'Sash isn't sectarian'

‘THE Sash’, the most famous loyalist song, is not sectarian, according to a Scottish court. Context and intent, it would appear, is everything.

  • maca

    The Sash

    For it’s here I am an Orangeman, just come across the sea
    For singing and for dancing, I hope that I’ll please thee,
    I can sing and dance with any man, as I did in days of yore.
    And its on the twelfth I long to wear the Sash My Father wore.

    It is old but it is beautiful and It’s colours they are fine.
    It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne.
    My Father wore it as a youth in bygone days of yore
    And its on the twelfth I long to wear, The Sash my Father Wore.

    For it’s now I’m going to leave you, good luck to you I’ll say,
    And when I’m on the ocean deep, I hope for me you’ll pray
    I’m going to my native land, to a place they call Dromore,
    Where on the twelfth I long to wear the Sash my Father Wore.

    Whenever I come back again my brethren here to see ,
    I hope to find old Orange style, they will always welcome me.
    My favourite tune’s ‘Boyne Water’, but to please me more and more,
    And make my Orange Heart full glad with the Sash my Father wore.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    I think you’d have to say the song isn’t sectarian. No lines about fenian blood or anything like that.

    It does praise the Orange Order, which most definitely is a sectarian organisation, but Orange sectarianism is not apparent from this song. So it’s sort of sectarian at one remove.

    The Sash is no Billy Boys. It’s the acceptable face of Orangeism – nationalists should judge the song on its merit rather than on the merits of those who sing it as though they are brandishing a weapon.

    It’s also a roaringly fine tune. A shame that its context has made it radioactive material for all of Ireland’s great musicians – surely someone would by now have done a definitive version of the song, so that nationalists could listen to it by someone other than some kick the pope band marching past their house?

  • Belfast Gonzo
  • smcgiff

    Jaysus, how innocuous can you get?

    You can

  • maca

    “nationalists should judge the song on its merit rather than on the merits of those who sing it as though they are brandishing a weapon”

    But is it not essentially a rebel song of sorts? Should all rebel songs be treated the same way or do we group them into acceptable/unacceptable categories?

    If the sash is such a fine tune surely they could use the tune and change the lyrics? There’s plenty of rebel songs which are great tunes but with unacceptable (to some) lyrics (God Save Ireland, The Soldier’s Song etc)

  • Belfast Gonzo

    “You can

  • smcgiff

    “The Sash – in itself – is not sectarian. If it was being sung outside a Celtic club to wind people up, then the legislation would come into play.”

    Does this not back up my post?

    If yobos pick up a bin outside a Ranger’s pub and throw it through the pub window, it doesn’t make the bin sectarian. It’s the thugs that are sectarian.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Fair enough. Think I misread you.

  • Mario

    Perhaps, it is because I am not from NI, but those are god awful lyrics. Hopefully the youth is not made to listen to poorly written songs. Sectarian or not.
    Elton john is bad enough.

  • Belfast Gonzo


    Do not fear. We also have the wonderful lyrics of Westlife and Boyzone to keep the kids happy.

  • Mario

    Mi amigo Gonzo, I did a search of those bands and found them to be similar to the american boy bands Nsync and Backstreet boys. After looking at such horror, I realized that you were being humurous. 🙂

    Surely, the land of U dos has better bands these days.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Quality music is in the ear of the beholder. Chances are you won’t have heard much Northern Irish music, but if you are interested in some of our more successful bands, you might want to search for ‘Ash’ and ‘Snow Patrol’.

    I’m sure others will have their favourites they can list…

  • James

    Surely, the land of U dos has better bands these days.

    Mmmmm….. U dos

    There is a band called Ewe Too that plays in Wellies (or so I’m told).

  • Davros

    Gonzo- there was a disturbing moment in the 1978 film shown about Patrick Kavanagh – “Big Tom” live.

  • Paddy

    If Ranger’s yobos throw stones at Celtic supports, the stone themselves are not sectarian. It is the Rangers’s Yobobs who are.