore?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha.
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 01:19 PM

As I said before, no remarks would be passed now as to the song writers leanings, Belfast is correct in his assesments regarding the song being regarded by old republicans as a Free State song.
So Wolfgang it wouldn`t cause a stir now if it is included in Gerry Adams book.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 07:57 PM

Its not all that obscure of course, certainly its in the Irish fireside Song Book with its writer - I will look it up if anybody's interested.

I do think however the republicans maybe used an old kids street song as the basis. Bob Stokes, the fantastic Dublin Busker, told me that he remembers all the kids singing it on the bus on the way to the baths when he was a little kid, and the words weren't in any way political.

Incidentally Bob Stokes , the Dublin Busker is gigging a bar in Grand canary for the next three months from the start of October - I dunno if any catters are out there.

all the best
al


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 09:27 PM

It always surprises me as an Englishnen that so few Irishmen seem to be aware of the situation when the Irish Free State was formed that
the I R A did not accept the situation and declared war on the Irish Free State , resulting in a period of civil war in Eire in the early twenties . This is why the I R A is a proscribed orgaisation to this day in the Irish Republicc .


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 07:00 AM

Well Well, the things you learn on Mudcat,we are all enlightened with your fantastic knowledge of things Irish and all the time I thought it was over a rough at Donnybrook Fair.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 07:07 AM

Easy to sneer. A folksinger mate of mine was gigging in Australia a few years ago and he was told you english bastards should get your tanks out of Dublin......as a great Irishman said, ignorance is a rare flower touch it once and its gone foever.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 07:19 AM

I should never have PM`d jOhn to help with my spelling, ROW it is and it was rough as well.
Drummer boy do you really believe that Irish people are confused over the Civil War?, come again.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST,Ard MHACHA
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 07:21 AM

I AM THE MAN ABOVE.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: belfast
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 11:35 AM

This song had disappeared from my consciousness but now, thanks to mudcat, it has returned. And very irritating it is too. Those lines,
"We're on the one road, maybe the wrong road
But we're together now who cares"
are either ludicrous or insane, depending on what mood you're in. And the tune. I don't really think of it as a marching song, more for swaggering or drinking. Or both. I'm told that in certain circles at the end of that couplet the audience will roar, "WHO CARES?" A good question.

My memory gives me the words as "Dublin, Galway, Cork and Donegal. The version above substitutes Belfast for Galway, crossing the border, as it were. But perhaps I had the wrong words in my head to begin with.

A guest has previously identified the writer as Frank O'Donovan. Does anybody know anything about him? A Cork man I would guess by the name. Imdb.com tells us that he was in the film "The Quare Fella" as well as the rte.tv soap "The Riordans". The digitrad has a mention of him as having recorded "The Road By The River". And that seems to be it.
We're on the one road, it may be the wrong road
But we're together now who cares


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 11:46 AM

Belfast your memory is correct, I also heard it sung as Dublin Galway Cork or Donegal.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 08:32 PM

I remember when Arkle disappeared there were numerous sightings, one of the detectives in exasperation said its absolute rubbish that all Irish people know any more about horses than anybody else. So lets not fall into racial stereotyping.


I also seem to remember one time when I was in Dublin a tv reporter stopping at random people on the streets of Dublin and a fair few couldn't name any of the people who had been shot at Kilmainham.

I think its possible that one or two Irish people are confused about the ins and outs of the civil war.

At least they never voted for anybody like Margaret Thatcher and that says a lot for the political astuteness of your nation.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Big Tim
Date: 19 Sep 04 - 02:52 PM

I first hear the song as recorded by Teresa Duffy about 1960.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: belfast
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 12:19 PM

Nice to know that my memory is not playing false. Thank you for that, Ard Macha.

As for the notion that there are people in this country unaware of the Civil War (or the 'parting of the ways', to use one of my favourite euphemisms) it is a possibility, I suppose. 'Invincible ignorance' might describe this condition. After all, there are people who insist that the earth is flat. But how exactly does anyone manage to live on this island and not have heard of the Civil War? The two major political parties in the 26 Counties are the product of that conflict. In some pubs I have met people who are still fighting that struggle. And yet there are possibly one or two innocents who are unaware of this event. How did these innocents avoid the film 'Michael Collins' in cinemas, on television, video or dvd? And even if they avoided the film, how did they miss the endless discussions and commentaries that infested our newspapers, radio and television? This is not simply invincible ignorance, this is ignorance on a heroic scale.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 12:41 PM

Belfast, I couldn`t agree more, living here is a big help regarding the situation on the ground.
We didn`t have a lot of choice about "not voting for Thatcher", in fact we have to take whatever Blair and his cronies send over, they are about as well informed as Bush is about Iraq. We are on the "road to God knows where".


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST,coyote breath in the Paha Sapa
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 02:38 PM

Ahh mudcat, ya haven't changed during my absence, thanks God.

Brad; did you "get" all that? and could it be that Gerry Adams meant to be inclusive (given his desire for uniting Ireland, all 32)?

Of course it would be perfectly wonderful (and funny) to hear it sung with a pub filled chorus of "who cares?".

CB


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: belfast
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 08:07 AM

How did we get onto the subject of Gerry Adams?
What?
Oh, I see.
Every time you see the word "irish" you have an overwhelming compulsion to share with the world your dislike of Gerry Adams?
Fair enough.
You won't mind if I go off into the corner to make a couple of comments about the song and its singers?
No, no, you carry on with your thoughts about Gerry Adams. They're absolutely fascinating.

So, about this song and that wee change in the words. I suspect that the Wolfe Tones would be the ones who introduced it. Most searches for the song seem to lead the WT's.

Probably, like Big Tim, I first heard this song from the singing of Teresa Duffy. Mind you, those women singers from my childhood, Teresa Duffy, Bridie Gallagher, Ruby Murray - I tend to get confused as to which was which.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 12:49 PM

To-day I had a look through my local Cd Shop and came across a Brendan O`Dowda recording "On the one road", on a CD box set entitled "Best of Ireland", with a total of 68 songs I bought it for £9.99.
Featuring Josef Locke, Ruby Murray, Delia Murphy, The Dubliners, John McCormack,, Sean O`Se, etc.
Also the Teresa Duffy recording can still be had in another CD compilation.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 01:02 PM

This song was also recorded by The Barleycorn Group.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Jack Hickman
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 04:33 PM

Any time I had heard this song, usually in pubs here in Canada, but also from tapes and recordings of groups such as the Wolfe Tones, I interpreted the words to mean that both sides of the current disagreement, if that is an appropriate term for the situation, should try to get along. The words I remember are "Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Donegal" and I thought that the underlying meaning of the words was commendable.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 05:01 PM

Belfast, please, no gut reaction necessary here.

I brought up Gerry Adams in this thread, for his autobiography 'Before the Dawn' takes its title from this song as I happen to know since I am reading right now this autobiography. Informations like this are interesting in discussing songs and their context.

I find these discussions extremely interesting. I never had thought before this thread about this song as a 'Free Staters' song though it makes a lot of sense when reading how it starts.

To learn such things about songs means more to me than just getting the lyrics or knowing who sung it. To see a song in its historical context that's what really interests me in folksongs. And Gerry Adams now is a part of the recent history of this song.

Wolfgang (for whom this song is one of the very few Irish song learned in a pub and not from a record)


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 06:58 AM

I have always felt a unique kinship with Gerry Adams ever since his autobiography was in the same remaindered bin as my line dance album.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: belfast
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 10:31 AM

Fair enough, Wolfgang. It's just that I saw this thread beginning to take the usual mudcat road. I suppose it could be called a traditional route and no doubt our forefathers have been marching down that road for decades. And would the posting just previous to this one suggest that I may have been correct?


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song
From: ard mhacha
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 01:17 PM

Belfast, Couldn`t agree more.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song: On the One Road
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 03:54 PM

"We're on the one road, maybe the wrong road"-
"Road to God knows where"-

Now why do I get a picture in my mind of Rummie, Chummie and dummy?


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song: On the One Road
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 04:49 AM

of course you're right Jack Hickman - all parties marching merrily down the one road - a very commendable sentiment - a summation devoutly to be wished, as they say.

the thing is we're all going to be marching down the one road singing A Soldier's Song. And the lyric contains the words - make our land 'A Nation Once Again'. Both of which make it not top of the pops with the Orange fellers.

I was in a band that was told to stop playing it one time in Nottingham. The landlady said it might start her clientelle fighting - so of course we stopped, played something else.

Fighting is to be avoided. Well I think so.


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Subject: RE: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song: On the One Road
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 05:30 AM

weelittledrummer,

Was it not Shergar that disappeared rather than Arkle? It is easy to get confused.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song: On the One Road
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 11:56 AM

absolutely like I say some of us don't know one horse from another!


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Subject: RE: Lyr: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song: On the One Road
From: GUEST,Gedboy
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 01:30 PM

Song is belted out at many a Celtic (Glasgow) home game.

Unfortunately the small neo-fascist element in republicanism/Celtic support substitute the lyrics 'soon there'll be no protestants at all' after 'north men south men comrades all'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song: On the One Road
From: Fergie
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 08:40 PM

the author Frank O'Donovan played Battie Brennan in an early Irish soap opera called "The Riordans"


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Subject: RE: Lyr: Obscure Irish Soldier's Song: On the One Road
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 09:58 PM

I prefer to sing:
Belfast, Lisburn, Doagh and Cushendall."

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: On the One Road (Irish soldier's song)
From: GUEST,American Mutt with Irish Ancestors
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 04:19 PM

I have liked this song from the first time I heard it in the early '70's. The fatalism, we're all on one planet, going God knows where, but, We're Together. I had just come back from Viet Nam & I was out of the Army. I'm an only child I'd just lost the only Brothers I'll Ever Have! So... "But we're together now Who Cares," It made me feel better, not so all alone. And then the Fatalism I spoke of earlier - we may be on the fast track for Hell, but we have each other.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: On the One Road (Irish soldier's song)
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 01:43 PM

Frank o Donovan was indeed the writer, the song was simply meant to be an upbeat rousing ' we're all together marching into the future' kind of tune, totally non political. Seems 'Galway' was replaced with 'Belfast' when the Wolfetones got hold of it, giving it that Irish nationalist lilt.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: On the One Road (Irish soldier's song)
From: GUEST,boxplayer
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 01:36 PM

Chiming in a bit late, perhaps, but it seems to me that the song pleads for unification of the whole island ("North men, South men" and "Dublin, Belfast, Cork, and Donegal" pull in all 4 traditional provinces) as well as a wish for independence ("A Nation Once Again" is another fine song). The United Irishmen fought together (Protestants and Catholics) against the British in the rising of 1798. And I agree that it is not obscure and definitely not the national anthem of the Republic.


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