Music from the troubles

 My MP3 player has over 1600 songs on it currently, and since I normally listen on random, some songs rarely seem to come up.  A recent selection included 'Zombie' by the Cardigans, a great tune and it is about the Troubles here in the good old messed up province of Northern Ireland.  Thankfully all that violent nonsense is now passing into theory at least.  The lyrics are great as well as the music.

"It's the same old theme, since 1916

In your head, in your head, they're still fightin'

With their tanks and their bombs and their bombs and their guns

In your head, in your head, they are dyin' "

I have other songs about this sad and wasteful conflict on the MP3 player.  Particular favourites include Paul Brady's song, 'The Island'.

" Now I know us plain folks don't see all the story.

And I know this peace and love's just copping out.

And I guess these young boys dying in the ditches.

Is just what being free is all about.

And how this twisted wreckage down on main street.

Will bring us all together in the end.

And we'll go marching down the road to freedom....


So here are just three, including YouTube links should you fancy listening.  You would think that we as humans might be able to learn from all this death and destruction, but whether in this part of Ireland, or indeed in any other part of the world, it would seem that we are doomed to keep killing each other at the whim of some power crazy leader or other.  Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori; the old lie still stands.

1)  The Cranberries - Zombie:  The Cranberries - Zombie (Official Music Video) - YouTube

2)  Paul Brady - The Island:  The Island - YouTube

3)  Gary Moore - Out In The Fields:  Gary Moore - Out In The Fields (Official Video) - YouTube

I've deliberately stayed away from some of the more one sided ones, like John Lennon's Bloody Sunday, but there are loads of songs pointing out the pointlessness of it all from the likes of Stiff Little Fingers and U2.  Even artists like David Bowie gave the troubles a mention in the song Star on the 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars:

Tony went to fight in Belfast

Rudi stayed at home to starve

I could make it all worthwhile

As a rock & roll star

Bevan tried to change the nation

Sonny wants to turn the world, well he can tell you that

He tried

I could make a transformation as a rock & roll star

Unfortunately the cultural contribution of artists reacting to the troubles is never going to make good the death and destruction that happened here, and all that for a line on a map.  What a waste.

Perhaps the best way to deal with it all is Mary Black's approach.  Damn the troubles, just present what does, and should represent this island.

Enjoy this:  Mary Black - Song For Ireland - YouTube

Or, a last reminder from a Brian Kennedy song that was released at the time of the Good Friday Agreement.  As I look around this daft little province, and across the rest of the world, there are still so many out there who would do well to consider the merits of peace over war.

When you sleep tonight

Will you dream

About a brighter life, oh it's gonna last

And we hope for more

But my heart is so unsure

Another day is over

So tell me

Is this the way it's meant to be

Life, Love and Happiness - YouTube


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