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About Irish Rebel Songs

Clifton53 28 Oct 99 - 06:30 PM
F 28 Oct 99 - 06:32 PM
Freddie Fox 28 Oct 99 - 06:35 PM
Brakn 28 Oct 99 - 08:00 PM
Den 28 Oct 99 - 08:41 PM
alison 28 Oct 99 - 08:51 PM
Den 28 Oct 99 - 08:54 PM
Lady McMoo 29 Oct 99 - 08:31 AM
JedMarum 29 Oct 99 - 09:02 AM
Shimbo Darktree 29 Oct 99 - 10:17 AM
Fortunato 29 Oct 99 - 10:31 AM
Marion 29 Oct 99 - 11:11 AM
Fortunato 29 Oct 99 - 11:24 AM
AndyG 29 Oct 99 - 12:53 PM
Freddie Fox 29 Oct 99 - 03:08 PM
Clifton53 29 Oct 99 - 04:47 PM
_gargoyle 01 Nov 99 - 12:21 AM
Frank Howe 01 Nov 99 - 12:55 PM
GeorgeH 01 Nov 99 - 01:02 PM
Frank Howe 01 Nov 99 - 02:00 PM
Clifton53 01 Nov 99 - 03:35 PM
Den 01 Nov 99 - 06:06 PM
Reiver 2 01 Nov 99 - 07:30 PM
Brendy 01 Nov 99 - 08:42 PM
_gargoyle 01 Nov 99 - 09:57 PM
_gargoyle 01 Nov 99 - 10:08 PM
InOBU@Aol.com 01 Nov 99 - 10:44 PM
GeorgeH 02 Nov 99 - 05:25 AM
paddymac 02 Nov 99 - 06:40 AM
Clifton53 02 Nov 99 - 08:09 AM
03 Nov 99 - 07:07 AM
Barbara 03 Nov 99 - 08:19 AM
Reiver 2 03 Nov 99 - 03:46 PM
Reiver 2 03 Nov 99 - 04:35 PM
paddymac 03 Nov 99 - 05:01 PM
Reiver 2 03 Nov 99 - 06:50 PM
_gargoyle 03 Nov 99 - 09:09 PM
Angel 1 04 Nov 99 - 01:41 AM
Shimbo Darktree 05 Nov 99 - 10:18 AM
Shimbo Darktree 05 Nov 99 - 10:22 AM
AndyG 05 Nov 99 - 10:59 AM
senseless bodhran player who doesn't knowanybetter 05 Nov 99 - 05:24 PM
Clifton53 05 Nov 99 - 08:31 PM
BK 06 Nov 99 - 12:46 AM
AKS 06 Nov 99 - 04:47 PM
Thole 06 Nov 99 - 09:54 PM
06 Nov 99 - 10:30 PM
Shimbo Darktree 07 Nov 99 - 03:56 AM
Big Mick 07 Nov 99 - 06:27 PM
Frank Howe 08 Nov 99 - 08:42 AM
Clifton53 08 Nov 99 - 08:45 AM
paddymac 08 Nov 99 - 05:10 PM
08 Nov 99 - 06:47 PM
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Subject: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Clifton53
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 06:30 PM

Can anyone tell me if it is always proper to fill the hall with "Come Out Ye Black and Tans"? Is it viewed as somewhat tasteless to play these type of songs indiscriminately? When and where should they be/not be performed? Most of them glorify the many battles and insurrections of Irish history. Is the current peace initiative a good reason not to play them? As an American-Irish performer, would people object to hearing them from me for any reason?? I need some insight here.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: F
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 06:32 PM


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Freddie Fox
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 06:35 PM

Well, I don't know what happened there ie. above message or lack of it.

You have to be a bit careful around here [Leeds, England]; we've played a few venues which have a notice in the Green Room - No Rebel Songs - especially in areas with a high Irish population. If in doubt, ask the person in charge of the venue. Having said that, you can get away with virtually anything on Paddy's Night - weird, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Brakn
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 08:00 PM

I've been grabbed around the throat for not playing enough rebel and the same for playing too much! You have to weigh up the audience.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Den
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 08:41 PM

It doesn't matter how many requests you get never play them in an Orange Hall. Denwithtonguesecureincheek.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: alison
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 08:51 PM

Rule of thumb..... If there is a red hand of Ulster on the wall..... don't do it. If there is a Tricolour you should be safe enough. *grin*

Having said that I've heard "the Sash" played in a Republican club, but he got away with it by putting it into a medley with the "Rising of the Moon."

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Den
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 08:54 PM

You know Alison I used to play Paddy's day in an Orange Hall in Vancouver yet I'd never ever set foot in one in NI. Its a funny old world. Den


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 08:31 AM

Most people would not know the difference here in Belgium! But as a general rule I avoid any material from the various "extremes" whatever they may be... even if asked.

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 09:02 AM

In US, it depends on where ya are. In Boston; sing any ya want, yer likley to get many supporters and would be well wishers filling yer tip jar in support of the 'poor Irish Orphans'. In the much of the country they won't know the difference!


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Shimbo Darktree
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 10:17 AM

G'day

In Australia, I have never had trouble. But then again,
I haven't sung at "partisan" venues. The only complaint
I've had (years ago) was "Why aren't you singing rebel songs
tonight ... bejasus!"

Shimbo


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Fortunato
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 10:31 AM

This raises an interesting question.

To what extent is the performer responsible for the ramifications of the performance? If a song is designed to incite partisan feelings or clearly does so, is the performer in any way responsible for actions that may derive from those feelings so incited?


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Marion
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 11:11 AM

Fortunato:

I don't think it's a question of blame - if rioting, for example, is triggered by a concert, people are still responsible for their own actions, and it's the rioters that are at fault.

I think it's a question of wisdom, and of knowing possible/likely outcomes and choosing your actions accordingly.

For example, I don't think that it's possible by definition for a woman to be "asking for" rape. Rape is always the rapist's fault, not the victim's. However... since I know that a woman walking alone at night is more likely to be assaulted than a woman with companions, I try to keep the walking alone at night to a minimum, to improve my odds. I'm not trying to avoid responsibility for rape, I'm trying to avoid rape.

Do you see what I'm getting at?

Marion


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Fortunato
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 11:24 AM

Yes, I do, and I agree rape is always the rapist's fault. As a bomber is always responsible for the violence done by his bombs.

Yes, I should try not to walk where bombs may be thrown.

But if I sing a song that glorifies violence done in the past, do I perpetuate the seeds of the violence?


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: AndyG
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 12:53 PM

IndividualPerformer
GroupAudience
ActionRioting
OutcomeDamage
Givens:
There is evidence that the individual exerts significant influence over the behaviour of group.
There is no evidence that the individual takes any part in the group action that generates the outcome.
There is plenty of evidence that group action is responsible for the outcome.

is the individual in any way responsible for:
a) the actions of the group ?
which result in:
b) the outcome. ?

Now try:

IndividualHitler
GroupThe Nazi Party
ActionGross Inhumanity
Outcome~20 million dead

Were your answers the same ?

Andy "Over-simplifications'R'Us" G


...but now the question seems to have changed from;
Am I responsible for particular actions which I didn't explicitly request ?
to
Does glorification of (historical) violence promote contempary violence ?

If the performer is deliberately attempting to incite the audience to violent action, (definite or unspecified) then (s)he's in the position described above.
If there is no such intent, then the audience reaction to the message they infer from the content, is (but only just) beyond the performers responsibilty.

Andy "but I don't know though" G


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Freddie Fox
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 03:08 PM

Ouch - that's a really nasty one. Personally, I think we have a responsibilty to try to avoid situations where our actions might have a deleterious effect on others. However, if it happens by accident, I don't thinl we should blame ourselves too much.

Supposing; I was putting up shelves with a friend, and holding the ladder. I leave go, the ladder falls, the friend breaks a leg. Wrong way to handle it; Burst into tears, start wringing my hands, and then make his / her life a misery for the next six weeks by apologising every five minutes. Right way; Apologise once, call an ambulance, and then make sure he/she is well looked after until they heal, withoubeing too much of a pain about it.

So, for the rebel songs; be careful, judge your audience; if, by accident, you get it wrong and there is trouble, do what you can to help.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Clifton53
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 04:47 PM

Thanks folks for the nice response to my question. Sounds like you all have some experience along these lines. It is easy to learn to play a song, but not so easy to learn when to play it. Of course, if I'm grabbed up by the throat, the choice is plain ( heh heh).


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: _gargoyle
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 12:21 AM

For the sake of an American audience that believe "A Black and Tan" is a glass of good Guiness with Harp floating on the top..... would you elaborate?


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Frank Howe
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 12:55 PM

Any song or songs you choose generally occur within the context of an overall performance - including songs and comments which may or may not provide balance, time for reflection, time for considering the past, the present, and the future. how you shape and present a rebel song or any other song goes a long way towards influencing how your audience responds.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: GeorgeH
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 01:02 PM

Well, a more sensible debate than I'd expected (WHAT is the great attraction of rebel songs to US folks . .? WHY should anyone WISH to perform a high proportion of rebel songs - other than for lowest-common-denominator rabble-rousing as an easy way of getting a positive response from a certain type of audience)

As with so many things, context is almost everything . .

But I thought the fact was that you only sang them ONCE in an Orange hall, and then only half of the first verse.

And I disagree with most of AndyG's post, too!

G.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Frank Howe
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 02:00 PM

G, the attraction for singing these songs is evident on several levels
musically - many of these are wonderfully constructed songs
historically - these songs document a significant struggle of a proud and determined people
politically - they acknowledge a continued struggle to reunite a divided country
personally - for many of us who sing them, they are a connection to family both immeadiate, and generations past. we learned these songs mixed in with hundreds of others from people we love. we sing them because they sound right and they feel right.
you and others may disagree as to their value and that's okay ...but you see, that's the beauty of freedom!


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Clifton53
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 03:35 PM

Black and Tan refers to the uniforms of British soldiers sent to occupy Ireland in the early part of this century.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Den
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 06:06 PM

George h I'd like to know your definition of Rebel songs. You seem to be painting everyone with a rather large brush. There are wonderful and beautiful songs about the various rebellions in Irish history that would not be known much less understood by THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR. Den


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Reiver 2
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 07:30 PM

Note to gargoyle re. Black and Tans:

In the aftermath of the Easter 1916 uprising, the struggle for Irish independence was carried on by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, led by Michael Collins and others. By 1919 acts of violence and murder were becoming more and more frequent, with members of the state police force, the Royal Irish Constabulary, as the targets of much of the terrorism. The RIC began to return the violence in kind.

By spring of 1920, the RIC began to recuuit reinforcements from England as well as from among Irishmen and with the expansion of the force there were not enough of the traditional "bottle-green" uniforms, to go around. New recruits were equipped with khaki additions to their uniforms and were soon dubbed "Black and Tans" a nickname borrowed from a pack of hounds that were well known in County Tipperary.

The situation in the country deteriorated rapidly into virtual guerilla warfare between two increasingly vicious bands of armed men, the Black and Tans (including their especially violent "Auxiliaries") on the one hand and the Irish Republican Brotherhood, soon to be known as the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The "troubles" have continued, though there's perhaps at last a possibility of an end to the violence. So much blood....


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Brendy
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 08:42 PM

"Rebel Songs" are not incitement to violence. The crime that perpetrated them is.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: _gargoyle
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 09:57 PM

"Black and Tan refers to the uniforms of British soldiers sent to occupy Ireland."

Thank you! It is VERY doubtful that most "Mericanos"(mexed metaphor) have know what message they were conveying when they placed such a bererage order in an Irish/American Bar.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: _gargoyle
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 10:08 PM

Watch out folk

Previous such discussions in June/July led to the ouster of "gargoyle" and its replacment with "_gargoyle."

Max claimed it to be the "first" but I doubt it to be the last, from a "land that celebrates freedom of speech."

The discussion here is important - invite your friends to join in - it is good place to let the word be heard.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: InOBU@Aol.com
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 10:44 PM

Clifford, As to when to sing an Irish political song, it is best to learn all you can about the civil rights struggle in the nation of your heritage. Once you know enough, you will be comfortable singing music about that struggle. Come out you black and tans, was written by Dominic Behan, Brendan Behans brother, who wrote a number of great songs about republicanism from the perspective of someone from the slums of Dublin, Rathfarnam, I believe. As to the present turn of events in Ireland, should Irish people ever have reason to forgive, which hopefully now that the war in Ireland no longer serves NATOs need to keep a nonaligned nation in termoil, that time to forgive may soon be at hand, but it is always a bad idea to forget. We have forgotten much of the lesson of peoples music in the United States. Arthur Kenoy, a great American progressive lawyer said to me one evening, while we were drinking Burbon in a bus station bar, Larry, the civil rights movement in America ended the day we stopped singing. All the best, Cliff, feel free to write and ask about Irish history, (I also play the Uilleann pipes - by the by) Larry at InOBU@AOL.COM


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: GeorgeH
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 05:25 AM

Well I seem to have reduced this debate to the usual absurdity of the US IRA supporters club rantings (despite some further intelegent contributions). Nice to have you out of the woodwork, guys!

Yes, there are SOME fine rebel songs . . but then again I didn't suggest otherwise. And, Frank Howe, if you continue to sing those songs in with hundreds of others, as you say you learnt them, then I've no problem - and suggest you re-read what I originally wrote.

Whereas Brendy, I fear, is simply spouting out of the wrong orifice.

And InOBU - you don't live in Ireland (North or South) do you? But the Nato suggestion is a good (if rather sick) joke.

G.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: paddymac
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 06:40 AM

_gargoyle: in the various "layered beer" drinks made with Guiness, it's the Guiness on top. A "Black & Tan" is made with Bass Ale (a fine English ale) on the bottom and Guiness on the top. The obvious political metaphor is "Ireland over England". The irony is that Guiness, and the style of beer-making that produces "porter" beers, are of English origin. A "half & half" is made with Harp lager on the bottom & Guiness on top. There are no doubt many other local variations on the theme. Hmm! maybe that's a topic for another thread - layered drinks made with Guiness.

Now, folks, let's not be so hard on George H. The lad does have a talent for "baiting", and does seem at times to be overburdened with that notorious British arrogance (well, notorious among many of us "ex-colonials" anyway), but he can't possible be as bad as he sometimes seems. I mean, after all, he did once 'fess up to what some might have considered disparaging thoughts about Maggie Thatcher. I think he's just a bit disgruntled with the reality of living amongst inferiors in "The Celtic Isles." :>)


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Clifton53
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 08:09 AM

This is a great thing this forum. I'm clearing me brain of questions that have puzzled me for a long time. Reiver 2, were the black and tans NOT exclusively British? Larry, thanks for your thoughtful response and insight. I've been playing some of these songs for years,and the folks that enjoy the fire of them the most haven't a clue as to what they are about. They just enjoy them as music, but they do feel the purpose of them.As Frank said, most of these songs are beautifully constructed, they are not the ravings of lunatics. Hey Gargoyle, if you walk into a bar down south and ask for a black and tan, they'll hand you a coonhound across the bar!

Thanks again folks, I didn't mean to start an arguement amongst our various countries. Clifton.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From:
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 07:07 AM

Dear George H Yes I have lived in Ireland, North and South. My last name is Otway, and I come from an old Anglo Irish Family. The observations about NATO are not an uncommon way of looking at the presence of troops in Ireland, in fact, British Intelligence defector Frank Holroid lectured at NYU Law School, (where I recieved my Juris Doctorate) on that very topic. Many in the British army veterins movement Troops Out, also explain Britains Veit Nam in the same way. As to the Irish American point of view, although there is a lot of knee jerk reaction nationalizm, for which I have no time, there is also a small group of us, who have taken advantage of the fact that we do not have the systemic political censorship which England and Ireland feel is a necessisary component of the protections democratic rule - go figure... I have worked on several cases where the recent history of England and Ireland have been examined by federal judges and magistrates, and my view of Irish history has a fairly good track record in US courts. We folk singers, like most artists, have an obligation to inform in the face of power. Remember Victor Hara, and like Phill Ochs - laugh at the lies. With great hopes for peace Larry


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Barbara
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 08:19 AM

I was listening to the radio tonight, and Desmond Tutu was being interviewed about his new book, I forget the title, but it's something about the only way to reach peace is through forgiveness.
He did not equate forgiveness with forgetting. He spoke about the commission he sat on recently where he and others heard testimony about the South African atrocities. About how hard it was to hear the victims and the perpetrators speak, one after another, to hear of the terrible things people did to each other. How it made all the people on the commission distant from their families, unable to sleep, how they drank more, how they became short tempered and anxious. How it made them weep.
And, he said, to tell their stories, set the people free of their past. To be heard made it possible for them to set down what was done to them, and go on with their lives.
For him, the telling was part of the path to peace.
For others, the telling can be just the opposite -- inciting new violence.
I would ask the singers to look at why they sing the songs.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Reiver 2
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 03:46 PM

Note to Clifton53: My information is that the "Black and Tans" were not exclusively English (British). There were about 43,000 regular British Army troops in Ireland at that time, but the term was used to designate members of the armed Royal Irish Constabulary subsequent to about 1920. It was at that time, according to my information, that the RIC began recruiting in England, and when the new "black and tan" uniforms began to be used. I think from that time on the "Black and Tans" were increasing made up of men from England but, as far as I know, they were not exclusively non-Irish.

"The guerrillas -- now known as the Irish Republican Army -- ... probably never numbered more than about 15,000 men.... The well-equipped British forces under General Macready numbered about 43,000, with important para-military forces; the armed Royal Irish Constabulary, strengthened by recruits from England, selected for toughness -- called 'Black and Tans' for their half-military half-police uniforms -- and a force of ex-officers, organized as police auxiliaries." (O'Brien and O'Brien)

Please understand, I'm relying only on books that I have for this information, and my comments are at least 2nd-hand, and those of an "outsider" from the U.S.(although with ancestors from England, Ireland and Scotland). My original comments were based on Robert Kee's "Ireland: A History" (he also wrote "The Green Flag: A History of Irish Nationalism"). Since then I've also used "A Concise History of Ireland", by Maire and Connor Cruise O'Brien, as a source. If information I've provided is incorrect, I welcome any correction that will aid in "putting the record straight."


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Reiver 2
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 04:35 PM

Just as a note, another Irish rebel song with references to the "Black and Tans", is one called "Rifles of the I.R.A.', with the line (repeated at the end of each verse), "And the Black and Tans, Like lightning ran From the Rifles of the I.R.A." I can type the words if anyone wants them.

Personally, I find the song a bit too violent to enjoy singing it, though it's a fine, stirring tune.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: paddymac
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 05:01 PM

The best and most readable account of the Black & Tans that I have yet encountered is "The Black & Tans", by Richard Bennett, formerly a Lt.Col in the British War Office. ISBN 1-566190-820-8. It's available from Barnes & Noble for about US$10. Conditions in Ireland at the time were tumultous, to say the least, and Britain was experiencing a post-war economic depression and severe unemployment. Lloyd George's way of addressing both problems was to recruit unemployed british veterans for police service in Ireland. Those later known as "Black & Tans" were former enlisted men, and those known as "Auxies" were former officers. These men were to bolster the RIC, and together they were backed by a force of about 43,000 British troops in Ireland. In addition to a payroll, the B&Ts and Auxies also were granted a modernized version of the ancient right of plunder.

I would be very cautious about anything written by Conor Cruise O'Brien. Aside from being the darling of Ian Paisley, he is generally recognized as a revisionist and apologist, or worse, depending on the company. Make your own judgments, but be aware that his academic objectivity is suspect.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Reiver 2
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 06:50 PM

Thanks for the info., paddymac! And also for the book reference. I'll check it out. I'll be cautious about what I read from O'Brien as I have no use whatsoever for Paisley, and wasn't aware of the relationship between the two. Goes to prove that one needs to know one's sources when trying to read history!


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: _gargoyle
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 09:09 PM

Reiver_2 - Please post the lyrics to both tunes... if only for "historical purposes."

You can mail a photocopy of the tunes to:
The Digital Tradition
28 Powell Street
Greenwich, CT 06831

Since this year's "Orange Day" there has been a vast, personal, increase in the understanding of the situation.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Angel 1
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 01:41 AM

"There Were Roses, There Were Roses,
and the tears of the people ran together.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Shimbo Darktree
Date: 05 Nov 99 - 10:18 AM

Oh boy, I can't resist this thread! Two issues, folks:

ISSUE ONE: A good song is a good song, be it green, orange
or brindle. And the Irish on both sides of the Question
write bloody beautiful songs. Glorifying bloodshed and murder?
Yes, I guess it is, if you look at it that way ... the way
medals for valour (or valor for my American friends, if I have
any left at the end of this), homecoming parades and special
pensions/low loan rates for returned soldiers might be said
to glorify bloodshed and murder. Anyone getting mad yet?
If so, consider issue two ...

ISSUE TWO: Who in a fight is right? Some of you will say
"no-one", and good on you ... but do you then turn your back
if you see a big brute assaulting a little girl? Maybe I
would, but then, I'm small and gutless, and would be wrong
to do so. I submit that the "rightness" in a fight entirely
depends on your point of view. Consider the Christian ethic
of "love thy neighbour (neighbor?)", and then have a look at
the history of Christianity. Have a re-read of the words of
Bob Dylan's "With God on our Side". Now, tell me who is right
and who is wrong.

I sing both Orange and Green songs (mostly Green, as I cut
my teeth on The Clancy Brothers and a local wild Irish rebel ... and raised a Protestant, too!)
, although I don't have any "kill the bastards" style in
my repertoire. I shall continue to sing them, because they
are great songs, not because they glorify murder.

Shimbo "The Pacifist" Darktree any overtly


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Shimbo Darktree
Date: 05 Nov 99 - 10:22 AM

Please ignore the last two words in the previous posting
... a slip in the editing.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: AndyG
Date: 05 Nov 99 - 10:59 AM

Should that not be;

Shimbo "Shrugger of Thunders" Darktree ?

Andy "Kei-Wah would be more appropriate" G


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: senseless bodhran player who doesn't knowanybetter
Date: 05 Nov 99 - 05:24 PM

Is it appropriate to export grain out of a starving country during a famine? Or to deliberately try to wipe out another country"s native tongue? You can hardly even touch Ireland's heritage without mentioning the neighbors. Even "The Boys of Barr na Sraide" which can hardly be considered inflammatory, mentions the Saxon stanger, the rebel homes of Kerry, and the Black and Tans. Finally,why doesn't anybody ask if it's appropriate to sing Danny Boy or the Unicorn 600 times over St. Paddy's Day weekend?

Slan Agat, Rich


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Clifton53
Date: 05 Nov 99 - 08:31 PM

Senseless; I was only asking this question as an American artist who has never been to Ireland or the U.K. I've sung some of these rebel songs here and would never worry about appropriatness on my own soil. I was merely curious as to variuos reactions around the globe.

As for offending someone's sensibilities, this was not my tack. I too am a rememberer. Clifton


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: BK
Date: 06 Nov 99 - 12:46 AM

"Come Out Ye Black An' Tans," as I've heard it, is a very powerful, emotionally rousing song about an atrocity by anybody's recconing, which would make the average person feel strongly against the occupying power.. The real history should not be forgotten.. ("Those who cannot remember history are destined to repeat it.") But I'd be cautious about where I sang it - in fact I've never learned it, 'n I usually like emotionally powerful songs.. Even in folk music, there are often no easy answers.. I think Bishop Tutu has something the troubled world should consider. Look what fundamentalist Hindu nationalists are doing in India.. Someone else thinking they are getting even w/the british.. for now-historical offenses, initially motivated by money..

BK


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: AKS
Date: 06 Nov 99 - 04:47 PM

BK, this I think would quite well add to what you (and some others) are saying:

"Does revenge bring life back to any of our killed young men?"

If memory serves me well this is Indian wisdom (southern north American).

AKS Joensuu, Finland


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Thole
Date: 06 Nov 99 - 09:54 PM

In Australia Irish rebel songs are sung in a variety of venues by a variety of artists. There are no hard and fast rules of engagement: in Townsville I have heard a Northern Irish protestant sing "Black and Tans" with gusto- he told me he liked the energy of the tune and knew nothing and cared less about the provenance of the lyrics! I have played with a group at an Irish club and be told to avoid anything partisan- particularly those songs that re-open wounds about the Irish Civil War such as "Take it down from the mast Irish Traitors" At The Henry Lawson Club in western Sydney we often play a mixture of Orange and Green songs and tunes- but we know our audience and even there we meet hostility from occasional patrons who have an alcohol-induced outrage at the balance and appropriateness of our material. An anecdote concerning "The Patriot Game" may be of interest to readers of this site: in the mid-sixties I hitch-hiked with my brother to the Donegal resort of Bundoran. Dominic Behan was in concert in a small church hall and he sang several songs he had written including "The Patriot Game". I was struck then by the difference between my circumstances (16 years old and looking for a good time in the dance-halls and pubs of Bundoran) and those of the subject of the song- Feargal O'Hanlon, killed, a teenager, in an attack on a border RUC post). Behan sang the song almost as a lament (which I have always felt is the right modality for the delivery of the song). Most versions I have heard since are rousing and keyed for pub singalong. I sang the song for the first time in years at a yuppie pub in Northwestern Sydney and encountered two reactions- "It's too damn slow!" and "Let's go, the bastards's singing an I.R.A. song." I guess it's just basic courtesy to introduce material that some will find offensive with a short preface that puts the artist's view of the material. If, given this context, offense is taken- so be it.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From:
Date: 06 Nov 99 - 10:30 PM

Clifton - people in the USA just have no idea what is going on in Ireland so they do not react as a native would.

For the record, the NI conflict is not as it apprears about religion - there is no basis in the Bible for killing innocent people! - it is a tribal war. Pure and simple - they dress it up as religion but it ain't.

Singing the songs is part of the problem - my 10 cents I do not sing them, I used way back but quit after the early violence. Think it was in the late 60's.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Shimbo Darktree
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 03:56 AM

AndyG,
I assume you refer to Kirwar of the Four Faces, Father of Flowers.
I will accept this as a well-meant witticism, but beware, lest you give me cause for pai'badra! I defeated Belion, you will recall.

For Mudcatters reading this, and wondering if I have lost my
marbles ... yes, probably. If you like sci-fi, then grab a
copy of Roger Zelazny's Isle of the Dead and all will
be revealed.


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 06:27 PM

Unto thine own self be true......

I sing many of these songs because they are worth singing and they point out wrongs, as yet unrighted. People that come to my concerts know they will hear this music along with jigs, reels, Soldier and Maid songs, immigrations songs, laments, drinking songs, love songs, et al. It is ludicrous to suggest that one can sing and play the music of the Ireland without being political. Every aspect of that country's culture has been shaped by the political events of the last 800 years. Even the apolitical instrumentals were forbidden to be played at one time by the politics of the Crown towards the Irish. I get very tired of Irish Nationals telling people like me that I don't understand because I am a Yank. I probably understand the history of the land of my Grandparents, as well as its culture as anyone. I also understand guerrilla warfare in ways that most of those who complain never will. I will continue to sing songs that address the ongoing colonial injustice that is goes on in the North of Ireland. What I will not sing is songs that tend to dehumanize the English people, or British soldiers. You see, I have been a warrior. I understand that the English people, are as much a victim of the policy of their government as anyone. That is why the majority of them oppose their governments involvement in the North of Ireland. And this, even though the media is controlled to prevent honest debate of the issues.

On this side of the pond, it drives me nuts when otherwise well intentioned Irish Americans blindly sing songs and contribute to a cause without much more than a passing inquiry into where the money is going and what it is to be used for. The re-unification of Ireland is an admirable goal. The constant shining of light on the abuses and human rights violations of the British Government and the RUC is every bit as honorable a fight as was the fight to end its offspring, known as apartheid, in South Africa. But when your level of knowledge of the cost is limited to slogans or shouting "Tiocfaidh ár lá", you do nothing to ensure what the ultimate goal has always been...........Peace for the children of Ireland, and reunification. Remember, my American brethren, the people of the Republic and the people of the North of Ireland have spoken. They spoke overwhelmingly and with one voice. The day of the gun is over. I supported that tactic as a just fight of a people. But it does not matter what I think anymore. When that referendum was taken, and the results were unambiguous, it sealed the way forward. Sure we should sing the songs, more now than ever. But not to incite more violence, rather to show why the bargaining position of the Republican Sinn Fein is correct. If we, as the grandchildren of Ireland, care as much as we say we do then we will support the peace process with the same vigor we supported the armed struggle.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Frank Howe
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 08:42 AM

Mick
Well said!
Frank


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: Clifton53
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 08:45 AM

Well said indeed Mick!! And you with the stones to sign it! God bless!


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From: paddymac
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 05:10 PM

NI is a plainly apartheid state well into that most dangerous era when the oppressed minority has surpassed the critical mass necessary for a sustained drive for legitimate civil liberties and civil rights. The only real question is how long will the British government support a regime which is contrary to British moral mythology, though not to the history of a long succession of British governments.

Here's an appropos quote from Dean Johnathon Swift, a Protestant Churchman of great intellect from an earlier time: "We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another."


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Subject: RE: About Irish Rebel Songs
From:
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 06:47 PM

I hate three letter words like IRA, UDA, UVF, UDR, RUC, but I do love The Wolfe Tones. Funny thing is, I kinda like the sonf It's a long way to Tipperary too, even though it is a British Army song. It is the people who stand up and get out of hand when the songs are sung that I would object to. Have fun sing the song but don't go overboard with the bullshit!!!


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