Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive

JedMarum 14 Nov 01 - 11:52 PM
tremodt 15 Nov 01 - 12:06 AM
alison 15 Nov 01 - 12:15 AM
paddymac 15 Nov 01 - 01:09 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 15 Nov 01 - 02:12 AM
Blackcatter 15 Nov 01 - 02:29 AM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 15 Nov 01 - 05:22 AM
Fibula Mattock 15 Nov 01 - 05:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Nov 01 - 05:59 AM
JedMarum 15 Nov 01 - 09:23 AM
Midchuck 15 Nov 01 - 10:04 AM
Jack the Sailor 15 Nov 01 - 10:07 AM
Fibula Mattock 15 Nov 01 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Marc Gunn, Bard 15 Nov 01 - 10:53 AM
Jack the Sailor 15 Nov 01 - 11:12 AM
JedMarum 15 Nov 01 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Tom 15 Nov 01 - 11:41 AM
Jon Freeman 15 Nov 01 - 12:07 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 01 - 12:14 PM
Clinton Hammond 15 Nov 01 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 15 Nov 01 - 12:30 PM
Clinton Hammond 15 Nov 01 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,JohnB 15 Nov 01 - 12:41 PM
Clinton Hammond 15 Nov 01 - 12:45 PM
Dead Horse 15 Nov 01 - 02:17 PM
Mrrzy 15 Nov 01 - 02:56 PM
Gary T 15 Nov 01 - 03:34 PM
alanabit 15 Nov 01 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Den 15 Nov 01 - 04:00 PM
Jack the Sailor 15 Nov 01 - 05:10 PM
Dave the Gnome 15 Nov 01 - 06:18 PM
Gary T 15 Nov 01 - 06:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 01 - 07:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 01 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 15 Nov 01 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,Boab 16 Nov 01 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,chrisj 16 Nov 01 - 05:09 AM
Aidan Crossey 16 Nov 01 - 05:47 AM
nutty 16 Nov 01 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,Den 16 Nov 01 - 08:44 AM
Jeri 16 Nov 01 - 09:35 AM
Clinton Hammond 16 Nov 01 - 09:44 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Nov 01 - 10:18 AM
Gary T 16 Nov 01 - 10:30 AM
Clinton Hammond 16 Nov 01 - 10:30 AM
Jeri 16 Nov 01 - 10:30 AM
Brían 16 Nov 01 - 11:12 AM
Aidan Crossey 16 Nov 01 - 11:16 AM
Wolfgang 16 Nov 01 - 11:16 AM
Jack the Sailor 16 Nov 01 - 11:28 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: JedMarum
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 11:52 PM

I play at a great pub in Dallas called Trinity Hall and one of the young Irish bartenders asked if I knew "Come You Black and Tans" - I did, I played it, and continue to play it there occasionally. One night some Irish Tourists were there, and stopped to chat after the show. They loved "Spancil Hill," "Garden Where the Praities Grow," "Phil the Fluter's Ball" and many others - I asked if them if they heard these songs at home - they did. I asked about "Come You Black and Tans" and they said they knew it, but it was not considered a polite song. They didn't seem bothered by it, especially being played in the US by a dumb Yank (me) ... but casually dismissed it as inappropriate for general use.

Well we've had some discussion on specific songs, from time to time, here at Mudcat - and I am not trying to start a politcal discussion, but which songs listed here will many people in Ireland find offensive - or in poor taste?

Come Out You Black and Tans
Young Ned of the Hill
Roddy McCorely
Bold Fenien Men (Glory OH to the Bold Fenien Men)
other popular in US that might be offensive in Ireland?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: tremodt
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:06 AM

irish people in the USA would find some offence in the Orange songs or any songs t6hat put down catholics


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: alison
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:15 AM

depends on where you go in Ireland Jed.... personally I wouldn't be game to sing any of the above in a predominantly Protestant setting... and therein lies the problem... a lot of the time you don't know who is in your audience.... although you can take your lead from what the others are singing.....

certainly if you are in a republican / unionist club... you will have a good idea of what "side" (I hate that term) you are playing to.. but in a "mixed" audience you will upset someone......

but you can sometimes get away with things..... I remember being in an Irish session over here.. complete with Irish tricolour flag on the wall... and a bagpiper stood up and started to play "the sash" (famous orange marching tune)...... but he got away with it because he played "the rising of the moon" straight afterwards!!

personally ... I tend to stay away from any of the more blatant "rebel" songs........

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: paddymac
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 01:09 AM

I have noticed what I guess is a local form of "political correctness" in some areas of Ireland, wherein what some might consider "factional songs" generally aren't performed in public. However, they are standard fare in various "after hours" and other non-public gatherings. I've learned as a matter of courtesy to follow local custom. The sad thing is to look at it as a kind of free speech issue. Most Americans usually feel pretty free to say most anything that's on their minds, while people who have to live in areas of conflict tend to be far more guarded or circumspect in that regard. A perhaps necessary survival skill.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 02:12 AM

Play what you believe in. Or play what is safe. Or play what you know. If you are neutral on the question of Irish independence, there's no reason to perform Irish rebel songs unless you want to introduce them as bits of past history (assuming you know the history of the "Black and Tans"). I have a friend in Michigan who actually makes a decent living as an Irish folksinger who refuses to do anything political. Be ready to defend what you perform, if you choose the political route. It's hard, at best, to claim a neutral stance if you are lambasting the British in every other song. There are a number of Brits and Irish who have had and do have very firm opinions about a number of U.S.A. issues (civil rights, Vietnam, etc.) Do they have a right to voice these opinions in song? As far as I'm concerned, they do. By the same token, I will do the same. As with so many other questions, you have to do what is right for you. The tricky part, of course, is making an informed decision on what that is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Blackcatter
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 02:29 AM

I agree with Big Daddy - sharing a bit of the history behind a song goes a long way of making it appropriate. Also, I've had to do a bit of history with nearly everyone of my songs because so few people know anything about Irish music - at least the lyrics.

The songs I think are bad are simple - those the performer sings poorly.

pax yall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 05:22 AM

Hi Jed,

Good question and reading through the input you've received, I'd agree with everything said so far. The band that plays here in Stavanger do "rebel songs" but mostly from 1916 Easter Week Rising and before. A good song is a good song irrespective. There is a song called "Irish Molly" (totally a-political re text)which although a Dublin song, uses the same tune as the "Sash". One night the band started playing it and there was a group of about seven in from Ireland and before a word was sung they were up and off.

Matt McGinn used to get requests for "The Sash" and "Kevin Barry" at the same venue - he kept both quiet by singing "Kevin Barry" to the tune of "The Sash".

The funny thing about "Rebel" songs is that there only appears to be "sensitivity" in relation to Irish rebel songs. Some of the titles you list date back to the 1798 rebellion and I cannot for the life of me see how anyone could object to those and at the same time applaud Scottish songs relating to the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1745. To me they are historical and generally uncensored glimpses of the times and events to which they refer.

One interesting example of how one of the "other sides" songs are adopted, is a Boer folk song called "Sarie Marais", this was a song that came to notice during the Boer War, as it was sung by Boer prisoners of war. Text was non-political the British in latter years not only stole the song but also the collective name of the people who sang it. "Sarie Marais" is the "regimental" march of the "Royal Marines Commando" (i.e. if you can have a regimental march without being a regiment??) "Life on the Ocean Wave" is the march of the Royal Marine Corps.

Ask the guy you are arranging the gig through if there are any prevailing sensitivities, what sort of material is normally played, then on the night just weigh up the audience and go for it.

Good luck and best wishes.

Bill.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 05:45 AM

I'm with Stavenger Bill on the 1798 songs - the United Irishmen uprising of that time was not a blatantly sectarian movement, and people of different religious denominations fought alongside each other. Some of the songs about that time can be quite heavy-handed, but most are interesting, although I wouldn't class them as historically accurate - even if they do deal with events that happened, we're still getting propaganda and bias, as we do in every song.
On the other hand, I am not at all comfortable hearing songs that are either deliberately sectarian and provocative (from whatever group), or songs that promote or glorify terrorism, or those that make murderers into martyrs. But then, I supppose I don't have to listen if I don't want to...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 05:59 AM

After many a bout of discussion on the same point I have reached the conclusion that most songs in themselves are not offensive. It is the intention of the singer, or the interpretation of the listener, that can cause problems. It's just like a gun on it's own does no harm but used incorrectly it can be devastating!

I don't know how to get round it really. Avoid blatant generalisations and stereotypes? Use only songs that have good tunes and clever lyrics? I dunno so I tend to avoid the situation. Guess I am a bit of a wimp!

Out of interest I am English, brought up Catholic, with a Polish father and English mother. One of my Grandfathers was a Russian orthodox priest and one was, allegedly, in the Black and Tans.

I was on holiday in Ireland and went to a couple of gigs where 'Rebel' songs were sung and stories told. I did not find them offensive at all and to be honest did not even think about it until later.

The 'later' occured when, of all things, the Listowel branch of the Chelsea supporters club came into the pub about 12 strong. Chelsea had just lost to Manchester United (Soccer for anyone who did not know!) and when one of these guys started chatting to me I felt more threatened than I had all night. I am from Manchester and although not a football fan at all I was really worried!

I need not have as it turned out - we all had a good laugh - but it just shows how different sensibilities work.

Point of the story? God only knows, but I'm sure someone will find a moral somewhere!

Good luck anyway, Jed. Remember Ricky Nelson - 'You can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself.'

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 09:23 AM

Good thoughts here, all. Thanks.

I guess it really is an issue of using common sense. I was a bit surprised to see the Ireland radio play lists showed that my recording of Grace was one of the most frequently played (of songs from my CD) on the air over there ... maybe just a curiosity about an American singing this popular song from the aftermath of the 1916 Uprising.

I do know a bit of the history behind these songs, and sometimes explain it to the audience, sometimes not. In the US they are pretty much songs from a historical perspective - I sing songs from the US Civil War, from both sides, and they are likewise received as songs from a period in history - and even ones that talk of "catching and hanging the rebels," or "sending Abe Lincoln to hell" are heard with a bit of humor (and truthfully, that is typically the way in which those phrases were written).

The Black and Tan era is one of geat interest to me. My great-grandfather took care to pass on to his children, and grandchildren, stories about the era. He didn't hate the English, he didn't pass on rage against the British - but he was incensed by the way his people were treated during the era, and wanted his progeny to know about it. So for me, I see some level of personal history in the song ... but I know there are two sides to this story.

Likewise with songs from the US Civil War. I actually had a table of people stand up and leave when I played in Phoenix. I sang a US Civil War song about an Irish Regiment fighting for the Confederacy. The song called them heroes. I played song that same night about the heroes from the Union - but apparently it was not OK to see anything heroic about the other side (even 150 years later).

I think many of these types of songs can have important historical perspective, often from a personal point-of-view. I realize one must be sensitive about where they are sung, and to whom - and maybe some explanation is required when introducing the song - but there is value in this music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 10:04 AM

Over here, Stan Rogers' The House of Orange can be a problem in an Irish bar - if anyone's actually listening to the lyrics.

Re the American Civil War, Steve Earle's Dixieland (not the old Confederate anthem, a new song of his own, which has a pro-Union slant even though Earle's a Texan), which he recorded with Del McCoury and that gang, got a lot of Bluegrass people very angry. Evidently a Bluegrass song about the Civil War must be slanted in favor of the Confederacy.

Peter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 10:07 AM

Hi folks, very interesting discussion. For more perspective, I would be very interested in seeing the lyrics to "Come Out You Black and Tans" could someone please post them here, PM me or point me to them. Thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 10:12 AM

The lyrics can be found here. Spelling's a bit off in some parts though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Marc Gunn, Bard
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 10:53 AM

Another interesting note, a couple weeks back my group, the Brobdingnagian Bards, were berated for performing "Patriot Game" while wandering the Austin Celtic Festival. The reason given was that they didn't want to have any such political songs to keep from offending as many people as possible.

My partner and I were offended by that, especially considering the nature of the song, since it is somewhat of an anti-IRA song by the lyrics. Don't get sucked into the "Patriot Game". But just the mention of the IRA in a song seems offensive.

Personally, I love the passion in the rebel songs, but don't share the philosophy behind them. But we have had a few English come up and say they love our music, just don't like the rebel songs. I think the key really is to educate the audience with the history when possible, especially now with all the anti-terrorist sentiments that are rising around the world.

But I do believe it would be shame to not be able sing some of these great rebel songs.

-Marc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 11:12 AM

I have to say I can see where someone could find "Come all ye Black and Tans" offensive. It is quite insulting to the English. I see the historical perspective and perhaps the tendency to want to demonize the enemy to prepare to fight. I can also see that it may not be the best sentiment to project toward a current friendly neighbour.

I think those Irish Tourists were right. "Come all ye Balck and Tans" is not a polite song. Not so much I think because of the politics but because the language is rude and insulting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 11:25 AM

agreed, Jack. And Marc - good points about educating the audience re: the song, historical context etc ... it can make the difference.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 11:41 AM

As an Irishman from Belfast all I can say is you would be very careful where and when you sang or played your songs. To understand quite what I mean you need to visit Ireland. In Ireland most Irishmen fight like hell, but out of Ireland for some strange reason we unite and God help the bugger that comes between us. I am an Orange Man (at heart)but manys the good rebel song I've joined in, but not (by god's teeth) in Ireland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE PATRIOT GAME (Dominic Behan)
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:07 PM

I have just noticed quite a few differences between the dt version and the one in "Ireland Sings" by Dominic Behan. The differences include the order of verses and the "I don't mind at all if I shoot down police" verse is missing from the dt. I would assume Ireland Sings is the correct version.

Jon


PATRIOT GAME
(Dominic Behan)

Come all you young rebels, and list while I sing,
For the love of one's land is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
And makes us all part of the patriot game.

My name is O'Hanlon, and I've just gone sixteen.
My home is in Monaghan, there I was weaned
I learned all my life cruel England to blame
And so I'm a part of the patriot game.

It's barely a year since I wandered away
With the local battalions of the bold IRA,
For I read of our heroes, and wanted the same
To play up my part in the patriot game.

They told me how Connolly was shot in a chair,
His wounds from the fighting all bloody and bare.
His fine body twisted, all battered and lame
They soon made me part of the patriot game.

This Ireland of ours has too long been half-free.
Six counties are under John Bull's Monarchy.
But still De Valera is greatly to blame
For shirking his part in the Patriot game.

I don't mind a bit if I shoot down police
They are lackeys for war never guardians of peace,
But at deserters I'm never let aim
The rebels who sold out the Patriot Game

And now as I lie with my body all holes
I think of those traitors who bargained in souls
I'm sorry my rifle has not done the same
For the Quislings who sold out the Patriot Game.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:14 PM

I'm always amazed at the forebearance and tolerance of English audiences when listening to songs that hammer their history(of which they have had no part)and their race. I recall Lonnie Donegan having a top 10 hit British with "The battle of New Orleans" the chorus of which was; We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin'
But there was nigh as many as there was a while ago
We fired once more and they began a runnin
All down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico
We all sang it as teenagers and didn't bat an eyelid because it was history. It's when the history repeats itself that the historical ballad becomes a weapon again, ie when the IRA began bombing the mainland in the 70's the Rebel songs disappeared from the folk clubs overnight. It will be interesting to see which songs are re-discovered or discarded from the general repertoire in America in response to the new reality of Sept 11th.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:18 PM

Midchuck Et al.

House of Orange is the ONLY song about the troubles I will play! Being proudly Canadian affords me the ability of turning to both sides of the issue and telling them in no uncertain terms to take their bigotry and their equally bloody hands and get stuffed!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:30 PM

Couldn't agree more Clinton, I think the song you quote is terrific - only wish I could sing it!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject:
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:35 PM

Guest, re Sept 11th...

When Stephen Fearing played here last month he mentioned that he and other folkies had discussed it, and no one was even talking about sept 11th in their shows... it just wasn't relevant to what they were doing...

And well, letting terrorisits dictate your musical choices to you is to let them win...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:41 PM

I learned all sorts of Irish songs as a teenager, never bothered which side they came from. So I don't sing any of them now, because I don't know whether I would get cheered or kneecapped from either side. I stick to the Trad "English" stuff, so now EVERYONE knows they can hate me, just for being English. JohnB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:45 PM

O.k. JohnB... I'll hate ya.. but while I'm at it, do John Barleycorn for me k!

:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Dead Horse
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 02:17 PM

All of them, if sung to the wrong crowd or in the wrong pub. Know your audience. While serving in the army (British, dammit) our little group of piss heads used to love to hear Kevin Barry sung by our own Pte Kevin Carson, who was a protestant and hated the song. Oh, how we cheered at the line: English soldiers tortured Barry, cos the names he would not tell........ Which either goes to show that we could take a joke, OR We were completely bi-partisan OR We were too thick/pissed to care;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 02:56 PM

Um - what's wrong with Come Out Ye Black And Tans? It's about an old drunk haranguing his neighbors... doesn't seem offensive to me, but rather pathetic..? I always took it as rather anti the person who is still anti the black and tans after all this time?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Gary T
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 03:34 PM

That's one perspective, Mrrzy. However, I believe most folks find the focus of the song to be not the introductory character, but all the haranguing he does--which essentially calls the British brutal, cowardly, and murderous.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: alanabit
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 03:46 PM

A lot of good sense has appeared here on a thread that could easily have become destructively emotive. I always saw "Roddy McCorley" as a lament first and foremost, for instance. So some of its sentiments are universal and timeless. Indeed a few years have passed since that particular tragedy, which means nobody is around who was directly affected by it. I really do take exception however to the songs which glorify violence or bigotry in any form. Of course, Clinton Hammond is right to say that you don't let terrorists dictate your choices - couldn't agree more. Trouble is, they are part of the world as it really is (a small one thank God), so our choice of material is likely to reflect the world which they belong to...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Den
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 04:00 PM

So Stan Rogers has forgiven the whole House of Orange. Lets all climb on board 'cause Stan says so. Another example of someone thousands of miles away and safe getting fat on the backs of others' misery. The guy couldn't even take the time to get his facts straight. What is, or was the UDI? Well I for one am not ready to forgive the House of Orange and I can speak from experience as opposed to Mr. Rogers. Anyway what has this song got to do with Rebel songs? Den


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 05:10 PM

Mrrzy

The person who wrote the wprds for "Come out ye Balck and Tans" is certianly anti English, I'm not sure why he chose his father to voice the hatred but it is pretty clear that the song exists to voice those sentiments. Do you know of a version where the father's words are condemned or ridiculed?

GUEST,Den,

I think Stan Rogers' facts were straight enough for the puspose of the song. I remember news storys about the UDL I believe it stood for Ulster Defence League. (I think you misread UDI, check the DT again)

I am not going to climb aboard anything myself. But if you were to ask me for money to buy bombs and other terrorist weapons for either side of that conflict (That's how people thousands of miles away have been asked to contribute to the "troubles"), The answer you would get from me wouldn't be nearly as polite and reasoned as Stan's was.

It really doesn't have much to do with rebel songs. It does seem to be a sincere North American describing his feelings about the conflict in Northern Ireland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:18 PM

Well, Den, Stan is certainly a long way away. But I do not know if he is getting fat or not. Bit difficult to determine the state of health of someone who has been dead as long as him!

I would like to think that you will, eventualy, forgive what my ancestors did to yours and we will all be able to get on together. Until then I hope you do not meet Mr Rogers too soon. But when you do I hope you can forgive him for writing a song that has obviously upset you so much! In the meanwhile listen to his song 'Mary Helen Carter' and hope that the peace process can also rise again in spite of the ones who want to keep it down.

Cheers and genuinely hoping for a brighter future

Dave the Gnome


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Gary T
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:30 PM

Jack--the inspiration for "Come Out Ye Black and Tans" was the author's father coming home from an evening at the pub and calling some of his neighbors, who were retired British Army people, out to fight. In a way, that is pathetic, as Mrrzy opined. However, as you suggest, the song is not really about his father--that's just part of the setting. It's about the things his father (and he) were upset over.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 07:08 PM

Lonnie Donegan also put out a version of the Battle of New Orleaqns with the line "We fired our gins and the Rebels kept a coming" - but audiences in Britain preferred the version where it's the British.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 08:02 PM

That should have been "fired our guns and the Rebels kept a-coming"! One letter wrong can make an awful lot of difference.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 08:42 PM

Take the time to talk to any Irish Catholics old enough to remember the "Black and Tans," and you get a perspective on "terrorism" you're probably not going to get from Tony Blair. These particular British Troops weren't singled out for verbal abuse because they were English.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 04:16 AM

I'll be in an "Orange " club with many old friends at the new year----and keeping quiet about the fact that I've just helped to put "Roddy McCorley" on a c.d.! Ochone, ochone!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,chrisj
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 05:09 AM

One might as well ask 'how do you square the circle?' 'Orange' or 'Loyalist' or 'Unionist' songs were made for the same purpose as 'Rebel' or 'Republican' or 'Nationalist' songs - to make 'us' feel good about ourselves and to stick it up 'them'. Some handle it better than others so if you drop into a pub and object to the music - just leave! Presumably the patrons stay because they like it. Those most likely to be moved (one way or another) by a song are those who regard the 'troubles' as unfinished business (and I include the American Civil War).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 05:47 AM

I think there's a more interesting question here ... which is why would anyone who's not from Ireland (and particularly Northern Ireland) want to sing these songs in the first place? What's the relevance? Using "Come Out ..." as an example, what could a non-Irish person singing this song to a non-Irish audience possibly say?

There are some who would say that unless a person's shared some of the experience that gave rise to the need to write and sing these particular songs, then they've no call to sing them ... (The same's not true of all folk music ... but rebel songs and Orange songs are preaching to the converted ... I wouldn't look to them for insights into history ... but some of them very well illustrate how imagery, pathos and sentimentality among other things can be used to perpetuate a mindset.)

Back in County Armagh, people don't need to the ask the question ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: nutty
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 05:57 AM

History is normally written by the victor so reality tends to be distorted .....In Ireland reality is still an infected open wound so any song written for one side is bound to hurt the other. Unless you are Irish - stay neutral - there are thousands of other good songs you can sing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Den
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 08:44 AM

Jack the Sailor I think if you check Stan Rogers lyric sites other than the DT you will find that he wrote UDI. Anyway even if it was UDL there was never such an active organisation in NI. Protestant organizations of the time the song was written were UVF and UDA later came splinter groups LVF and UFF who are another story entirely.

Dave the Gnome sarcasm aside I am very aware of Stan Rogers' "current state of health" having lived in Canada for many years myself. I have admired the man in the past there are few folk singers with the quality he had in his voice. I just think that he should have stuck to subject matter that he at least new a little about.

Another line from the song goes "home rule and Republic is all of it shame". What is shameful about the right of a people to self determination. Canada was once governed by the British is it shameful that the people of Canada won the right to self government? Isn't this what the new assembly of N.Ireland is about? The situation in N.Ireland has been fueled for years on ignorance. I believe songs like this fuel ignorance everywhere else. Den


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 09:35 AM

From the lyrics at the Stan Rogers Page:

All rights and all wrongs have long since blown away,
For causes are ashes where children lie slain.
Yet the damned U.D.I and the cruel I.R.A.
Will tomorrow go murdering again.
But no penny of mine will I add to the fray.
"Remember the Boyne!" they will cry out in vain,
For I've given my heart to the place I was born
And forgiven the whole House of Orange
King Billy and the whole House of Orange.

It's been a while since I listened to the tape, but I swear he was singing "UDL." Could be I misheard or misremember.

The subject matter is the involvement of immigrants to other countries in the fights back in the country they left. The shame is the murdering - not the rights and wrongs of the causes, but the killing of innocents by both sides - THAT is what the song is against. As to forgiveness, I believe he simply let go of the justification for hate.

For most of us in the US who don't have recent family who immigrated from the UK, aren't recent immigrants ourselves, or don't identify strongly with Irish politics in other ways, the songs won't inspire the same types of emotional reactions they can in someone whose lives have been touched by the troubles. Frankly, it's hard to tell who's in your audience. US Civil War songs from both sides seem to go over well in the northeast, where I live, because it's history to us. Folks in the south may still be offended because it's a live issue for them - their families may have kept the resentment alive and passed it down the generations. You take a chance with any political song, and it comes down to how important it is to you to sing it...and maybe how good your introductions are


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 09:44 AM

I am 100% certain that UDI is a typo... Stan knew better than to make a mistake like that... Also Jeri is correct... how can anyone mistake what he is singing *yet the dmn U.D.L.* for U.D.I.??

"What is shameful about the right of a people to self determination."

You're missing THE most important line in the song... "For causes are ashes where children lie slain"... Both sides have committed so many atrocities that neither can be let off...

I'll have no truck with either side of that bullshit! You wanna? Take it over there, where it belongs...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:18 AM

But who are the UDL? I get confused with the names of the groups in NI but I can't find anything about them on Google (or the UDI for that matter).

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Gary T
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:30 AM

derrymacash--my answer to your question.

While you ask ...why would anyone who's not from Ireland...want to sing these songs in the first place? What's the relevance?, I found myself asking, "Why is that an issue with anyone? Why does there have to be relevance?"

I sing "Come Out Ye Black and Tans" mainly because I like it. It's very appealing musically, with an engaging melody and nice punch in the rhythm. I find the story behind the song intriguing (Stephen Behan coming home drunk and calling out his neighbors), and the message in the song a good illustration of certain people's feelings. I don't feel any compulsion to take that message to heart, nor to have a firm opinion on one side or the other of the issue involved. It's a well-crafted piece that stands on its own merits as a SONG, and it doesn't have to be judged or regarded as nothing more than a political statement.

It occurs to me that in your experience, such songs have strong emotional import, and are perhaps taken rather seriously in context of the situation in Northern Ireland. In my experience (as a "non-Irish person singing this song to a [largely] non-Irish audience") it's more of an academic interest that's being expressed.

Now, I can understand that it would be in exceedingly poor taste and poor judgment for me to sing this song to a Unionist audience. But I bristle at the thought that I've "no call to sing [it]." I'll be the judge of that, thank you.

I actually feel that it does give some insight into history. There's some value in getting an understanding of how some folks view certain events, and even in observing "how imagery, pathos and sentimentality among other things can be used to perpetuate a mindset."

To sum up, though it appears you and I have quite different perspectives on this song, I don't believe that mine is an invalid perspective any more than yours is. I hope this post is helpful in providing you with some insight into that perspective.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:30 AM

UDL.. As mentioned above.. Ulster Defence League...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:30 AM

Jon, it's "Ulster Defence League." I found hits on AltaVista.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Brían
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 11:12 AM

Although there are songs I don't sing because they might be offensive, one would be throwing out an awful lot of good songs if one were trying not to offend someone when singing an Irish song. In fact, one would be left with the sort of sentimental drivel that has driven me away from popular music long ago. Almost all the songs I sing seem to mention inequality and past wrongs.

Brían


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 11:16 AM

Gary T

Thank you ... you have answered why YOU choose to sing certain songs. You say "In my experience (as a "non-Irish person singing this song to a [largely] non-Irish audience") it's more of an academic interest that's being expressed. "

No problem with people who have a real academic interest in the trappings of the troubles. You may be aware of the Linen Hall Library, a highly respected academic institution, one of whose specialities is collecting, cataloguing and making available to academic researchers material on the Northern Ireland "troubles".

The bit below is reprinted from their website www.linenhall.com

"Sometime in 1968, Jimmy Vitty, then Librarian of the Linen Hall Library, was handed a civil rights leaflet in a Belfast city centre bar. He kept it. Since then the Library has sought to collect all printed material relating to the "troubles". In the intervening three decades, we have amassed over a quarter of a million items.

The Northern Ireland Political Collection is a unique resource. No other institution in a localised conflict has systematically collected material from all sides. Much less has it been done in the field, and often literally across the barricades.

The Collection documents the activities and views of all parties to the conflict, from paramilitaries to government. It covers publications by organisations on the margins of the direct political process as well as by those chiefly concerned with social issues. A large proportion of these items is held by the NIPC alone.

The literature ranges from the most ephemeral—stickers, leaflets, posters and Christmas cards—to more substantial collections of books, pamphlets, manifestos, photographs and audio-visual items. The enormous range of periodicals includes both single issues and complete runs of enduring journals of record. This material is complemented by a complete press cuttings service spanning the entire period of the "troubles".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 11:16 AM

Not that it would matter for my love of a beautiful song if Stan Rogers had actually made a mistake, but I am curious now. 'Ulster defence (also: defense) league' and UDL can be found by a websearch as Jeri has said, but they are neither found on the exhaustive Cain websites on Northern Ireland nor in the online archive of the Irish Times. Furthermore, 'UDL' is not found in any of several acronym dictionaries about Northern Ireland.

Could it be that 'Ulster Defence league' is a loyalist support organisation only found in North America and not in Ulster? Then on the one hand Stan would be right and on the other hand the puzzlement of those posters from or closer to Ulster could be understood easily.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 11:28 AM

GUEST,Den

I urge you to take a deep breath, sit back and read Stan's lyrics again. Half my mother's family was Irish about 4 geneerations back all my Father's was English. The people of Newfoundland people have a great affinity for both cultures.

My grandfather on my father's side born around 1910 was afraid to walk through certian Newfoundland communities at night because Catholics (Irish descent) and Prodestants (English) were litterally beating each other to death when he was a young man. I heard a lot of bigotry coming out of our local orange lodges.

I've given a lot more thought to the troubles than many North Americans. I would say that Stan's song comes very close to expressing my thoughts on the issue.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 November 2:55 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.