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Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive

Big Al Whittle 09 Nov 18 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 06 Nov 18 - 12:24 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Nov 18 - 05:48 AM
Mr Red 06 Nov 18 - 03:49 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Nov 18 - 03:01 AM
Big Al Whittle 05 Nov 18 - 06:09 PM
medievallassie 05 Nov 18 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 05 Nov 18 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 05 Nov 18 - 04:09 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Nov 18 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 05 Nov 18 - 03:15 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Nov 18 - 02:55 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Nov 18 - 02:39 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Nov 18 - 01:52 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Nov 18 - 01:46 PM
meself 05 Nov 18 - 12:36 PM
SuperDave 05 Nov 18 - 10:53 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Nov 18 - 05:14 AM
Thompson 05 Nov 18 - 05:07 AM
Backwoodsman 05 Nov 18 - 04:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 05 Nov 18 - 04:33 AM
Mr Red 03 Nov 18 - 11:05 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Nov 18 - 04:56 PM
SuperDave 02 Nov 18 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 11 May 11 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 29 Jun 07 - 03:22 AM
GUEST 29 Jun 07 - 12:52 AM
Gulliver 28 Jun 07 - 10:11 PM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Jun 07 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 28 Jun 07 - 02:34 PM
Jim Lad 28 Jun 07 - 02:29 PM
MartinRyan 28 Jun 07 - 11:41 AM
Jim Lad 28 Jun 07 - 11:28 AM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Jun 07 - 11:26 AM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Jun 07 - 08:29 AM
Stu 28 Jun 07 - 05:09 AM
Greg B 27 Jun 07 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Big Mick 27 Jun 07 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 27 Jun 07 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 27 Jun 07 - 01:14 PM
Stu 27 Jun 07 - 12:35 PM
Jim Lad 27 Jun 07 - 11:14 AM
Keith A of Hertford 27 Jun 07 - 08:15 AM
The Sandman 27 Jun 07 - 08:09 AM
Big Mick 27 Jun 07 - 07:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Jun 07 - 07:36 AM
Stu 27 Jun 07 - 06:53 AM
Jim Lad 26 Jun 07 - 04:55 PM
Big Mick 26 Jun 07 - 04:35 PM
Greg B 26 Jun 07 - 03:16 PM
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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Nov 18 - 05:16 AM

In the song My Old Man said Follow the Van(and don't dilly dally on the way.

The narrator of the tale is carrying (by her own admission!) a cock linnet.

Was Florrie Ford a Provo on the quiet?

As Derek Brimstone used to say...never ignore an omen. Never walk across the M1 with your eyes closed....Never kick a dog in the knackers when your hand's in its mouth


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 12:24 PM

Incidentally....

The "green linnet" may be green - but it's not a linnet! It refers to the species generally called "greenfinch"

Regards


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 05:48 AM

I don't believe there to be any significance to the type of birrd used in these songs
The linnet appears in several songs, including 'Mountain Streams here the Moorcocks Crow', with no political significance whatever
Due to the political situation in Ireland under British rule, coded symbolism occurred in many songs - Charles, 'The Young Pretender', was represented as 'The Royal Blackbird.
An interesting body of political songs are 'the aíslings', where Ireland is represents by a beautiful mysterious woman who either meets a man or appears in his dream, and tells him her troubles (the troubles odf Ireland)   
Michael Hayes, the farmer/land agent who kills the landlord and is chased around Ireland, before escaping to America, is represented as a fox and the epic ballad describing the event often appears as 'The Fox Chase'
Fascinating stuff, in my opinion
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 03:49 AM

Linnet? Really? Citation, please - I've never heard that.

my source was Jim Magean. A more knowledgeable Folkie than I.

And with that in mind, you could ask why linnet, and not nightingale, thrush or skylark? It does strike a note (pun intended, I could have said chord).


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 03:01 AM

Liverpool was teeming with 'antidotes' to 'The Sash' when I lived there
Most of tthe time it was a fairly friendly place to live, (football excluded), but on the 'Glorious Twelfth' it became a city divided
Where I worked, the lodge wold march down The Dock Road, and men who worked with each other throughout the year would fight
When the Sash was played, as each verse reached an end onlookers would sing out:
"And we'll hang John Knox on the barren rocks
With the sash his father wore".

A favorite joke was:
"Two flies crawling up a window frame; how do you tell which one was the Catholic?
The one who shit on the sash".

Back to normal next day, of course
Jim


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 06:09 PM

I'm reminded of WH Auden's poem Spain, which he later renounced.

There was this line about how after the conflict, there would be time for 'young poets exploding like bombs'.

Orwell said, this is a poem written by someone who doesn't know that bombs kill people.
Quite a sage remark!

The IRA chant is just the booze talking.

I know we move in different circles musically Jim, but I do know several Irish singers, who whilst acknowledging the beauty of many pf the rebel songs, just totally refuse to sing them. Just a fear of what they might unleash, I suppose.
Certainly I was stopped one day in pub in Nottingham for singing On the One Road, by the landlady. This is a pub where I was getting requests for Sean South, from one faction. I wouldn't have minded singing it, but the landlady was quite adamant.

Like I say, its not what you find offensive, someone with different experiences (like Orwell had to Auden) might have a different view.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: medievallassie
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 04:38 PM

Not to seque the thread but I looked at this thread mainly because it was started by good friend and amazing man, Jed Marum. To affirm what someone above mentioned about how great it was to see this old thread with many names we no longer hear from, some may not be aware that Jed passed away quite unexpectedly on May 2nd, 2018. He is missed but also well remembered. We should all be so blessed to have made this world better for having been a part of it.

Also, I often worry about singing the Fields of Athenrye. Although not a heavy hitter in the political no-no list, it can often generate a loud pro-republic chant at the end of every line in the chorus. I've never understood why this song in particular became an IRA anthem of sorts. It can be heard in the Dubliners video seen here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtzEaWc36lw


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 04:15 PM

Oops! Forgot to enter the HTML! Apologies.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 04:09 PM

As for the origins of "The Sash" - this is the best bet:

https://www.itma.ie/goilin/song/irish_molly_o_martin_ryan

regards


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 03:30 PM

"The Patriot Game” is not a Civil War Song"
Sorry Martin - you're right of course
Didn't rea th posting properly - I thought Al was referring to ' Take it Down from the Mast'

I once sang 'Coronation Coronach' (For Scotland Hasna' Got a King' at a Trades Union do and was roundly abused by an Orangeman for denigrating one of his tunes (The Sash)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 03:15 PM

“The Patriot Game” is not a Civil War Song - it refers to the IRA campaign of 1957-8.

Regards

P.S. Mind you ... At a recent local social event, I sang Crawford Howard’s great anti-Willie Mc Bride satire - and got roundly abused for mocking “a great republican ballad”! Ye can’t win.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 02:55 PM

Thinking further
The BBC recorded 'Lord Leitrim' from Leitrim singer Thomas Moran
When it was sent to the BBC headquarters, the archivist gave it an 'S' number (presumably standing for 'Secret) - there is only one other song in the BBC catalogue with this distinction - 'When St Peter's Day Was Dawning'
'Leitrim' tells of the assassination of one of the most hated Landlord in Ireland, William Sidney Clements   - there are at least ten other songs celebrating this event

Memories are certainly long in Clements's part of the world.
Tom Munnelly told the story of going to hear two Donegal fiddle players at a Dublin club in the 1960s
Leaving the club, he found himself walking behind the two musicians who, on reaching a graveyard at the side of the road, climbed over the fence
Tom walked past, but was shortly overtaken by the two musicians who told him proudly, "We always make a point of pissing on Lord Leitrim's Mausoleum whenever we come to Dublin"
Jim


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 02:39 PM

Thinking about it, I can only think of one song to give more or less universal offence, the aptly named 'Boys of Kilmichael'
I've seen the words in a book, but I've never heard it sung - I understand The Wolfe Tones recorded it before they were decommissioned
Jim


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 01:52 PM

"I always took it to refer to wanting to shoot the Michael Collins contingent,"
It does - it's a civil war song - one of the few
Jim


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 01:46 PM

'And I wish that my rifle had given the same
To those traitors who sold out the Patriot Game.'

I always took it to refer to wanting to shoot the Michael Collins contingent, who made the peace 'selling out' the six counties. This point of view of course would (presumably) get the approval of the IRA.

However, I don't pretend to have a deep knowledge of this complex subject, and from experience of Mudcat, I know any expression of opinion on this subject is bound to enrage someone.

so, whoever I may have offended, I apologise in advance.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: meself
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 12:36 PM

So The Galway Shawl is secretly in praise of Napoleon? Well, well .....


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: SuperDave
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 10:53 AM

Big Al:
I think I explained it in my OP: I have always thought of this as an anti-war song, rather than an Irish Troubles song. I altered the lyrics to make this more about how young men are lured into going to war for concepts like "patriotism" as espoused by politicians and military leaders. My hope is that this lovely song will thereby reach a wider audience, beyond the "Sing an Irish Rebel Song" crowd.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 05:14 AM

The Green Linnet is a beautiful Irish Napoleonic ballads - one of the best IMO - Napoleon became a grat inspiration for Irish rebellion
FULLER INFORMATION HERE Many of these songs were intended to give offence, quite of =ten humorously; they are part of Irish history and should be treated in that light
Jim


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Thompson
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 05:07 AM

Linnet? Really? Citation, please - I've never heard that.

Perhaps the most tactful thing for any foreigner singing the native songs of another country is either to explain that s/he doesn't know which of the following songs may be sensitive, or else to avoid political songs altogether?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 04:46 AM

Me neither.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 04:33 AM

Well I never decoded it.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Mr Red
Date: 03 Nov 18 - 11:05 AM

Would the "Galway Shawl" be considered a rebel song?

"She sang each note like an Irish Linnet"

linnet was a code worded name given to "patriots".

Discuss...........


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Nov 18 - 04:56 PM

lovely reading this old thread. so many cyber pals we no longer hear from.

I'm sorry I can't see how The Patriot Game is made to say anything different. Perhaps you could explain why you felt it needed changing.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: SuperDave
Date: 02 Nov 18 - 11:57 AM

I have always thought of The Patriot Game as an anti-war song more than an Irish Rebel song. The singer lies dying because of the urgings of others to believe in the "Patriot Game", which they don't believe in themselves.

I have therefore taken liberties with Mr. Behan's lyrics to make this more in line with my interpretation:

Come all ye young soldiers, and list while I sing,
For the love of one's country is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
And it makes us all part of the Patriot Game.

My name is O'Hanlon, and I've just gone sixteen.
My home is in Monaghan, and where I was weaned
I learned all my life other people to blame,
And so I'm a part of the Patriot Game.

This country of ours has long claimed to be free.
While most other nations bleed from tyranny.
So we gave up our boyhood to drill and to train
To play our own part in the Patriot Game.

It's nearly two years since I wandered away
With the local battalion, all men who obey,
For I read of our heroes, and I wanted the same;
To play out my part in the Patriot Game.

And now as I lie here, my body all holes
I think of the leaders who bargained in souls
And I wish that my rifle had given the same
To those traitors who sold out the Patriot Game.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 11 May 11 - 12:09 PM

Very interesting Jim. Which dock did you work on? My uncle was a lorry driver taking stuff into the docks for Metropolitan Vickers. Sometimes he used to let me go with him.

Our favouite was Victoria. Most places there they wouldn't let me out of the driver's cab, because I was little and there were guys with cranes with big chains swinging down from them, which they used to fasten round the big machine parts on the back of the lorry.

But on Victoria we used to get out and feed the pigeons. I remember a big black one - we called it Mosley.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 03:22 AM

'Take It Down',
I have to say the only singer I have heard sing this was Dominic Behan, who tended to wear his heart on his sleeve.
To address Big Mick's point; I was an apprentice on the docks in Liverpool and it struck me as early as that how rich the use of language was among the people I was working with; the nicknames, the trade names for tools, and the ready, creative humour.
Writers like George Ewart Evans in the UK and Studs Terkel in the States went some way towards drawing attention to our oral history, but even they only scratched the surface.
My first experience in recording anybody was in the late sixties when I was asked to interview a friend's grandfather, an elderly Liverpool docker who had fought in the trenches in W.W.1. I was extremely nervous, but totally without need. The minute we arrived, before we had even switched the recorder on, your man Tommy began talking, and over the weekend gave us four or five hours of his experiences.
One of the most moving pieces of recording I have ever done was when he started to talk about 'deserters - men who simply walked away from the noise of the guns in the trenches. It appeared that Tommy had virtually forgotten we were there and had begun to re-live his youth (he had lied about his age to enlist in the army).
He told us how the military police would pick these 'deserters' up and take them back to base, where they would automatically tried, sentenced to death and imprisoned, awaiting execution.
But if there was a 'push' on, they would be taken out and placed in the front line to fight; when the worst was over, they would be returned to base and executed.
He said, "One minute you were fighting next to a man, the next you were reading a note posted on the side of the billet saying that he had been shot by a firing squad".
At this point he burst into tears - and we had some difficulty talking due to the lumps in our throats.
I've always believed that one of the great values of our traditional songs is the experiences of 'ordinary' people (are there such things; aren't all people extraordinary) that went into their making.
If I wanted to find out the whys and wherefores of, say the Battle of Trafalgar, I could go to the history books and get the dates, the politics behind it, the officers - I may even be able to find how many ordinary seamen were killed and wounded in the engagement.
But if I wanted to get some idea of the experiences of those 'ordinary' seamen, what it felt like for, say a miner, or a millworker, or a farm labourer who had been pressed into the navy, or in a drunken moment, had signed up by a recruiting officer, then I would have to go to the songs.
As I said before, many of the songs we sing are vital parts of our history containing information that can be found nowhere else.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 12:52 AM

It is not difficult to hear "Take It Down...." in the pubs in NYC area, and Boston. Especially if Shay Walker of The Battering Ram happens to be around. Galtee Mountain Boy is also commonly sung in these pubs.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Gulliver
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 10:11 PM

I've only ever heard Take it Down from the Mast sung at meetings/sessions of Sinn Féin or related political parties. You can hear Galtee Mountain Boy all over the place.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 05:34 PM

Galtee Mountain Boy
Take it Down from The Mast

Thanks, I was not aware of these.
Are they heard often when rebel songs are sung?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 02:34 PM

"Any rebel songs about the nasty Free Staters?"

How about the one that begins:
"Take it down from the mast, Irish traitors,
The flag we Republicans claim,
It can never belong to Free Staters,
You brought on it nothing but shame"

And there's more....

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 02:29 PM

Froggy went a courting


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: MartinRyan
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 11:41 AM

To answer Keith's last question:
Yes - "The Galtee Mountain Boy" being the best known.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 11:28 AM

Any free songs about nasty rebels.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 11:26 AM

Any rebel songs about the nasty Free Staters?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 08:29 AM

You should also share with them the testimony of surviving IRA man Dan Keating.
"Dan's recall of the various engagements during the fight against Britain is astonishing in the amount of detail he has at his fingertips. Instantly he can reel off dates, participants, casualties inflicted, arms and equipment captured and losses suffered by the IRA.

He fought against the Black And Tans, and in the civil war against the Free Staters.
Of the Free Staters he said
"these men showed no mercy in their dealings with anti-treaty forces. "They were far worse than the Black and Tans" asserts Dan. "They murdered nineteen republican prisoners at Ballyseedy Cross, Countess's Bridge and elsewhere in Kerry in three days. The Tans never did anything as bad as that",
http://www.irishfreedom.net/Misc.%20news%20items/Dan%20Keating%20interview.htm


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Stu
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 05:09 AM

Fascinating stuff Jim - you should be telling these stories in schools across the UK.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Greg B
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 06:18 PM

Big Mick, I suspect we may not disagree on the solution nearly so
much as you might think.

It's in the young people.

In the Republic, they seem finally to have shaken off the stranglehold
the Church of Rome has so long held on their identity. The youth of
the North must do the same, whether Protestant or Catholic.

In the Republic, an unprecedented effectiveness and affluence has
taken hold, simultaneous with the forgoing.

I don't think it's a coincidence at all.

The young Ulster-folk need to look south, say 'we want some of
that' and decide that their fathers' and grandfathers' grievances
are evidences of their fathers' and grandfathers' shortcomings,
which they aren't required to inherit.

I wonder if Gerry and Ian haven't come into their proper youth
in their respective dotages. Let's hope so.

And to get back to the theme, once THAT happens then either side
can sing the 'Troubles' songs of the other, if they still want to
or feel the need.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Big Mick
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 05:38 PM

That is a phenomenal bit of tellin', Jim. I am so glad you preserved it on the Mudcat, that is the essence of what it is about.

I am a labor organizer/singer. As I read your tellin' of that, it reminded me of the time I sat with a gathering of old men and women, all retired United Auto Workers, who were there at the Battle of the Overpass and the Buick sit-in. I remember being absolutely enthralled at the passion in which they told the stories, and sang the songs.

Thanks for a wonderful bit of history. One of Mudcat's best.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 02:58 PM

Back to the songs,
As far as our work was concerned, it was sometimes difficult to remember that some of the singers we were recording in West Clare were singing about incidents that had taken place in their lifetimes. A number of them would have been in their twenties at the time that the burning and looting of Miltown Malbay, Lahinch and Ennistymon by the Black and Tans took place. This included the murder of several townspeople. Several people we knew witnessed the incident on St. John's Eve when the locals of Miltown were machine-gunned by 'Tans' when they lit the traditional bonfire in the main street. We recorded a singer who knew Micho MacNamara (of Mac and Shanahan fame) who was arrested, tortured and beaten to death by Black and Tans along with his neighbour Michael Shanahan.
We recorded the story from a man who told us of how he was stopped, and searched by two 'Tans' in Miltown, and when they failed to find anything incriminating, they released him. As he was walking away they shot him, wounding him in the side of the head - he still had the scar.
The elderly lady who ran the bar in Kilshanny where we recorded a storyteller, was a nurse in Dublin in 1916 and a witness to the Easter Week Uprising.
It is often quite easy to mistake passion in singing (a commodity found in abundance in traditional singers, but alas, very rare in revival singers) with vindictiveness.
We met a fine example of this when we were recording two elderly brothers in North Clare. To put it in context, this was the time when Catholics refrained from eating meat on a Friday.
We had been welcomed into their home, sung to, fed and watered (or whiskyed) by them, and were preparing to leave when one of them sang us a lovely version of The Manchester Martyrs (which we had not come across before).
At the end of the song he launched into a diatribe about the English; how, when you saluted them on the road, they didn't salute back - he finished off by declaring "They'd eat a horse on a Friday!"
He than sat down and insisted we had another glass of whisky - which, of course, we did.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 01:14 PM

Stigweard
Don't think it was Newsnight, rather it was a debate on the film after it was released.
Jim Carroll
PS Everybody should read Jim Lad's thumbnail analysis


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Stu
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 12:35 PM

Agreed.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 11:14 AM

So we're all agreed then.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 08:15 AM

Stig, I agree that school curricula in Britain never covered Irish history, but I can not agree that the media failed to give balanced coverage.
Certainly the broadcast media did and refused to be restricted by the idiotic and short lived ban on reporting Sinn Fein members' words.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 08:09 AM

Iam at this moment reading a fascinating book Tom Barry by Meda Ryan,anyone intersted in the irish civil war,and the fight against the Black AN Tans should read this.Tom Barry was a stickler for accurate facts,this is nearer the truth than the wind that shakes the barley.200


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 07:54 AM

Stig ....... thanks for your comments. I guess I should make it very clear that my comments are directed at those that were responsible for the policies. These are the people that tried to control what you learned or heard over there. Now that it is coming to light, they are not being seen in a good light. I know I get passionate, but I am deeply troubled by apologists for this stuff. Just as I am troubled and angry by those that try and whitewash the activities of Bush/Cheney in my own country.

I want to make one thing very clear. The British folks I have met, many of them English, are among the best of the Mudcat, and have become my friends. Valued and cherished friends. While I am passionate about what I think should happen and who I think is responsible in the land of my grandparents, I mean no personal attack on the average English person. Those that I have met are wonderful, and I am anxious to get over to England and meet many more. If those that are my friends now are any example, then I will have many more friends when I do.

As to these songs, some of them are just damn fine songs. There are a many I won't sing because they seem to celebrate war instead of the struggle.

Thanks for reminding of some things I need to keep in mind, Stig. The pints are on me when we meet.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 07:36 AM

I agree, Jim (C). I have only been to the south a couple of times and to the north once but I have never had any such hostility. Much earlier in the thread I commented that even though 'rebel' songs and stories were prolific in the Seam McCarthy memorial weekend we attended I was never insecure about being there. On my first evening in Listowel a local staggered up to us and said "Are you f***ing English?". I was a little taken aback but answered in the affirmative, "Then come and have a f***ing drink with me..." was his response:-) Only when the Listowel branch of the Chelsea supporters club enetered the bar, having just lost to Manchester United, did I have to deny I was from Manchester. Seeing as I live west of there I was nearly telling the truth when I said I was from Bolton, and no-one can take exception at that club;-)

The bar my mate went to was on of the 4 on the Cork quayside apparantly - He had gone looking for Hank Wedel and Roy Barron but did not find them. He didn't mention which bar it was but if I see him on Friday I will ask.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Stu
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 06:53 AM

"I do believe that most English are largely ignorant of the facts"

I would say that was a complete understatement - add the Welsh and Scottish to that list too (it was a British Army occupation). The real problem is the media has never given a truly balanced view of the situation in the North, and there was zero education in school when I was growing up in the 1970's to place any of the events that were occuring at the time in any sort of context.

This reassesment has been far too long coming, and I believe the process is starting now. Films such as 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley' are welcome because they stimulate debate and present a side of the story many people have never seen (btw, did Paxman really call Loach a traitor on Newsnight? If he did, what a twat). I sincerely hope one day we might see trials in the Hague for those in the British Establishment who colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in murder - they can serve their time in the same cell as the maggot who planted the Omagh bomb.

While I understand your belligerence Big Mick, it doesn't reflect how many in the UK and the Republic feel about the situation in the North. Most people on these islands are weary of the fighting and now only want peace - remember the troubles had effected every man, woman and child in all the nations of the Isles and these are difficult memories to erase.

The antagonists you talk about harassing school kids are a bunch of contemptible miscreants, but they are a minority even in their own community. I suppose the good thing is Mick, if you come over here you're likely to be welcomed in may places to sing your songs - Irish pubs here are places of enjoyment and music rather than a place of overt political comment which might explain why some people might be offended by an American singing songs about events 3000 miles away when these people may have lived through the troubles every day.

Sing your songs (heck - I love them and sing them too) - but perhaps try to be a little more conciliatory to those who don't share your viewpoint. It'll more accurately reflect many of the hopes of the people of the North, a new spirit of optimism than reinforcing old divides.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 04:55 PM

To your credit Keith: I don't believe that Orange songs are sung in England either (Outside of Liverpool) and yes, they are sung in the West of Scotland though not necessary in the North where Catholicism was all but wiped out. I do believe that most English are largely ignorant of the facts. Hence, the condensed history lesson further up.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 04:35 PM

Agreed, Greg B. I have always said that where one says there prayers has nothing to do with their Irishness. And I agree with the example you used. Where I suspect we disagree is on the resolution of the issue. One cannot deny the Irish their bitterness anymore than one cannot deny the Lenape theirs. And one cannot expect the descendants of the Plantation to give up their land. But that seems like a dodge to me, Greg, because no one on the Republican side is asking for that. What they have been asking for is a set of laws free of prejudice. What they have been asking for is to be able to raise their children in an environment free of horrid harassment, including having garbage thrown at them on their way to school. What they are asking for is a society in which their churches are not routinely defaced, and their neighborhoods forced to endure inflammatory parades designed to ridicule and jeer. And due to the committment of these folks, the process is now at a point where the force of the pen, and the rule of law has a chance to blossom. Ian Paisley, for chrissakes, sits in a government with Martin McGuinness. The Republicans stood firm, in the face of almost continual provocation, and the rule of law and politics, replaced the way of the gun.

So I will continue to sing songs about the Troubles, but unlike the Orange marchers, I certainly won't be doing it where it isn't appropriate. But if you are English, and you don't want to hear these songs, don't come into an Irish pub where they are sung. That would be like going to an Orange Hall and being pissed because they sang The Sash.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Greg B
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 03:16 PM

You put your finger on it, Mick, when you said 'native peoples.'

The Battle of the Boyne was in 1690.

Now, I've heard a couple of Irish singers who I think were probably
around back then, and qualify as 'native peoples.' But not
many others.

I happen to live on a piece of land that was stolen from the 'native
peoples' of Pennsylvania in 1737, via the 'Walking Purchase' (look
it up).

But if a Lenape Indian comes and knocks on my door and demands his
land back, I'm just as likely to point out that I bought this place
from a lady named Anne R. just about two years ago, and she bought
it in 1975 from a real estate developer, who bought it from a farmer
a couple of years before that.

It's rather hard for someone living on stolen land, 300-odd years
later, to rationalize the idea that we need to yield our way of life
to the descendants of someone whom our ancestors conquered three
centuries ago.

And, well, I guess the joke's on Britain, for 'the shipyard slips
are lying empty' but the problem remains.


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