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Lyr Add: The Bloody Unicorn


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GUEST,Len Wallace 02 Feb 04 - 04:20 PM
Joe Offer 02 Feb 04 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,Len Wallace 02 Feb 04 - 11:26 PM
Geoff the Duck 03 Feb 04 - 05:18 AM
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From: GUEST,Len Wallace
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 04:20 PM

Hello Mudcateers,

Any musician who has spent an extended period performing in Irish pubs
will know that there are a number of songs repeatedly requested - most of them not Irish, some partially Irish. The top songs include Black Velvet Band, Wild Rover, Whiskey in the Jar, Drunken Sailor, Seven Drunken Nights, Seven Old Ladies. But the song MOST requested usually is "The Unicorn".

I've tried to convince people that an IRISH song, ANY Irish song would be better. I still remember the time a young woman was so truly disappointed because, Number One, I was not born in Ireland and, Number Two, I couldn't claim a distinctly Irish background. After proudly proclaiming to me that she was "a Celt" she asked me to play her "favourite Irish song". You guessed it - The Unicorn.

I've probably performed the song a million times during my years as an entertainer. The Irish Rovers probably made some good royalties for recording it. So far, all I got was a twenty dollar tip from a guy who wanted me to start off an evening to sing this "fine Irish song" to his girlfriend.

After all those years, the only way I can dull the roar for the song is by telling folks that the only way I'd perform it is if they grab 10 other people from the audience, line up in front of the stage and do the dance while I sang the song. Heck, if I was going to be put through the misery and pain of singing it then I might as well be amused in the process.

I'm dedicating the lyrics below to all my brother and sister musicians.

(to the traditional tune:
"Wearing of the Green" or "Rising of the Moon")

O, Paddy dear now did you hear the news that goin' round?
They're singing bloody awful songs in every pub in town.
It makes us Irish singers curse the day that we were born
and the worst one of the lot is the bloody Unicorn!

Oh, the bloody Unicorn,
Oh, the bloody Unicorn.
And the song that we all love to hate - the bloody Unicorn!

We've got "The Galway Races", we've got "The Galway Shawl",
and songs from Belfast and from Cork, we love to sing them all.
We've got reels and jigs and hornipipes and many tunes galore,
But all the wankers want to hear is the bloody Unicorn!

The Unicorn's not Irish, I'll set the record straight.
It's a fine upstanding children's song that I have come to hate.
It was written by Shel Silverstein who wrote "A Boy Named Sue"
Don't play it and they yell, "What kind of Irishman are you?!"

The cultural barbarians they haven't got a clue
May God forgive the idjits for they know not what they do.
On St. Paddy's Day the queerest sight that's ever to be seen
Is when they shout, "Play The Unicorn" and drink beer that's painted green.

I wasn't born in Ireland, I'm not from the Emerald Isle.
I'm Irish by osmosis snging many years in style
But I've got more Irish sense in me, despite where I was born,
To think the height of Irish culture is the bloody Unicorn!

For music that never dies,

Len Wallace

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Subject: RE: New Song Lyrics: The Bloody Unicorn
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 04:40 PM

Great song, Len! Now, I hope you don't mind that I crosslinked it with all our other Unicorn threads...
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: New Song Lyrics: The Bloody Unicorn
From: GUEST,Len Wallace
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 11:26 PM

Thanks Joe, both for the crosslink and the compliment!


PS... Forgot to add that the chorus can (and maybe should be changed). I'll leave that to other people. I figure people can add their own verses based on their own experiences. Maybe it should be the Blasted Unicorn? Blastit? Effin Unicorn? I'll leave it to the folk process.

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Subject: RE: New Song Lyrics: The Bloody Unicorn
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 05:18 AM

Bloody Unicorn sounds okay to me as a titile and chorus.
One problem with people changing lines to "not offend" is that they usually end up with something which DOES. a line which flows naturally seldom offends. If you start changing words, you usually upset the smoothness of the phrase, and emphasize the alteration. I reckoon you are best keeping things as they are.
That said - I have spent many years with Irish singers and musicians, and I don't recall ever hearing the song.
Geof the Duck.

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