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Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive

Jim Lad 18 Jun 07 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 18 Jun 07 - 07:23 PM
ollaimh 18 Jun 07 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,ktlndavis@AOL.COM 09 Oct 03 - 01:48 PM
catspaw49 22 Nov 01 - 04:11 AM
musicmick 22 Nov 01 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Malkie 21 Nov 01 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,micksas 21 Nov 01 - 08:16 PM
MartinRyan 21 Nov 01 - 08:03 PM
Mary in Kentucky 21 Nov 01 - 10:34 AM
GUEST 21 Nov 01 - 07:05 AM
Wolfgang 21 Nov 01 - 04:34 AM
Blackcatter 20 Nov 01 - 09:58 PM
GUEST,fleetwood 20 Nov 01 - 08:42 PM
PeteBoom 20 Nov 01 - 03:42 PM
ollaimh 20 Nov 01 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Ned Botwood 20 Nov 01 - 11:23 AM
alison 19 Nov 01 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,Annraoi 19 Nov 01 - 08:17 PM
John MacKenzie 19 Nov 01 - 12:41 PM
Fibula Mattock 19 Nov 01 - 05:02 AM
Blackcatter 19 Nov 01 - 01:10 AM
GUEST 18 Nov 01 - 07:31 PM
Blackcatter 18 Nov 01 - 01:41 PM
John MacKenzie 18 Nov 01 - 01:03 PM
JedMarum 18 Nov 01 - 10:17 AM
GUEST 18 Nov 01 - 10:08 AM
John MacKenzie 18 Nov 01 - 06:12 AM
Blackcatter 18 Nov 01 - 01:34 AM
Art Thieme 17 Nov 01 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 17 Nov 01 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Brian Clancy 17 Nov 01 - 10:36 AM
Midchuck 17 Nov 01 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 17 Nov 01 - 06:35 AM
Kaleea 17 Nov 01 - 01:57 AM
GUEST,Guest 16 Nov 01 - 08:11 PM
ollaimh 16 Nov 01 - 07:46 PM
John MacKenzie 16 Nov 01 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Claymore 16 Nov 01 - 02:53 PM
Clinton Hammond 16 Nov 01 - 02:44 PM
Jack the Sailor 16 Nov 01 - 02:43 PM
Dead Horse 16 Nov 01 - 02:32 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Nov 01 - 11:36 AM
Jack the Sailor 16 Nov 01 - 11:28 AM
Wolfgang 16 Nov 01 - 11:16 AM
Aidan Crossey 16 Nov 01 - 11:16 AM
Brían 16 Nov 01 - 11:12 AM
Jeri 16 Nov 01 - 10:30 AM
Clinton Hammond 16 Nov 01 - 10:30 AM
Gary T 16 Nov 01 - 10:30 AM
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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jim Lad
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 07:29 PM

I've always found "Paddy McGinty's Goat" to be overly stereotypical and for this reason, somewhat offensive. "Aunt Martha's Sheep" although not Irish, comes a close second.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 07:23 PM

The Clancys and Tommy Makem performed a song called, "God Bless England," which was an ironic commentary on the Irish Question. They claimed that beer mugs had been thrown at them by those who failed to get the humor or the point.

"I'll sing you a song of peace and love.
Whack fol the diddle o the di dol day.
Of the land that rules all lands above.
Whack fol the diddle o the di dol day.
May peace and plenty be her share,
Who kept our homes from want and care.
Oh, God bless England is our prayer!
Whack fol the diddle o the di dol day."

Oh, when we were savage, fierce and wild,
Whack.............
She came as a mother to her child.
Whack.............
She gently raised us from the slime,
And kept our hands from hellish crime;
And she sent us to heaven in her own good time!
Whack.........." Etc...

"The Old Orange Flute" would be another I'd suspect might be geographically challenging.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: ollaimh
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 05:57 PM

i wasa just looking on line and surprise surprise all the united nations reports on human rights are available on line just google the tripartite commission on human rights , there are reports every year so go back to the eighties for the northern ireland report for those who can read there it all is


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,ktlndavis@AOL.COM
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 01:48 PM

When my father Danny O'Connor passed away we had the ullian pipes play boolavogue, very apt as he was born to a very proud wexford family, at his funeral a women said to my amazement " that was a lovelly Danny Boy!"
comming from a musical family myself, sing the songs you are passionate about and you will sing them well, and if you don't please the audience after that, to hell with them
All the Best
Kathleen


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Nov 01 - 04:11 AM

Fibula Mattock said:

On the other hand, I am not at all comfortable hearing songs that are either deliberately sectarian and provocative (from whatever group), or songs that promote or glorify terrorism, or those that make murderers into martyrs. But then, I supppose I don't have to listen if I don't want to...

And later said:

Oh yes, there's an underclass - but not exclusively aligned to any church. This is a socio-economic matter. The people who aren't getting jobs, and who aren't getting decent medical care and who don't have opportunities are the poorer people, not just one particular religion. Yes, Northern Ireland is undoubtedly divided on religion and politics (or at least in their name), but it's also a class divide. Poverty isn't discrimnating on the grounds of religious worship. I hope that one of the reasons that three quarters of the population voted in favour of the Peace Process - beyond the fact that we were sick of the shit that's gone on for years - is that finally, just maybe, our politicians can deal with matters other than terrorism, such as health, education and employment, and all at a local level.

The most true assessment that could be made in the most elegant way. The have nots have the most in common and yet often have the hardest time seeing the common enemy. Civil Rights in the United States, Apartheid in South Africa, or freedom in Northern Ireland.........The opponent is the same.........and yet the very people who share the worst, who sacrifice the most, who are divided the most, need to see the enemy is no respecter of religion or race.

Beautiful posts Fib..........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: musicmick
Date: 22 Nov 01 - 03:48 AM

What a bunch of pantywaist Johnny-come-latelys you guys are. Irish rebel songs were and are relevent to their time. Domenic Behan, like his more celebrated brother, was a commited, active participant in the activities of the I.R.A. When he wrote a song like "Come Out, You Black and Tan" or "Patriot Game", he wasn't retelling tales like Stan Rogers did. Domenic wrote and sang about the war that raged in his own time. When he sang,"Come all you young rebels, and list' while I sing" he was talking to his comrades, not his ancesters. If you are not involved in the movement, these songs must seem archaic but to Irish patriots, they are the anthems of an occupied land and the people who still live under an alian flag. If some Brits are offended by the sentiments expressed in these songs, I have a solution. When England gets the hell out of Ireland, I will stop singing them. Actually, those songs are pretty mild. Try listening to gems like "One Sunday Morning, While On My Way to Mass" or my personal favorite,"Take It Down From the Mast, Irish Traitors" (I got booted out of O'Doneghue's on Merion Row for singing that one) Tragicly, these songs are seminal to Irish tradition. In that beautiful land that has known so little freedom, cultural survival has been allied to resistance and rebelion for centuries. Poetry, stories and songs have been the manna for an impoverished, unarmed peasent army, whose perserverence has delived twenty-six of the enslaved thirty-two counties thus far. In a nutshell, if you can relate to an oppressed people, you need feel no embaressment about singing the songs that chronicle that oppression. As for yor audience's sensibilities, I suppose one should be circumspect. After all, you wouldn't want to distress a Klansman by singing "We Shall Overcome" Mike Miller


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Malkie
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 08:20 PM

We used to sing this song At Partick Thistle Football ground in Glasgow. Glasgow has A catholic team Celtic who wear green and a Protestant team Rangers who wear blue. Hullo Hullo How do you do We hate the boys in Royal Blue We hate the boys in Emerald Green F*** the Pope and F*** the Queen.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,micksas
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 08:16 PM

We used to sing this song At Partick Thistle Football ground in Glasgow. Glasgow has A catholic team Celtic who wear green and a Protestant team Rangers who wear blue.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 08:03 PM

Mary from Kentucky

If, like me, you like the tune used for "Boolavogue" but not the words - try some of the sets used for the tune before those words were written! The Aussie convict song "Moreton Bay" is particularly good, I reckon.

Regards

p.s. As far as the story of Father Murphy is concerned, BTW, there ARE some very good songs!


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 10:34 AM

I've always been more sensitive to instrumentals than words. To me, one of the lovliest tunes I've ever heard is Boulavogue. PeteBoom, I noticed that you mentioned one of my favorites as one that could offend some audiences. I'm glad you told me that, but for me the song will always be a heart-wrenching, melancholy tune that I can "wallow" in. To me the words detract from the emotion of the tune.

The DT version is here. But I know the version in the Clancy Bros. Songbook which is the same as Lesley's version here.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 07:05 AM

And while you sing and you fight and you rant and you chant, for the real truth try www.ardoyne.com


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 04:34 AM

well mr botswood learn to read. (ollaimh)

In one short sentence you have urged Ned Botwood to learn to read and misprinted his name. I know I shouldn't but I had a big laugh.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Blackcatter
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 09:58 PM

Ollaimh, I've never heard that the accusations you state were from some commission. Could you please find an on-line source or give us the actual full name of the report so that I can take a look at it? From what you say, it appears to be rather extremist and more damning than I thought possible from a "tripartate commission." Until you can give your direct source for such detailed information, please excuse us for not believing your statements.

Ned, thank you for your reasoned and controlled response. While I am of the opinion that things are probably less fair for Catholics that Protestants in N.I., I am certainly aware that there are a lot of issues on both sides.

pax yall


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SONG OF COLOURS (Ron Baxter)
From: GUEST,fleetwood
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 08:42 PM

One song that is sung locally speaks for itself: THE SONG OF COLOURS
or A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES

Now I used to sing your rebel songs
When I were just a lad
For the tunes were gay and lively
And the stories were not bad
But then lovely Ulster was at peace
And I couldn't see owt wrong
Ah but I was young and couldn't see
The hate inside your songs

For in your minds these songs arn't old
No matter what you say
For "Young Roddie McCauley goes to die
On the Bridge of Toom" today
And to your mind "Father Murphy"
Died but hours ago
Times have changed, you have not
The truth you refuse to know

And you Orangemen of Ulster
Who stand loyal to the flag
Do not puff yourselves with pride
For you are just as bad
You taunt your fellow Ulstermen
With your "Battle of the Boyne"
You are just the otherside of
That blood stained Irish coin

Now Jesus died for all mankind
Not for Orange or Green
Yet to you He's Protestant
To you Papish he be
And if He came back today
His fate would be the same
By you so called Christians -
Be crucified again

Now you sing the "Rising of the Moon"
And you the "Protestant Boys"
You sing of the "Foggy Dew"
And you of "Derry's Walls"
But with you I'll sing none at all
For they just stoke your bloody war
So to hell with the "Wearing of the Green"
And the "Sash your Father Wore"

(Tune: The Sash my Father Wore)
Copyright Ron Baxter of Fleetwood

(line breaks added by a Joeclone)


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: PeteBoom
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 03:42 PM

Not to annoy anyone, but to get back to the original question....

Nearly ANY "Irish" song can be offensive to someone. Just as I would not sing Roddy McCorley to a group of Unionists, I wouldn't sing The Sash to a group of Republicans. Well... maybe. Once - just for the craic...

At the same time, some totally innocent songs get categorized as "Catholic" or "Protestant" by certain segments society - particularly in Belfast or South Armagh.

For that reason, my band tends to limit the number of "rebel" songs we do to a handfull - and then typically those of sufficient age or quality where they are simply good songs to do. As a general rule, we try and avoid the "another martyr for Ireland" songs along the lines of Kevin Barry or Boulavogue unless we are playing to a closed audience whose composition we are fairly familiar with. Just as we would probably not mix "Ye Jacobites By Name" with "Hey, Johnnie Cope" when playing to a Scottish audience, unless we knew the audience expectations.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: ollaimh
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 02:30 PM

well mr botswood learn to read. it's in the report and extensive exserpts were published in the economist bak in the late eightires, you can get the whole thing at any major canadian library. for canadians extensive excerpts were published in the globe and mail

ignorance is really no excuse after 900 years of war on foreign soil.

all the germans used to say "but we didn't know what was going on" after the second world war and no one with half a brain believes them.

and yes the elections in northern ireland have been jurry ridded as far as international standards are concerned. the editorilists at the time from the economist was willing to accept this at least partially.

for thos enot reading it the economist is the right wing british magizine sort of like time magizine but much more conservative . and in canada the globe and mail id also a conservative magazine


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Ned Botwood
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 11:23 AM

For ollaimh,

I am absolutey amazed!! I really must get a copy of this tripartite report and a pint of whatever the journalist, from the referred to rag, was drinking while he paraphrased it for his article.

Quote from your posting above covering recent history:

"...there had never been a democratic election in northern ireland," -

Really????? In my own lifetime I can remember several.

"....that the british government had directly armed the UDL (which has now changed it's name) and in fact the UDL were off duty british soldiers largely. they were from the ulster only regiments that are unique in the british army in that they are requited locally and serve in a local battle zone." -

Utter Bullshit, and I make that comment based on close personal experience.

"...the commission also found that the british government had used the services of MI5&6 to establish and arm hit squads that killed about 2500 catholic union leaders, daycare organizers and the like, without actually finding very many IRA." -

I believe that the total number of fatalities in Northern Ireland is around the 3500 mark. The vast majority of that number were victims of PIRA / INLA bombs planted indiscriminately in bars and shopping centres with the intent to maximise civilian casualties (example: 26 bombs in planted in one day in Belfast).

"...the report is damning and was largely conceded by the british governement". -

Exactly when? and in what context? (again I'd love to read this report).

"...and the "economist" alterd it's position to pull out(at least that was the editorial)."

I take it that the "Economist" editorial altered it's position on whether or not the British should pull out of Northern Ireland. There was once an extremely eminent historian, A. J. P. Taylor, who very early on stated that the "troubles" in Northern Ireland were not worth the life of a single British soldier - on reflection maybe he was right - maybe we should have pulled out and let them get on with it - The death toll would have been a great deal higher and the situation a lot clearer - it would have been an all Ireland affair and they'd have nobody to blame for it bar themselves. During Harold Wilson's term in office he offered to replace British troops with an international peace-keeping force made up of Canadians and Americans - both countries quite sensibly declined.

"...the level of abuse in northern ireland hadsn't changed," -

Oh yes it has and it started changing from the minute British troops went in to disband the B Specials and has continued right up to this day. If the population of Northern Ireland were canvassed for their opinion and asked if things are better now, you would get a very clear answer - Yes. If you asked them if they wanted to go back to the situation pre-GFA, you would get an equally clear answer that No They Would Not.

"...and it's time the english speaking world recognized that."

That things have improved greatly has been recognised world-wide but most markedly by the USA.

"...europeand are not naive about the british conduct in the north."

But they are naive enough to classify snails as fish and carrots as fruit when it comes to handing out subsidies to French farmers (the handiwork of another European Commission).

And finally to come to the most astonishing statement of all:

"now personally i have found englisg canadian folkies to be quite bigoted against native canadian gaels on occasion--too often for comfort. i remember being told not to sing a song in gaelic i worked on for weeks(i'm not very good at gaelic) becauce as they said"we sing canadian music here"."

I am rather amused at your categorisations, "english canadian folkies" and "native canadian gaels". I've got news for you pal, both those groups are interlopers. There is no such thing as a native Canadian Gael - they were French settlers from Brittany in France just as much as the other crowd you mention were British settlers, oddly enough, the majority of whom came from Scotland (many of whom were also gaelic speaking).

"... well i guess we capr bretoners aren't quite canadian--well we aren;tand it is traceable to the same imperial bigotry that has led to the long standing abuse in ireland."

How you manage to say that you are native Canadians in one sentence and categorically deny it in the next seems to lack logic. France under a Bourbon King surrendered French interests in Canada to the British at the end of the Seven Years War. While French signatories at the treaty negotiations were arguing about a few acres here and there in Europe to define the borders of France, they threw away the best part of a continent out of complete and utter indifference. Britain having ousted the French from Canada then proceeded to defend it on at least two occasions from attempted invasion from America. Canada was also the first colony to be granted self governing dominion status. During the great famine in Ireland in the mid 1800's the vast bulk of Irish emigration was to Canada onboard British ships. Many stayed and many travelled on to Chicago. What they succeded in escaping from were absentee land-lords (incidently not all English by any streach of the imagination), grasping factors and "gombeen men". They could have found little, or none of the imperial bigotry you claim in Canada, otherwise they would have all kept moving - they didn't.

You seem to be an extremely well balanced person - a chip on each shoulder. If you are going to sing do what you do well, don't bother doing something badly just to try and score a point.

On the apology front I see little or no use in the present generation apologising for what has gone before. The deeds of the fathers visited on the sons is a load of hogwash - if that were true the German nation would be in sack-cloth and ashes for eternity. "Britain, by and large, on balance has generally been a force for the good." The quote comes from another eminent historian - An American who died about two years ago. I happen to agree with his comment and tend to react on reading complete and utter drivell such as that submitted by yourself.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: alison
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 11:05 PM

(sorry aanaroi I've lost yours... and I can't PM you as a guest alison@easy-pulse.com)

well said Fibula BTW

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 08:17 PM

Alison
Your old email address appears not to be working
Could you contact me at mine, please?
Sorry to the Mudcat for the personal message, but I could not contact Alison any other way.
Annraoi


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 12:41 PM

I'm really pleased that the majority of the people voted for the Peace Proces. I only hope and pray that the present government under President Blah, take more notice of the democratic will of the people than did the government in power at the time of the referendum in 1918 ( I think it was )

Jock


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 05:02 AM

"if you take a look at the plight of Catholic Northern Irish compared to the way Protestant Northern Irish live you have to be blind to not understand that they are an underclass with poorer health, less jobs, less opportunity and live under the threat of attack just as much as you do - if not more"

In the past, yes - a clear religious divide - but now? Oh yes, there's an underclass - but not exclusively aligned to any church. This is a socio-economic matter. The people who aren't getting jobs, and who aren't getting decent medical care and who don't have opportunities are the poorer people, not just one particular religion. Yes, Northern Ireland is undoubtedly divided on religion and politics (or at least in their name), but it's also a class divide. Poverty isn't discrimnating on the grounds of religious worship. I hope that one of the reasons that three quarters of the population voted in favour of the Peace Process - beyond the fact that we were sick of the shit that's gone on for years - is that finally, just maybe, our politicians can deal with matters other than terrorism, such as health, education and employment, and all at a local level.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Blackcatter
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 01:10 AM

Yes, I would but that wouldn't change my position on the songs of American Indians and their fights with the white oppressors.

See, I don't know you - maybe you are just angry at the terrorists (definatly a good position) and support the concept that the Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland deserve the same rights as the Protestants.

If you do, then we see eye to eye when it comes to our respective countries and "troubles."

I personally AGREE that the people who attempted genocide on the American Indians for over 100 years were wrong, and that the American Indians have as much a right to the land as anyone. I do not think that terrorism is an appropriate response in most cases. Actually, I think the work that the American Indian Movement, as well as individual tribes, is doing is working to resolve their very reasonable greivances.

And to be honest, the concept of property is an anethma to me - whoever came up with the idea that any one has a complete right to a plot of land should be considered worse than Hitler.

I have to admit that if you take a look at the plight of Catholic Northern Irish compared to the way Protestant Northern Irish live you have to be blind to not understand that they are an underclass with poorer health, less jobs, less opportunity and live under the threat of attack just as much as you do - if not more.

If people cannot move beyond petty hatred, they deserve the Sh*t they get.

Yes, it's true I have not (as far as I know) been in danger of a terrorist attack, but I live in a city where terrorism could occur (Orlando) and I also live in a country that lets anyone carry a loaded gun. My life is in danger every day.

pax yall


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 07:31 PM

I just wonder how it would be if the American indians demanded their homeland back and then took terrorist action to get it. Would you be paying for the sins, lies and genocide of your forefathers?


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Blackcatter
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 01:41 PM

GUEST,

The bombing I assume you mention is that of the IRA and others that have issues in Northern Ireland.

I am not one to advocate terrorism as a way to solve "troubles" no matter if their Irish/English or not, but there are enough people who do and if the U.K. and the Rep. of Ireland cannot figure out away to solve the troubles, those bombings will continue.

The case is the same with the acts of terrorism of September 11th in the U.S. - The attecks were an inappropriate response to very real injustice the U.S. is very much involved with.

Now, I work very hard to avoid political discussion here and elsewhere in my life, but I have to say that since I have never supported the way the U.S. government has treated the Israeli/Palestinian issue (Mostly be giving Israel $3 billion a year plus another $1+ biilion in military support and on the other side mostly ignoring the plight of Palestinians), and I have actively voted for candidates who at least come close to my opinions - I do think it is unfair to be a target for Muslin terrorists. - And today, everyone in the U.S. is a target. I live just 25 miles from Walt Disney World and there are many of us who are just waitng for Disney to be attacked because of the symbol of Americanism it is.

pax yall


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 01:03 PM

People on the UK mainland have been subjected to indisciminate bombings for at least 20 years, and it is all as a consequence or the actions of our forefathers.
So it is no good shrugging your shoulders and saying it wasn't me, it is the sins of the fathers, being visited on the sons.However, just because no one's getting at you doesn't mean you shouldn't feel paranoid. Jock


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 10:17 AM

Blackcatter - well said!


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 10:08 AM

As an individual of English descent, I do not have issues with the anti-English songs because I do not have any responsibility for the actions that illicited those songs. It's as simple as that.

I've never had anyone tell me the rebel songs I sing are inappropriate including several English people I know. Frankly, I think they understand the historical context and accept the fact that England did some nasty things. As an American, I'm not offended by Blacks and American Indians telling me about the horrible things my country did to their ancestors either.

You (and I) have no responsibility for the actions of the past, but I (as opposed to you) am a target for indiscriminate bombing because of those past actions. If American Indians and Blacks were bombing indiscriminately in America I think your attitude would be very different.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 06:12 AM

Like they say, just because you don't read the posting properly,it doesn't mean you can't criticise it!!
Jock


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Blackcatter
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 01:34 AM

I am English and German by heritage and From the United States for at least 8 generations on both sides of my family. I sing primarily Irish songs - also English, Scottish, Australian, American, Canadian and others probably.

But I mostly sing Irish songs. I sing rebel songs - most of the ones listed here included and I usually share some of the history of the song before I sing it because I sing mostly to non-Irish people who know little of the music.

Why do I sing Irish songs? Because I fell in love with Irish music 15 years ago and found that it tended to suit my personality, my sensibility, my voice and the fact that I suck at playing instruments and much of Irish music works fine without accompiment.

As an individual of English descent, I do not have issues with the anti-English songs because I do not have any responsibility for the actions that illicited those songs. It's as simple as that.

I've never had anyone tell me the rebel songs I sing are inappropriate including several English people I know. Frankly, I think they understand the historical context and accept the fact that England did some nasty things. As an American, I'm not offended by Blacks and American Indians telling me about the horrible things my country did to their ancestors either.

The only time that anyone has somewhat objected to my choice of song is a couple people in recovery for alcoholism have suggested that the songs I sing about the joys of alcohol might be inappropriate. I accept their opinions and continue singing the songs - my singing a song such as "Beer, Beer, Beer" is hardly an effective inducement to drinking and then alcoholism. Plus, I also sing songs such as "Nancy Whiskey" and "The Juice of the Barley" which are either warnings or at least cautionary tales about the dangers of drinking too much.

pax yall


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 08:33 PM

When in my teens I bought the Clancy Brothers LP THE RISING OF THE MOON on Tradition Records in the U.S. I was soaking up everything remotely "folk" that told good stories about real topics about which people felt passionately. These topical songs were so very real to me. They took far away struggles and places and made them vicariously accessable. But this was a larger world then---when far away lands were truly more remote--unlike today in so many ways. I can talk here at Mudcat to Bob Bolton in Australia, swap music with him and feel we're really friends. I never realized how separated I was from those places and those peoople UNTIL...

...until I went to a Clancy Brothers concert on St. Patrick's Day in Chicago's HUGE Opera House.

Folks, all those people wanted to hear were the REBEL SONGS. It was like we were seated in the middle of the Roman Coliseum. GREAT SINGING--but oh, so much hateful vehimence. I was truly relieved to have the concert end---but I still loved the music.

The only other time I felt that way was one night at the old Chicago Stadium when the Chicago Blackhawks were playing the U.S.S.R. national team. The Russian team just being there represented the very first thawings of relations between the two nations. I was so excited that things might be getting better between my own country and the ideals of the Soviets which I truly admired--while hating totalitarianism. I was a 1960s guy in his early 20s who thought that, just maybe, more of the aspects of Socialism I admired would make more headway against the rampant excesses (as I saw it) of Capitalism and corporate greed in the U.S.
Well, imagine the sadness and embarrassment and anger I felt after that game was over and the ice was covered with eggs and tomatoes that the good people of my home town had thrown at the Russian players. ----- From where I stand now, I see that both of these events probably opened my eyes to some basic realities of this best of all possible worlds. Eventually, most of the youngsters of the 60s generation came to realize that this old world and it's "precious" institutions were not as maleable as we had hoped. Nothing surprises me any more. And I think that really is sad.

You kids out there, cherish your illusions---and then, a few years from now, read an amazing book by Vladimer Pozner (former spokesman for the Soviet Union on ABC--American television). His good book is called Parting With Illusions --The Atlantic Monthly Press--1990.

Thereafter I rarely, if ever, did the songs with the strident lyrics---but I did put together a mostly instrumental medley that I introduced as a protest.

Valley Of Jarama--sung (from the Spanish Civil War)
I Hate War And So Does Eleanor-sung (from Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers)
Meadowlands--guitar instrumental (from Russia-learned from Pete Seeger and Frank Hamilton's LP called NONESUCH on Folkways Records)
Stars And Stripes Forever-guitar (instrumental-a march by John Phillip Sousa)

and I'd end with"
God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman-guitar instrumental

And I wish the same for the combatants in Afghanistan in this season of Thanksgiving and Ramadan.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 12:54 PM

Spring 2000, across the F&D infected country side of Ireland, Budweiser was a common, (tall, 16 oz cans,) regular drink for the locals. The three of us, a Yank and two Dutchys were suprised. It is brewed and marketed under lisense by Guinness.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Brian Clancy
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 10:36 AM

I play about twenty Irish pub gigs a month in and around Colorado. I ask an audience what they want to hear and play it. Last Wednesday it was Fado in LODO Denver and the seven fellas at the table in front of the stage were drinking Budweiser...

Who comes into an Irish Pub and unabashedly drinks Budweiser???? REAL IRISHMEN...in town for a wedding. They asked for Wolftones and I gave them "Come Out ye Black and Tans" and they sang along lustily.

They really liked to hear an American singing Desi O'Halloran's "Say You Love Me" as well. I've had English skiers DEMAND to hear "The Merry Plowboy"--proving what an Irish owner of a pub once told me:

"Go ahead and play anything you want, it won't offend them...the English don't GET IT." And I think that point was made earlier by another writer...they don't see themselves as the subject matter when oppression and hangings and fighting is sung of...and perhaps they shouldn't. I am singing and entertaining--I have no "agenda" nor would it be appropriate.

But just try to sing "God Bless England" and some plastic Paddy will thunder "HERESY!!!!" from the back of the room...that twit doesn't get it either.

Now, I'm so sick of "Whiskey in the Jar", I think it should be banned and Green Fields of France along with it!!!

Brian Clancy http://irishrow.com


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Midchuck
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 09:30 AM

...pusillanimous pussy...

YEEHAW!!!!! Git me one! Git me a bunch of 'em! I'll give 'Spaw two! Pass 'em around!

P.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 06:35 AM

The "Armalite" thread from 99 has some discussion, lyrics and links that were pure vitrol at the time. The pusillanimous pussy began to show her true colors.

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=12267


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Kaleea
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 01:57 AM

We must, MUST learn to be more tolerant of each other! We must learn not to inflame or incite the ire of others through our own thoughtlessness. There are a few thousand marvelous jigs, reels, hornpipes, airs & polkas, etc. we can play which will not cause others to misunderstand our intent. And if all else fails, when in doubt, I side with Homer & Jethro. Instead of the "Battle of New Orleans", sing the following: We're the boys from camp Kookamunga Our mothers sent us here fer ta learn of nature's ways We learn to make fire by rubbin' sticks together And if we catch some girls then we'll set the woods ablaze!


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 08:11 PM

. Regarding the surprise expressed regarding the tolerance of the English, with regard to Irish rebel songs, I find them for the most part totally unaware of the colonial oppression carried out by their forefathers over the last 500 years in Ireland. I don't think we have the time or the space to go into the other countries that they also did it to. Sorry if I've got onto my high horse on this one, but I've cried many bitter tears over Ireland. Jock

Ah well,there we go, the same old bullshit.Run up the flags, get the guns, lets have a fight. You're wrong I'm right..I don't believe you..you're white. you're black, you're Taliban, you're Alliance, you're a Brit, history, history, history..I can't hear you..history...when will we ever learn??????????????


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: ollaimh
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 07:46 PM

the house of orange is pretty in offensive to be shot at. afterall he's just forgiving the wrongs of the past. it is a bit stupid but franly english canadians and folkies of that ilk can be stupid over ethnic issues.

as a backdrop i would recomend that any one read the tripartite commission report on northern ireland, excerpt of which were reprinted in that revolutionary rag "the economist". the commission made up of memebrs of the european high court of justice , the united nations commission on human rights and the european commission on human rights found that there had never been a democratic election in northern ireland, that the british government had directly armed the UDL (which has now changed it's name) and in fact the UDL were off duty british soldiers largely. they were from the ulster only regiments that are unique in the british army in that they are requited locally and serve in a local battle zone.

the commission also found that the british government had used the services of MI5&6 to establish and arm hit squads that killed about 2500 catholic union leaders, daycare organizers and the like, without actually finding very many IRA. the report is damning and was largely conceded by the british governement and the "economist" alterd it's position to pull out(at least that was the editorial.

the level of abuse in northern ireland hadsn't changed, and it's time the english speaking world recognized that. europeand are not naive about the british conduct in the north.

now personally i have found englisg canadian folkies to be quite bigoted against native canadian gaels on occasion--too often for comfort. i remember being told not to sing a song in gaelic i worked on for weeks(i'm not very good at gaelic) becauce as they said"we sing canadian music here". well i guess we capr bretoners aren't quite canadian--well we aren;tand it is traceable to the same imperial bigotry that has led to the long standing abuse in ireland.

i'm old enough to remember how nova scotians were treated in ontario when we came up to look for work in the tobacco fields. the locals would gang up on us twenty to one and spit on us when we came to town, shouting "dirty nova scotians". we weren't all that clean and were looking for a shower and to clean clothes. we had to go every where in groups. when a big group of us fought back and put the boots to the bastards the cops chashed us and left the poor english victums alone. sounding a little too faniliar to other gaels in the north and south of ireland. the law doesn't protect some people--right now it's poor people in toronto.

now i admit most of this bigotry has subsided, but i'm a little jaded when the nice english people all together protest their pureity and innocence. these kind of abusses do not occur unless there is widespread complicity--and the nazi lament--we didn't know doesn't wash.

i'd like to forgive the whole house of orange and the shits who kicked me out of a vancouver folk club, or spit on me in tillsonburg, but it would be a lot easlier if they would stop doing it, and apoligized


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 02:58 PM

Religious prejudice and the Orange Lodge/ Knights of St Columba type of sectarian organisations are not confined to Ireland north and south, they also exist in Canada, and I would presume that Stan Rogers's song was based on things from his end of the spectrum. Myself as a Glaswegian, and brought up as a protestant in that area, now have no time at all for this idiotic type of blind prejudice. When I was a child it was not uncommon to be accosted by strangers and asked,"What team do you support Rangers or Celtic", and it didn't seem to matter what you answered, you still got a kicking. So I now hate football and religious intolerance with a passion. Regarding the surprise expressed regarding the tolerance of the English, with regard to Irish rebel songs, I find them for the most part totally unaware of the colonial oppression carried out by their forefathers over the last 500 years in Ireland. I don't think we have the time or the space to go into the other countries that they also did it to. Sorry if I've got onto my high horse on this one, but I've cried many bitter tears over Ireland. Jock


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 02:53 PM

I tend to suspect the point that Stan was trying to make should not hang or fall on an acronym, as it appears clear that he was voicing disapproval about both sides of "the troubles," no matter what their current monicker was.

Another song which is in much the same vein, Tommy Sands' "There were Roses," deals less with the political realm and more with the effects on the victims and relatives. I've played that song several times in Ireland with no problem north or south.

At home, we play at a local jam which has three Irish flags hanging in the center of the room, the Republic tricolor on one side, the Northern Irish flag on the other, and dividing them is the Irish Brigade Battle Flag from Antietim, (which was fought just across the river, and whose Confederate dead are buried in the town cemetary). It's our way of saying that it doesn't matter if it's Kelley or Kelly, More or Moore, you're welcome to sing anything you want as long as you're in tune, and up with the beat, (but hold your cussing, curb your children, and don't step on the cat...)


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 02:44 PM

"if they are good songs/tunes."

even better, sing/play what ya want and sod the rest!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 02:43 PM

Hi Jon, I remember the UDL in the Canadian news twenty years ago. I'm sure that when Stan Rogers wrote the song, they weren't such a strange choice.


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Dead Horse
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 02:32 PM

Relevance schmelevance. Stay neutral and sing songs from both sides if they are good songs/tunes. Same goes for any song themes. As an example I usually try to sing the Blackball version of Blow The Man Down (warns against Blackball ships) together with Hoorah For The Blackball Line, (very *pro*) or Rochester Recruiting Sergeant/other recruiting songs,together with anti war songs in the same evening set, lest anyone should accuse me of bias. This makes me a middle of the road singer;-)


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Subject: RE: Which Irish Troubles Songs are Offensive
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 11:36 AM

Thanks, I just gone back and tried "Ulster Defence League" as a phrase search on Goolge and achieved 5 hits none of which help me much. There are 17 more using "defense".

Using the same technique, "Ulster Freedom Fighters" gets me 2850 hits, "Ulster Defence Association" - 3520, "Ulster Volunteer Force" - 4050, "Loyalist Volunteer Force" - 3270 hits. Assuming those 5 hits are right in using "UDL" and that the Google search could be used to indicate how well the various groups are, UDL would seem to me a strange choice for Stan Rogers.

Jon


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

GUEST,Den

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

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

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


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

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

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

Wolfgang


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

Gary T

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Brían


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

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


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

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


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

derrymacash--my answer to your question.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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