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Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive

Keith A of Hertford 26 Jun 07 - 03:02 PM
GUEST 26 Jun 07 - 02:57 PM
Big Mick 26 Jun 07 - 02:52 PM
Big Mick 26 Jun 07 - 02:47 PM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jun 07 - 02:08 PM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jun 07 - 02:05 PM
Big Mick 26 Jun 07 - 01:19 PM
Dave the Gnome 26 Jun 07 - 11:21 AM
Jim Lad 26 Jun 07 - 10:58 AM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jun 07 - 09:51 AM
MartinRyan 26 Jun 07 - 06:08 AM
Stu 26 Jun 07 - 05:07 AM
Jim Lad 26 Jun 07 - 04:50 AM
Jim Lad 26 Jun 07 - 04:46 AM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jun 07 - 04:37 AM
Stu 26 Jun 07 - 04:28 AM
Jim Lad 26 Jun 07 - 04:28 AM
MartinRyan 26 Jun 07 - 04:23 AM
goatfell 26 Jun 07 - 04:14 AM
Jim Lad 26 Jun 07 - 03:43 AM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 26 Jun 07 - 03:15 AM
Jim Lad 26 Jun 07 - 03:14 AM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jun 07 - 02:02 AM
Jim Lad 25 Jun 07 - 04:50 PM
Big Mick 25 Jun 07 - 03:44 PM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Jun 07 - 03:25 PM
Mike Miller 25 Jun 07 - 03:11 PM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Jun 07 - 03:10 PM
GUEST 25 Jun 07 - 02:33 PM
Jim Lad 25 Jun 07 - 11:44 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 07 - 11:03 AM
DannyC 25 Jun 07 - 07:52 AM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Jun 07 - 07:23 AM
DannyC 25 Jun 07 - 07:05 AM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Jun 07 - 06:23 AM
MartinRyan 25 Jun 07 - 05:42 AM
Stu 25 Jun 07 - 05:27 AM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Jun 07 - 03:40 AM
Jim Lad 25 Jun 07 - 03:34 AM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Jun 07 - 03:31 AM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 25 Jun 07 - 02:32 AM
Jim Lad 24 Jun 07 - 11:50 PM
gnu 24 Jun 07 - 10:31 PM
LukeKellylives (Chris) 24 Jun 07 - 10:16 PM
GUEST,meself 24 Jun 07 - 09:44 PM
Jim Lad 24 Jun 07 - 08:01 PM
Big Mick 24 Jun 07 - 07:02 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Jun 07 - 06:35 PM
Big Mick 24 Jun 07 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,meself 24 Jun 07 - 05:21 PM
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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 03:02 PM

Thanks Mick.
I was a bit taken aback by your post. Glad we sorted it out.
Good man.
I stand by my statement that the English do not sing songs offensive to Irish people.
You have English friends. They will confirm the truth of it.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 02:57 PM

"You would deny the people of the North the right to choose their government?"
Yes, just as I would deny the people of Birmingham to choose "their" government - councils maybe, or parliamentary representatives, but the British system is that governments are elected nationally - unless I have been getting it wrong for most of my life.
The "North" - as you put it, (wonder what happened to Donegal, which is the most northerly point of Ireland) is, or should be part of Ireland, and as such, should be entitled to elect representatives on an IRISH government. Until it does there will continue to be unrest, just as there would be if, say the US discovered there was oil in Rutland (as was) and decided to annex it.
Dave, sorry to hear of your mate's experience in Cork - he must have gone into the local 'Langers' pub. I have to say that in all the time we have been visiting Ireland we have never been met with hostility or unfriendliness; that is why we chose to spend the rest of our lives here.
The only time we ever thought we might not be welcome was when the hunger strikers were dying and the street of Miltown Malbay was bedecked with black flags, but even then we were greeted with the usual friendliness.
One experience we did have was in Baltimore, in West Cork when we were invited to a party after a local point-to-point.
One of the singers launched into a set of rebel songs wheich got more and more vehement as the evening wore on. At one point we were drinking at the bar when the singer came over to buy a drink. He overheard us talking and leaned over (somewhat agressivly, I thought) and said, "are ye English", to which she, somewhat nervously replied "yes".
"You don't live anywhere near Manchester, do you", he asked, "my brother's a postman there" - and bought us drinks for the rest of the night.
Jim Lad, yes, our posts did cross and I missed yours. A brilliant summing up.
Jim Carroll
PS You will hear Orange Lodge songs wherever there are branches of the Orange Lodge.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 02:52 PM

Boy, I shouldn't write off the cuff. I just went back and read my post to you, Keith. While I stand by what I said, the way I said it was in a tone that is uncalled for. I considered deleting it, but that would not be right. I apologize for the tone of that, to Keith of Hertford. While we disagree mightily on this issue, and probably always will, there is no need for the rancor in the post. I hope you will accept my apologies for that.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 02:47 PM

I knew you would respond that way about the US. That's why I told you that I am not an apologist for my country's actions.

Fair enough on the English distinction. I actually thought about that while I was composing my post. But I don't accept, and I acknowledge not having first hand knowledge here, that there are no English songs sung in those halls, nor do I accept the following premise:

They do not sing any such.

Your post, while we will have to disagree, is a fair description of your view. I appreciate the even tone of it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 02:08 PM

And Mick, thanks for the Amnesty link.
UK's report compares with that for Ireland, and is much better than yours.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 02:05 PM

Mick,
Your comment was about songs the English sing.
We never sing Orange songs.
I sing many Irish songs, but I do not even know any Orange songs.
Any English Mudcatter will confirm that you never hear Orange songs in England.
West of Scotland maybe, and possibly parts of Liverpool, but even there never in folk venues.
You were wrong about the English singing plenty of songs offensive to Irish people.
They do not sing any such.


" Because to debate that, I would have to acknowledge that the English had a right to the six counties."
I would never acknowledge that either Mick.
England neither has nor had any such right.
As soon as they stop voting for British rule we are out, and that day can not come soon enough for us.

Nowhere in my posts was I defending Unionists.
I am not part of the Irish sectarian divide.
I am neutral.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 01:19 PM

And just so you don't get to full of yourself, Keith, the reason I didn't answer your question as to which songs the Irish don't like, it is for two reasons. 1) I think it is more appropriate for the Falls Road Catholics to address that issue, as they live there. I would bet the songs sung in the Orange Halls and during the Orange parades through Catholic areas, are just as detested, probably more so, as the Irish Rebel Songs. But with one big difference; the Orange songs are about keeping the Croppies down, about preserving the discriminatory status quo, and the prejudicial generalizations. The offshoot of this is that little Catholic schoolgirls going to school are taunted and scared in horrific ways. 2) I am not going to rise to your bait. Your favorite tactic is to bog down the legitimate discussion with minutia in order to get around the very legitimate grievances of the Irish Catholic. A perfect example is your defense of the poor Unionists. You said:

If there was going to be a partition, surely it was right to only separate those counties, and parts thereof, where there was an overwhelming majority who wanted to remain British.
To force in unwilling people would be undemocratic and cruel.
Is that what you are?


Now, Keithy boy, you know full well that isn't what I said. It is your attempt to force debate on a phoney premise. In fact, several of them. The partition had almost nothing to do with the democratic rights of the Unionists. It had much more to do with holding onto the shipyards, and the Loyalist MP seats. But that is even a misdirection. Because to debate that, I would have to acknowledge that the English had a right to the six counties. Sorry, boyo, but they didn't. They gerrymandered an area for their benefit, they encouraged the discriminatory laws against the native peoples, and later in the process they abetted terrorist acts against Catholics that wanted their own country back. Amnesty International said in their 2007 report:

The government continued to erode fundamental human rights, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, including by persisting with attempts to undermine the ban on torture at home and abroad, and by seeking to enact legislation inconsistent with fundamental human rights.

You can read the rest of their report on Great Britain HERE. The US is not free of guilt either. But I am not making apologies for my country's actions. But you are.

Doesn't matter. The way of the pen has arrived, and all we say or don't say won't matter a tuppence. The way ahead is clear. In the future I will be singing these songs from an entirely different perspective, and I am thankful for that.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 11:21 AM

One of the Jims (C I think) said "As far as the songs are concerned, it is not necessarily what songs are sung, but rather how, why and where they are sung."

I said that in the first few posts way back when I was a Gnome!:-)

I heard from a friend of mine a very disturbing story the other day. I must say I have never encountered such a thing but I have no reason to disbelieve him. He was on holiday in the south of Ireland, Cork to be precise. He went into a bar where there was a music session on and when he went to the bar and spoke in an obviously English accent he was insulted and told to 'f*** off' back to England by the local drunkard. The barman, in all fairness, apologied and served my mate, ushering the drunk out of the way.

The session musicians seeing this happen welcomed my mate and his wife by changing the music to a set of Irish rebel songs. He commented that he did not feel particularly threatened but it was made very clear he was not very welcome and left without finishing his beer. For the record he is a fine guitarist, a very quietly spoken and polite man and an excelent luthier!

Anyhow, point is that songs can become a weapon and if they do they instantly become offensive. In a different context the self same songs would have done mo harm at all.

In fact some songs about the 'troubles' do the exact opposite. Just look up Anthony John Clarkes website to see some examples of songs from the North of Ireland that help and heal:-)

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 10:58 AM

Keith: I just find it hard to believe that you already had a handle on it before you asked your previous questions. Thank you for reading it though. It took me half an hour to type.

Martin: You're right. This whole thing is Jed's fault.

Stigweard: I think you're mostly right in what you say. I don't know where you're from though I'm presuming England but I'm sure I don't judge you by your location.

It can be really tough to keep your eye on the ball when those in charge are so adept at distracting us. There are many, many people who now believe that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war, of their own making.
The Americans it seems have learned much from their British cousins. No?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 09:51 AM

Thanks Jim Lad, I try to be nice.
I read through as asked.
Fluff?
Which bit is wrong?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: MartinRyan
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 06:08 AM

"When Irish songs offend me,
I go roarin', on the binge.
Through the clinking of the glasses,
You can hear the Paddies whinge."

I'll collect me caubeen at the door...

Regards

p.s.
To get back to what the thread is supposed to be about: the term "rebel songs" covers a multitude of sub-genres whose impact varies enormously with circumstances. The scope of "offence" ranges from cases where it is quite deliberately intended as the outcome to those where its occurrence is the result of irrational hypersensitivity on the part of the offended. In a sense, asking "Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive?" is misleading - the songs are blameless!


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Stu
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 05:07 AM

"It's a response to your evaluation that bombs were going off in England because some eejit was singing Irish songs"

No, you misunderstand. I was agreeing with WLD that after the bombs some may have found the singing of these song a little insensitive - I wasn't making a statement on why they happened - I was too young a the time to understand what was actually happening, let alone why. Whether you were in Birmingham or on the Bogside, my point was some songs are offensive to someone and perhaps as musicians and singers we should understand that.

Don't fall into the old trap of believing because of someone's place of birth or their race you have a handle on their political viewpoint - you don't - that's an arrogance that's cause way too many problems over the years. I've made my views on the injustices visited on the Irish by 'my' country over the years clear in many posts on this forum over the years, and I'm not about to justify them to you or anyone else - it's all here somewhere.

"They were Saudis, Bud."

Fair enough - but it was simply a demosntration these song subjects are touchy to people wherever they are, whatever side of the argument you stand on, and I was using the US's current Imperial ambitions as an example of people not learning from the mistakes of the past. Bud.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 04:50 AM

Keith: I'm sure you're a nice guy but that was fluff.
Why not go back and read it through this time.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 04:46 AM

Not at all. It's a response to your evaluation that bombs were going off in England because some eejit was singing Irish songs. You'd have to do somersaults to jump to that conclusion. I have no doubt that it was an awful experience for you but surely you must be asking yourself why.
Then there's your assertion that Iraqis were flying planes into American buildings...?
They were Saudis, Bud.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 04:37 AM

Jim C
You would deny the people of the North the right to choose their government?
Nothing to do with Empire. The rest of Britain would be delighted if those people of the North would only choose someone else.

Jim Lad,
I remember the Civil Rights campaign, and like every other British person I ever met, I supported them.
The government had all our support when it met all the demands of that movement.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Stu
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 04:28 AM

"Thank you for that most excellent demonstration of the mental acrobatics which one must no doubt, be capable of in order to justify the wrongs perpetrated by one's own country."

Er, is this taking the piss?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 04:28 AM

You're right Martin: What song were you going to suggest?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: MartinRyan
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 04:23 AM

Can't see a song coming out of all this.....

Regards


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: goatfell
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 04:14 AM

God Save the Queen is a racists song because it is all about the English beating the Rebel Scots during the 1745 rebellion,

That's whay it is very popular up here


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 03:43 AM

Jim: I suspect that we posted simultaneously. However, I will add to your submission that Downing Street's answer to the international Community is as follows. "Northern Ireland is part of Great Britain and as such, the Irish Question is an internal matter and not subject to intervention by any international body"
It is on this premise that they have set themselves up as "Peace Brokers"
Ironical, ain't it?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 03:15 AM

"Are you saying that it would have been preferrable to partition off 9 counties instead of just 6??"
No; I am saying that no country should have domain over another.
The internal politics of a country are its own concern and should be decided by its own people, not by (self-interested) outsiders.
Every bomb exploded and every shot fired since 1922 in Ireland is directly linked to the fact that, in practical terms, part of that countries policies are decided elsewhere other than Ireland.
Why should any Irish person be asked or be allowed to 'vote' that part of their country remain British any more than any Brit be asked to vote to be American, or German, or Russian? The day of Empire is over, and good riddance.
As far as the songs are concerned, it is not necessarily what songs are sung, but rather how, why and where they are sung.
I was an apprentice electrician on the docks in Liverpool up to the early sixties and I can still remember the fear that mobs of marching Orangemen inspired in me every twelfth of July singing 'Ee aye, Paddy is a bastard' or 'We are the sons of Billy and to hell with Popery'.
Songs are songs and can entertain, inspire, inform, move... and a whole host of other things; the problems arise when they are deliberately used to incite; ('Land of Hope and Glory' sung at the Proms in the middle of the Falklands War springs to mind - as do many of the football chants).
As an atheist I hold no brief for either Catholicism or Protestantism and as an Internationalist I find national barriers, at the very least, an inconvenience, but I have come to realise that, as Conolly wrote, "no people can ever be free while it holds sway over another".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 03:14 AM

Let me explain it to you just once but if you show any indication that you can't rise above the Catholic Protestant thing.... I'm outa here.

It was common practice for the British (English really) to invade foreign lands using various strategies, form Governments and claim them as part of the British Empire. In order to maintain control over such places, far from home and with only wooden boats to get you there, it was imperative that a large number and not usually the majority were onside with you. In order to make this a reality, this would mean that those whom you had chosen must be given some kind of unfair advantage over the majority. Land, wealth & the power to police and otherwise control the population.
Once this has been established the Invaders are now free to sit back and strip the country of whatever riches it can provide.
When the majority revolt and they always do, whom do you suppose is their target? Not the well armed, occupying forces but their own countrymen who have profited so much by their allegiance with the foe.
Britain, in the meantime, sits back and says to the world "Look! It's not our fault. Those Sikhs & Muslims just can't get along."
Now Ireland is fairly unique and most unfortunate in that it is fairly close to England. Thus the tactics were changed a little. Ireland was a Catholic country but more than that IT WAS IRISH! Being so close to home it was no problem recruiting as many armed forces as it took to maintain control. Added to that it was even more practical to encourage those recruits to stay by offering them land, wealth and power over the Irish. The unfair advantage.
And there you have it. Yes, the Irish are Catholic and Yes, the invaders were Protestant but more importantly, they were mostly Scots & English.
And what does the British Government do? It sits back and says to the world "Look it's not our fault. Catholic and Protestant just can't get along"
Now Keith: I'll give you one small example of how the unfair advantage worked and this one was the trigger for the troubles that go on to this very day.
In 1969 there were several marches, led by an extremely charismatic individual by the name of Bernadette Devlin. Her arch rival was none other than the Reverend Ian Paisley.
The slogan was "One Man, One Vote".
You see Keith, at that time, the vote was assigned to the household, not the individual. What this meant was that if you rented your house then the vote belonged to the landlord. And who owned the land. The privileged few. The sons and grandsons and great grandsons of the invaders. A simple law (And there are/were many more) that kept them at each others throats for centuries because once they owned the land and the people on it, there was no way for the unfortunate Irish to get it back.
Now today there may be a slim "Protestant" majority in Northern Ireland and you ask ... "If there was going to be a partition, surely it was right to only separate those counties, and parts thereof, where there was an overwhelming majority who wanted to remain British?" and I would have to say to you that those people of Northern Ireland whose forefathers invaded that country and who refuse to be loyal to what is the land of their birth, owe their very existence to THE UNFAIR ADVANTAGE!


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 02:02 AM

I just do not get your your complaint.
If there was going to be a partition, surely it was right to only separate those counties, and parts thereof, where there was an overwhelming majority who wanted to remain British.
To force in unwilling people would be undemocratic and cruel.
Is that what you are?

Also Mick, as you could not produce any examples, do you withdraw your comment about plenty of English songs offending Irish people?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 04:50 PM

Had to tinker a wee bit with the borders on some of the six remaining counties to maintain the Unionist majority too. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to conceive!

Tinker songs are okay but that could change on a whim.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:44 PM

Actually, Keith, as I understand it, the Republicans would have preferred 9 counties as it would have given the Catholics the majority. But the negotiators for the Brits insisted on the 6 in order to maintain a Unionist/Loyalist majority. And they have built their phony "high road" on this bit of gerrymandering ever since.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:25 PM

Jim C,
"Since when did we get a vote on which particular country "owns" our country? "
Sinn Fein was formed in 1905, but did not get much support until after the events of 1916.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Mike Miller
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:11 PM

Jeb,

   I have found that the resentment level of a song is almost entirely based on time passed. Ireland is a country whose history has been a continuing struggle against British rule. To be a singer of Irish songs, and to omit politics, is like describing Martin Luther King by his facial hair. Besides, your list lacks the really offensive songs like "One Sunday Morning, While On My Way To Mass" or "Take It Down From The Mast, Irish Traitor", a song that offends almost everyone.
A song is just a song. Catholic singers have been doing "The Old Orange Flute" for years because it is funny and it is a swell song.
Obviously, if you are performing in England, you will be considerate of your audience, unless you want to make a political statement. Your
visiting Brits will have to understand that "You do the crime, you hear the rhyme" It is tough to have to deal with criticism of one's homeland but tougher when it comes from a third party. Here, at home, you know that Americans are a lot less offended by by protests from an enemy than protests from Europe, our traditional allies.
So, sing 'em if you've got 'em. You can, always, claim "reasearch".

                            Mike


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:10 PM

Are you saying that it would have been preferrable to partition off 9 counties instead of just 6??


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 02:33 PM

"Any evidence of an Irish majority for independence pre 1916?"
Since when did we get a vote on which particular country "owns" our country?
Originally it was proposed that 9 counties should remain under British rule, but it was realised that this would give the Catholics a majority, so they quietly dropped that one!.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 11:44 AM

Stigweard: Thank you for that most excellent demonstration of the mental acrobatics which one must no doubt, be capable of in order to justify the wrongs perpetrated by one's own country.

I'm adding"English, Welsh" songs to my list now and giving full consideration to "Phil the Fluter's Balls".

Good morning all, from the calm, sunny Highlands.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 11:03 AM

Flower of Scotland. I always sing that when I meet Scottish people but I believe that "Unionist" scots find it distasteful.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: DannyC
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 07:52 AM

Thank you for that link, Keith.

It brings to mid some notes from Asquith's papers regarding the last meeting involving Carson and Craig with Redmond and John Dillon:

"Redmond assured us that when he said good-bye to Carson the latter was in tears, and that Captain Craig who has never spoken to Dillon in his life came up to him and said" 'Mr. Dillon, will you shake my hand? I should be glad to think that I had been able to give as many years to Ulster as you have to the service of Ireland.' Aren't they a remarkable people? And the folly of thinking that we can ever understand, let alone govern them!"

Asquith's notes are likely describing the scene of the last parting of empowered political leadership prior to the wonderful developments for peace in that region that we have seen in our own times.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 07:23 AM

For the record.
Home Rule is not the same as Independence.
Sinn Fein at this time was strongly anti Home Rule but for independence.
http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/history/18931914.html


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: DannyC
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 07:05 AM

For the record:
September 1913

From a memorandum to George V from his Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith entitled "The Irish Situation; The Constitutional Position of the Sovereign"

"The attainment of Home Rule has for more than 30 years been the political (as distinguished from agrarian) ideal for four-fifths of the Irish people. Whatever happens in other parts of the United Kingdom, at successive general elections, the Irish representation in Parliament never varies. For the last eight years they have had with them a substantial majority of the elected representatives of Great Britain..." (NOTE: Home Rule had just been affirmed in the Commons by a majority of 109, but suffered a Lords' rejection by 326 to 69.)

Asquith continued: "If the ship," (Home Rule) "after so many stormy voyages, were to be wrecked in sight of port, it is difficult to overrate the shock, or its consequences. They would extend into every department of political, social, agrarian and domestic life. It is not too much to say that Ireland would become ungovernable - unless by application of forces and methods which would offend the conscience of Great Britain, and arouse the deepest resentment in all the self-governing Dominions of the Crown."


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 06:23 AM

Thanks Martin.
I doubt many would find a '98 song offensive anyway.
Of the few hundred rebel songs doing the rounds, is it not true that the overwhelming majority are post 1916, and few pre 1920?
How many exceptions can you think of?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 05:42 AM

Keith

The one interesting point in this thread so far:

"What percentage of rebel songs were written pre-1920?"

Probably higher than you might think. Quite a few were were written around the centenary of the 1798 rebellion, and there was a strong movement towards patriotic poetry and song in the early part of the 20th. C. Earlier, of course, Thomas Davis's The Nation newspaper and associated books had helped popularise many nationalist songs - of which some survive.

Regards

p.s. As to the thread's mainline: Whatever about GIVING offence, we Irish, in all our scattered components, are champion at TAKING it!


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Stu
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 05:27 AM

"God Save The Queen"

I find that crap offensive (along with Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory etc) and I'm what many would call a Brit.

"As to your foolish Birmingham/Warrington response . . ."

Perhaps it sounds foolish to you over there on the other side of the pond Mick, but I lived on the outskirts of Brum in the 70s and WLD is correct - the bombing of the Talk of The Town at the bottom of the Rotunda scared the living shite out of Brummies. I can remember an Irish family near us being talked about with mild suspicion at the time by some of the locals - singing rebel songs in a pub in the city might well have made landlords wary. They were less enlightened times in those days, unfortunately for everyone involved.

Imagine this in the America of the future - they have two types of public bars. The dyed-in-the-wool red-white-and-blue places where they serve great suds and grits and corn dogs etc and everyone stands up at the end of the night, sings 'God Bless America' and waves Old Glory. On the other side of town is an Iraq theme pub. This is full of people singing songs about how they kicked the invaders out of their country after it was occupied, songs mourning the deaths of their women and children, and singing the praises of those martyrs that died for their cause - even by flying planes into skyscrapers and murdering innocents, or planting IEDs to kill American soldiers.

Would these songs seem so harmless now? They're just songs after all. Ask yourself if you would still feel so tolerant?

It doesn't matter which 'side' you're on, these songs can evoke offence and very strong feelings - especially if people are directly involved in a conflict, and that means you do need to think where and when you sing them.

stigWeard
Welsh Englishman, for those who can't see beyond race.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:40 AM

"There is enough evidence, both documentary and anecdotal, to indicate how various British Governments have reacted to calls for Irish independence,"

Any evidence of an Irish majority for independence pre 1916?
What percentage of rebel songs were written pre 1920?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:34 AM

"God Save The Queen"


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:31 AM

Big Mick,
" never mind that they (English) sing plenty of songs that are just as offensive to the Irish"

Please tell us what these are so that we can avoid them in future.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 02:32 AM

I am often astounded at how ignorant many of us Brits are regarding Irish history and our part in it.
There is enough evidence, both documentary and anecdotal, to indicate how various British Governments have reacted to calls for Irish independence, and as for the behaviour of 'The Tans' during their brief holiday over here....!!
Very little of this seems to have penetrated the buckets of sand that many people seem to have buried their heads in.
Perhaps it might help if they treated these songs as part of the learning curve; then maybe we wouldn't get 'academics' like Jeremy Paxman accusing Ken Loach of "treason" when he told it like it was in 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 11:50 PM

What's an iPod?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: gnu
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 10:31 PM

When we were savage, fierce and wild....

Oh my. I haven't read this thread, but I will.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: LukeKellylives (Chris)
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 10:16 PM

"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"



Good point, Marc. That's basically about how I feel. I play them whether people like it or not. I have no strong feelings for one side or the other, I just like the song.

By the way, I love The Brobdingnagian Bards! Have you on my iPod.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 09:44 PM

Okay - is the Peace Process back on track then?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 08:01 PM

I wouldn't worry about it. Whatever WLD was trying to say, I didn't get it. I enjoy what the wee drummer has to say too.
My only point in participating in this thread has been to add a little humour.
It's a stupid thread and Jed (whose name is right below Big Mick's on the list) had the decency to come back and apologize for it.
On one of the earlier posts, I noted that Marc Gunn was asked to stop singing "The Patriot Game" while walking around at the Austin Irish Festival.
Several things amazed me about this, the main one being that Brobdingnagian Barbs were hired for the festival but to the credit of the organizers I would have to say.... "Marc: It wasn't the song that they found offensive".

"Stewballs" is another.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 07:02 PM

Typical response. I didn't start an argument. I simply responded to what you posted.

As to your foolish Birmingham/Warrington response, I guess I could say the same thing for any number of generations of Irish Catholics living along the Falls Road.

One more thing about me starting the argument. I refer to your own words:

To be fair Jim, theres Irish singers, then theres the Irish singers you seem to know.

there is a degree of diversity in that class of humanity.


Now is I misunderstood that statement, then please accept my apologies. But it clearly seems to be a statement about Irish singers, the type casually tossed about.

Quite frankly, wld, I am not trying to start a fight here. And you are among the posters whose posts I generally enjoy and appreciate. But the comment seemed to indicate something very troublesome to me.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 06:35 PM

well yes any class of performers, that was the point I was trying to make....whats so bad about that?

you could start an argument in an empty house, mate.

as for all that crap about drunken Americans. I call that a racist generalisation. scarcely worthy of a response.

Of course your songs aren't anything to be ashamed of. Some of them are of great beauty and lyricism.

However maybe if you'd been living in Birmingham or Warrington, you would as wary as some Irish landlords still are about where and when the rebel ballads get sung.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 05:37 PM

******RFLMAO******. I thought the same thing, meself. And then I tucked it away, and am very happy to wait a few years until I get the chance.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 05:21 PM

(I wonder how many years he's had the gag about the 'felt fedora' on the back burner, just waiting for the right moment to produce it ... !).


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