It’s ‘that song’ wot sunk us…

I’m going to try and do a vox pop in Paris tomorrow on what Irish rugby fans really do think about Ireland’s Call. Shane Hegarty’s picked up some hostility towards it in within the pages of today’s Irish Times, and on RTE. Frank McNally is possibly on to something when he notes that “…as a song to unify Ireland’s two communities, it has succeeded well, if only because music-loving Catholics and Protestants seem to hate it equally.”

  • slug

    I think its great.

  • Dewi

    But “Flower of Scotland” the best….don’t understand how a team can lose after singing that…………except the Scottish team of course !!!

  • Oiliféar

    Nothing against Phil Coulter – but we can do better … seriously. Amhrán na bhFiann is obviously out, but God know’s I’d settle for Londonderry Air (though it yank-ishness is cringeful, but great air). U2 anyone?

  • Honest question do any Unionist people support the team.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Slug

    I agree. I remember earlier this year standing in the Bot in Belfast, jam-packed to the ceiling with Irishmen and women of all backgrounds, religions and political persuasions, cheering on lustily as they watched our boys give the English a hiding at Croker. Near the end someone started up singing `Ireland’s Call’, and I swear everyone in the placed bellowed it with tears in their eyes.

    Shortly afterwards we got our political institutions back up and running, and for a few months now I have had the feeling – and everywhere I go I sense it in others – that Belfast in 2007 is a pretty damned good place to be, that history is a nightmare from which we are awaking, and that the future in unwritten.

    Sorry, rambling. Anyway, I applaud `Ireland’s Call’ for having created a moment of genuinely shared patriotism even in the heart of divided old Belfast.

  • Pounder

    What rock do you live under n00blet? Ofcourse bloody unionists support the team, a quick look at any rugby thread in this place would confirm this.

  • darth rumsfeld

    I used to- but after the Ravenhill insult to my identity…Allez les bleus!!!!

    “Ireland’s Call”? Yuk. I’d go for “Alternative Ulster”

  • nmc

    I think it’s dreadful personally.

  • Mick Fealty

    Pounder, some civility please?

  • Turgon

    A bit off thread but one of the reasons I have difficulty supporting the Irish rugby team is the rugby bit.

    I am quite a small person but grew a lot as a late teenager, I was tiny when I went to my country Prod grammar.

    I lived in terror of large farmer’s sons running me over, I was pratically small enough to be the ball. This has left me most suspicious of rugby.

    Sorry I felt the need to share that.

  • fair_deal

    The Sash usually fits the bill in terms of ‘a rousing tune’ rather than mournful so how’s about new words about how great Ireland is to that tune. One community ‘provides’ the tune the other the words. As a tune it already has pretty high recognition value plus the IRFU could save a bit of cash too – there is no shortage of bands who can play the tune so they could get the pre-match band for less. 😉

  • overhere

    Poor Darth, you just were born in the wrong era or country take your pick.

    I must admit after watching the guys sing the national anthem in Croke Park and then watching them sing Irelands call last Saturday night in France you could see it on their faces that Irelands call is a poor second best.

    So maybe it is time to get Danny Boy up and running God knows everyone knows it no matter where you are from

  • slug

    “So maybe it is time to get Danny Boy up and running God knows everyone knows it no matter where you are from ”

    I would prefer to reserve Danny Boy for NI occasions.

  • Turgon

    fair_deal,

    Orange and blue is a better tune in my opinion.

  • páid

    We have to sing something, and our Ulster Prod Countrymen tell us Amhrán na bhFiann is not acceptable.

    Fair Enough. And watching them look awkward as it’s bellowed out is painful. And makes Nationalists look bad for forcing the issue.

    Replacing “Ireland’s Call” is a job for our children, or their children.

    Unless anyone can think of a better number – I can’t.

  • overhere

    May be you could come up with the words FD. You could have one verse in Irish, one id SCots and one in English then no one would be left out

    What is all this I have just heard about Eddie O’Sullivan giving a press report about aspersions against Ronan O’Gara

  • Dewi

    Carrickfergus – the opposing team would just lie down and ask to be put out of their misery !

  • Frustrated Democrat

    I like the idea of a rousing Orange Tune, of which there are several, with the words from a Green Lyricist.

    Can someone with lyrical talent have a go?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    How about “A Nation Once Again”? I know of no more rousing tune, and lyrically it’s full of aspirational stuff about freedom. It’s not political and has nothing in it that I think anyone would seriously object to. It’s also a cracking concept for a sporting nation that has a border up the middle of it. And it was written by a great Irish Protestant.

    Any thoughts anyone?

    (I hope the Wolfe Tones’ murdering of this great song doesn’t render it unacceptable?)

  • ulsterfan

    We will have to keep it until someone writes something better but on the other hand we can enter it in the Euro-vision contest and really annoy everyone else

  • Mick Fealty

    Come Billy, let’s hear your pitch for this one:

    “It’s not political…”

  • BogExile

    Speaking as a unionist when Ireland play rugby I’m a nationalist, if you see what I mean.

    I’ve stood beside people from all over this island watching our boys in green line up and have had a lump in my throat the size of a house brick when ‘Ireland’s Call’ came on (247 pints does help). I think a lot depends on who is leading the song. I’ve heard some woeful renditions. But when it is done well, often spontaneously, as Billy Pilgrim alludes, it puts the fire into you, by god whatever foot you kick with.

    Anyway, now that I’ve created enough cover, can i cordially invite you to contribute to my web, ‘Legitimate Tangent’ (only people from NI will get the pun) which purports to be a sideways look at the lunacy of life in the public sector. Mick, indulge me, please:

    http://legitimatetangent.blogspot.com/

    Cheers!

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Mick

    Well, of course it’s political, after a fashion. What I mean is that it’s a song, the lyrics of which might be equally embraced by nationalists or unionists.

    (I admit the song has been used in a politicized manner by some nationalists – I refer to the Wolfe Tones – but that’s a matter of context, a context which is extra-textual. Therefore the song might just as easily be used in a more unifying context, such as as a shared anthem – or in short, reclaimed from the Wolfe Tones and used in a context closer to the poet’s original intention.)

    Here are the lyrics:

    “When boyhood’s fire was in my blood
    I read of ancient freemen,
    For Greece and Rome who bravely stood,
    Three hundred men and three men;
    And then I prayed I yet might see
    Our fetters rent in twain,
    And Ireland, long a province, be.
    A Nation once again!
    Chorus:

    A Nation once again,
    A Nation once again,
    And lreland, long a province, be
    A Nation once again!”

    Nothing about the Saxon foe in there. The only reference is to the 300 Spartans ffs. Nothing out of kilter with notions such as “the land of the free” or “Britons never shall be slaves”.

    I accept the song suffers from the misconceptions of others, but I still point out they are just that – misconceptions.

    Bloody Wolfe Tones…..

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m afraid I must be suffering along with the others…

    “then I prayed I yet might see
    Our fetters rent in twain,
    And Ireland, long a province, be.
    A Nation once again!”

    Fine motives perhaps, but ‘non political’? Really?

  • Twelve Monkeys

    A nation united in rugby and also united in song, well done Billy.

  • BonarLaw

    The problem stems from what people see the team as representing- the Irish nation or the island of Ireland.

    Some (Billy and paid) seem to have difficulty with the concept that not all who live on the island are Irish eg “jam-packed to the ceiling with Irishmen and women of all backgrounds, religions and political persuasions” or “our Ulster Prod Countrymen”.

  • Michael Robinson

    As you would expect, anthems are a perennial subject debated on various rugby fan sites.

    The concept that an anthem would somehow inspire a player not to drop passes or miss a touch kick seems somewhat flawed.

    Ireland has won only one 5 or 6 Nations Grand Slam in 1948, and God Save The Queen was played at Ravenhill, so maybe that anthem inspired the team to their victory?

    Ireland beat England at Twickenham in 2004 and 2006 when Ireland’s Call was played… but managed to lose the majority of home games in the 1990s even though Amhrán na bhFiann was played at Lansdowne Road.

    Maybe it had something to do with the team in the 2000s being a lot better than the team of the 90s?

    Personally, I think Ireland’s Call is fine. OK, it isn’t up there with La Marseillaise or Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau when it comes to rousing tunes, but what else is? Certainly not Amhrán na bhFiann or God Save The Queen.

    If someone comes up with something better, then I’d support it, and a fan has started a petition here http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ReplaceIrelandsCallMF0001/ but until someone does, I’ll be belting out Ireland’s Call.

  • Random

    There already exists “a rousing Orange Tune … with the words from a Green Lyricist” and composed by an Armagh man. Lord Nelson uses the melody of The Sash. Can’t see it being sung at a rugby game however!

    LORD NELSON
    (Tommy Makem)

    Lord Nelson stood in pompous state,upon his pillar high
    And down along O’Connell Street he casta wicked eye
    He thought how this barbaric race had fought the British Crown
    Yet they were content to let him stay right there in Dublin town!

    CHORUS: So remember Brave Lord Nelson, boys,
    He has never known defeat
    And for his reward they stuck him up
    In the middle of O’Connell Street!

    For many years, Lord Nelson stood, and no one seemed to care
    He would squint at Dan O’Connell who was standin right down there
    He thought the Irish love me or they wouldnt let me stay,
    All except that band of blighters that they call the IRA!

    And then in nineteen sixty six, on March the seventh day,
    A bloody great explosion made Lord Nelson rock and sway!
    He crashed, and Dan O’Connell cried,in woeful misery
    Now twice as many pigeons will come and shit on me!

    CHORUS (final) So remember brave Lord Nelson,boys,
    He has never known defeat!
    And for his reward they blew him up
    In the middle of O’Connell Street!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    “Setting the right pre-match mood, pressing the right mental buttons, can be critical. Singing Amhrán na bhFiann always fired me up. You take pride in your national anthem. The French have La Marseillaise, the song which asks the soldiers to walk together to beat the enemy and the need for the blood of the enemy to fertilise their soil”

    So spake Trevor Brennan in today’s Irish Times -showing his great awareness of the views of both traditions on the island. Of course one should be aware that the last time Trev heard someone with a Non Iron accent in a rugby crowd he tried to remove their head.

    Ireland’s call is dreadful but if it lets both sets of players and supporters join in then I have to disagree with Trev.

  • Nic

    Wasn’t A Nation Once Again mooted as the future Irish National Anthem by the IRB or the Fenians or some-such way back in the day?

  • Lafcadio

    a complete red herring of an issue – the anthem before is all very well, but 1 second after kick-off it makes balls-all difference – the only thing that matters is how good you are at rugby.

    let’s not forget that two of the best rugby nations ever, australia and nz have absolutely cack anthems.

  • Michael Robinson

    Trevor Brennan says:The French have La Marseillaise, the song which asks the soldiers to walk together to beat the enemy and the need for the blood of the enemy to fertilise their soil

    I wonder what Trev thinks of The Billy Boys, then…?

  • páid

    BonarLaw,

    you make it clear at every opportunity that you don’t feel the slightest bit Irish, to the extent that I am beginning to wonder if you will ever convince yourself, and will probably even cheer Ireland’s opposition.

    And you have every right not to regard me as your countryman.

    But I regard you as my countryman, as is my right.

  • Rory

    With Mick’s twitchy nervousness about any song that might be construed political, in order to find favour, I can only suggest that beautiful ballad by Fathers Ted and Douglas, “My Lovely Horse” which once came so close to being a Eurovision hit. I am quite sure that it would offend none. Except maybe donkeys and people who don’t like horses and maybe people with ugly oul’ nags and maybe…. oh, forget about it, it was probably a bad idea anyway.

  • Diluted Orange

    I don’t really get why ‘Ireland’s Call’ gets all the abuse about having crap lyrics. What national anthem actually has great lyrics? Apart from the Soldier’s Song being offensive to me, when used in an All-Ireland context, from any of teh English lyrics I’ve seen for it it all seems a big load of waffle anyway.

    I think ‘Ireland’s Call’ serves its purpose – i.e. to unite the 2 Irish traditions playing and watching the game. Personally, inclusiveness aside, I actually quite like it too.

    Rory

    ‘My Lovely Horse’ – possibly my favourite Father Ted episode ever!

  • Mick Fealty

    Believe me all my “twitchy nervousness” is focused on what’s going to happen on the pitch tomorrow night Rory.

  • sammaguire

    “Honest question do any Unionist people support the team.”

    Posted by Newbie on Sep 20, 2007 @ 04:43 PM

    Had to laugh at this. My father remembers a Dublin Prod on his way to Lansdowne Rd to support Ireland during the 50s. He said there’d be 60,000 at Lansdowne today. Somebody told him there was only one stadium in Ireland that would hold such a crowd (obviously Croke Park). The Dublin Prod proceeded to pull out a miniature Union Jack and declared “you’ll never beat that”. Times have obviously changed if rugby can now be seen as an expression of Irish nationalism.

  • Harry Flashman

    *The only reference is to the 300 Spartans ffs.*

    I always thought the reference to “three hundred men and three men” was to the defence of Rome by Horatius and his two comrades at the Tiber bridge.

    Anyway I think my main objection to “Ireland’s Call” relates to the “Oyer-lund! Oyer-lund!” bit. It just brings to my mind the image of big drunken south Dublin rugger buggers in the Pavillion Bar, Trinity College on a Friday night all boozey and homo-erotic with the ‘guoys’ (that’s ‘guys’ to English speakers), gawd they were appalling, surpassed only by the weedy, whiney, chip on the shoulder Student Union types congregating in the Buttery Bar.

    No wonder I went to drink in O’Neill’s.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Yep, “My lovely horse” is the logical choice, but failing that how about cribbing from the GAWA and a chorus of “We’re not New Zealand, we’re southern Ireland ( with a token Ulster prod)”

    Allons enfants de la patrie
    Le jour de gloire est arrive!

  • willowfield

    I suspect there is a correlation between those who object to Ireland’s Call and those who were unhappy at the Southern anthem being dropped*.

    * Only for away** matches

    ** Matches in Northern Ireland are considered “away” matches.

  • Rory

    “I always thought the reference to “three hundred men and three men” was to the defence of Rome by Horatius and his two comrades at the Tiber bridge.”

    I find that I have to agree with Harry Flashman on this.

    Don’t worry, Harry, normal service will be resumed as quickly as possible and I can get back to disagreeing with you as God ordained.

  • Harry Flashman

    Thank God for that Rory, I nearly passed out when I saw who was agreeing with me!

  • BogExile

    ‘Times have obviously changed if rugby can now be seen as an expression of Irish nationalism’

    1. I’m a unionist who turns slightly nationalist when the rugby’s on

    2. I can’t think of any sporting or other circumstance where the reverse would obtain.

    3. My sporting nationalism sits very comfortably inside the warm paradox of my political unionism. I get more jollies from Ireland’s call than I ever did reciting Betty’s insipid dirge.

    By god, we’re a dogged people!

    Can I do this again, please:

    http://legitimatetangent.blogspot.com/

    Thanks!

  • Bog warrior

    Bit off topic but does anyone know what the French press have been saying about O’Gara and his private life? Heard O’Driscoll on the radio this morning complaining about it but neither he nor the interviewer alluded to the nature of the allegations.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Perhaps Mick will start up a thread after Ireland’s imminent return in defeat on the unusual place the IRFU has in the island’s psyche.

    I freely admit to antipathy to the team I’m told I should be supporting for reasons well detailed elsewhere. But I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t also an element of contempt for the rugger bugger types in blazers-from Belfast and Fermanagh primarily – who tend to be solicitors, headmasters, or other pillars of the soft prod middle class- and who are primary export to France this week.

    In a political sense they are the garden centre prods- Ken Maginnis excepted-and I defy any normal human being not to recoil from these bowtie’n’blazer wearing, gin ‘n’tonic guzzling, golf club storytelling opinionated bores- many of whom do pollute the stand at Ravenhill too it must be said.They’re really aping their class brethren in the English RFU-similarily loathsome specimens (omigod I’m turning into a class warrior)

    At least cricket, in the north west at least, is a working class game, as is the real sport involving a ball.

    Late sporting news- Chelsea announce new club aftershave
    U Go Boss

    I’ll get ne sash

  • bollix

    As compromises go, i think Ireland’s Call is acceptable. Personally, I like Amhran na Bhfiann even though, shamefully, i don’t know all the words. However amhran doesn’t include everyone and I want everyone to feel ownership of the team.
    If the choice is a good tune that excludes some people (amhran) or a mediocre tune that doesn’t exclude anyone (Ireland’s call) then I will go with the latter. If someone can find a better inclusive tune that Ireland’s call, i have no objection to switching to that.

    Did the Bot really all join in Ireland’s call when we bate England in croker? That would have been fantastic. That match was very poorly timed from a personal perspective for me, it was on the TV when my (Irish) parents first met my (English) parents-in-law. It would have been impolitic for any of us to say “come on, hammer those english b*strds” even though that was what we were all thinking!

  • Dan

    “I think ‘Ireland’s Call’ serves its purpose – i.e. to unite the 2 Irish traditions playing and watching the game. Personally, inclusiveness aside, I actually quite like it too.”

    Diluted Orange sums it up best for me. I like the lyrics and the chorus.

    I especially liked the rendition at Croker against England. http://youtube.com/watch?v=eIxe5ooQtqI

  • Nevin

    Mick, could you not give the crowd a rendition of one of your favourite rugby songs instead?

    NZ has the haka. Perhaps Ireland needs something that touches the soul of our being.

    Why not drop the anthems and devise an ‘experience’ that lifts the home team and demoralises the opposition?

    How about something from Different Drums of Ireland (on myspace.com)? Can you imagine a soft build up of tin whistles and bodhrans leading on to the skirl of the pipes (vid) and rising to a crescendo of lambeg drums – all to a background wave of ‘drums and drums’ circling the stadium?

    As a matter of courtesy the opposing locks should be obliged to play the lambegs in the style of Willie Drennan (vid). That would be the equivalent of a ten point starter for the home team!!

  • pwrmoore

    I’ve been involved in numerous debates on the issue of anthems on various rugby sites. I think Ireland’s Call has been generally welcomed by the NI rugby community who finally saw an attempt by the IRFU to introduce a single unifying anthem to represent the whole team. We have always realised that Ireland the rugby team represented the unified team of north and south together and as we had no anthem representing “us” before we are inclined to accept it without questioning just how great an anthem it really is.

    Our friends on the other side of the border have a different problem. Many of them have grown up hearing Amran na bFiann in Lansdowne road before Itreland matches and never considered for a moment that this Ireland team was anything other than the National Rugby team of the Irish state, some of them may have realised that there were a few northerners there occasionally but they almost definitely didn’t think of it as a two state team.

    With the introduction of Ireland’s call they are having to confront this reality. But they look at their own anthem which they have been so used to singing for the team and then they look at Ireland’s call and find it inferior. They don’t understand why they should have to give up their heritage just so that a couple of northerners aren’t made to feel uncomfortable. They fail to see that this uncomfortableness does nothing for team cohesion on the pitch prior to an important game.

    After much debate more are comiing to see that a single unifying song instead of Amran na bFiann would be a good thing but thay find it hard to support Ireland’s call as that song.

    I think that we will get there but it may be years before Ireland’s call is either so ingrained that it becomes accepted by all or (more than likely) we may have to sacrifice Ireland’s call and Amran na bFuiann together for a new song which gets all-island recognition.

  • What about Lillibullero, perhaps with new lyrics? It’s been a nationalist anthem, a unionist anthem, a rousing battle tune and – thanks to the BBC world service – has global recognition?

  • Pounder

    Teenage Kicks by the Undertones would be my choice, ofcourse I don’t expect many others to agree.

  • BonarLaw

    paid

    you could consider me Martian but it wouldn’t change the enduring reality.

    And I could consider you British … 🙂

  • Campaign for better lyrics begins here

    Ireland!
    Ireland!
    Forever singing songs
    When oh when will you put the rugby on!

  • Dev

    Going by Ireland’s recent performances ‘Loser’ by Beck might be a good replacement.

    I think Ireland’s Call is a bit naff but as other posters have pointed out the song you sing beforehand isn’t really that important so long as it isn’t offensive/alienating to some of the fans.

    I like the idea of re-wording the Sash though…

  • al

    I think this evening at Ravenhill will show newbie or whatever he was calling himself that plenty of northern unionist types will be very vocal in their support of Ireland as they’re playing it in a big screen after the Ospreys game.

    I’m a unionist, atheist from a prod background, living in rather proddy north down but I support Ireland in the rugby and even partook of an irish passport due to it being a bit cheaper than my own birthright British one.

    You’ll find it’s only scummy loyalist types from some dingy estate in places like Larne who have an issue with supporting an all island team in a sport. Most sensible unionists can bring themselves to support the union and support the Ireland rugby team…although that said I’ve seen a lot of “younger” prods wearing England shirts. Deary me…

  • Ms Wiz

    How about:

    ‘One nation under a groove, getting down just foooooor the funk of it!’

    Well you never know. I’m not a rugby fan but Ireland’s Call is definitely a rousing tune and if its lyrics are slightly saccharine so what? Show me a ‘national’ anthem whose words weren’t cheesy, militaristic, racist or just plain dull and I’ll hold my hands up.

  • darth rumsfeld

    ..And there we have the mindset of the garedencentre prod alickadoo in one post.
    Someone who’ll take an irish passport because it’s cheaper places little value on identity.You might even be one of those bizarre Unionists who Dermot Ahern says want to join Fianna Fail. Coming soon to a fantasy world near you,the Jews who want to join the Pig marketing board.

    I am neither a scummy loyalist type, nor do I live in a dingy loyalist estate. I shudder at the mere mention of Larne.
    If al wants to support the irish team fair enough- I won’t. I would like a Northern Ireland rugby team,but it’ll never happen because poseurs from the Ulster branch would never forfeit their 6 nations weekends in the Shelbourne

    I have no problem in supporting irish teams that respect my identity, such as the cricket team. Hope you choke on your pimms tonight at Ravenhill, al, as the walking personality bypass that is O’Gara gets crunched for the tenth time when given a hospital pass from a scrumm half who thinks “defence” is “something in de back yard”

  • Rory

    Whoops! I just realised while sitting down to my pre-luncheon cocktail that two certain smartarses, Harry Flashman and Yours truly here, were only half right, and therefore all wrong, when we insisted that the reference “three hundred men and three men” in A Nation Once Again was to Horatio at the bridge. It is the line preceding that gives the clue, “For Greece and Rome who bravely stood”.

    The reference therefore is to both the 300 Spartans at the pass at Thermopylae and to the three men, including Horatio, who stood against Lars Porsena at the bridge on the River Tiber.

    Serves me bloody right for jumping in and agreeing with Harry Flashman.

  • mmmmmmmmm

    I am a Northern Prod which seems to be important in this debate and any debate around the irish rugby team.

    I wholeheartedly support the Irish Rugby team however it is despite of the actions and policies of the governing body.

    We should not play a national anthem that excludes half the fans and a good portion of the team….I would never have asked O’Driscoll to stand for God Save the Queen under a red hand at ravenhill the concept is ludicrous….but by the same token….it should be Ireland’s Call (or its replacement) alone.

    Now on topic, I love Ireland’s call, I think its a great song and while lyrically it has some geographically/politically incorrect lyrics :)….I just move the apostrophe in my head 🙂

    The problem with Ireland’s call is that it sounds crap when it is sung correctly….or actually sung at all! it should be screamed and be out of tune…much like flower or scotland it only sounds good when its sung with passion and no musical skill.

    It sounds great while screamed at the tv and down the pub….whenever some young artiste is singing it at the ground it doesnt work.

  • Confused

    3 of the 4 provinces, i.e. a majority of Irish rugby players and supporters would prefer to see Amhran na bhFiann being the only song played.

    Why can’t the wishes of the majority prevail?

    If you consider yourself British then why not support one of the rugby teams from Britain?

  • al

    I’ll be happy to let you know I voted for Bob in North Down last time and the core belief I hold is a united ireland as part of the UK…too many soft arse unionists seem to only be interested in a union for Northern Ireland but perhaps i’m more “radical” than even you could bring yourself to be? who knows.

    Frankly i’m comfortable to admit that I am british by birth and a unionist but I don’t just discard the fact that, not only to a lot of people on this island, but to quite a lot of the rest of the world, i am irish also.

    I also don’t really give a flying fcuk what it says on the passport as it’s just a piece of paper to get you in and out of the country. I know of plenty of people with 2 or even 3 passports in some instances. Whether I had a british or irish passport doesn’t really matter considering the fact that i’m actually able to acquire either or both at any point in time, just as you are I expect.

    I’ll try to avoid the pimms tonight, just incase.

  • páid

    BogExile, you write….

    “1. I’m a unionist who turns slightly nationalist when the rugby’s on

    2. I can’t think of any sporting or other circumstance where the reverse would obtain.”

    Well this Nationalist does when the Lions are playing….and I suspect I’m not the only one.

    BonarLaw, you write that you could consider me British.

    You wouldn’t be the first ducky. I certainly sound like one, and I’m told I look like one!

  • Dev

    How about:

    ‘One nation under a groove, getting down just foooooor the funk of it!’

    Posted by Ms Wiz on Sep 21, 2007 @ 12:09 PM

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! This should be the rugby song and the national anthem!

  • al

    on the topic of tunes…

    Land Of Confusion (apt title?) by Genesis?!

    I mustve dreamed a thousand dreams
    Been haunted by a million screams
    But I can hear the marching feet
    Theyre moving into the street.

    Now did you read the news today
    They say the dangers gone away
    But I can see the fires still alight
    There burning into the night.

    Theres too many men
    Too many people
    Making too many problems
    And not much love to go round
    Cant you see
    This is a land of confusion.

    This is the world we live in
    And these are the hands were given
    Use them and lets start trying
    To make it a place worth living in.

    Ooh superman where are you now
    When everythings gone wrong somehow
    The men of steel, the men of power
    Are losing control by the hour.

    This is the time
    This is the place
    So we look for the future
    But theres not much love to go round
    Tell me why, this is a land of confusion.

    This is the world we live in
    And these are the hands were given
    Use them and lets start trying
    To make it a place worth living in.

    I remember long ago –
    Ooh when the sun was shining
    Yes and the stars were bright
    All through the night
    And the sound of your laughter
    As I held you tight
    So long ago –

    I wont be coming home tonight
    My generation will put it right
    Were not just making promises
    That we know, well never keep.

    Too many men
    Theres too many people
    Making too many problems
    And not much love to go round
    Cant you see
    This is a land of confusion.

    Now this is the world we live in
    And these are the hands were given
    Use them and lets start trying
    To make it a place worth fighting for.

    This is the world we live in
    And these are the names were given
    Stand up and lets start showing
    Just where our lives are going to.

  • Dessertspoon

    “Why can’t the wishes of the majority prevail?”

    Well Confused….doesn’t that just have the potential to open up a whole can worms!!

  • BonarLaw

    Confused

    The island of Ireland rugby team purports to represent both a part of the UK and the Irish republic. No need to support another team when our Britishness is perfectly well represented in the islands’ 15.

    BTW Darth, much too chilly for Pimms tonight.

  • Rory

    No thank you, Al, not Land of Confusion thank you. Why replace one miserable dirge with bloody awful piss-poor lyrics (Ireland’s Call)?) with another?

    Ireland’s Call indeed. Ireland’s bloody Bawl more like!

  • Confused

    Am aware of what the team purports to represent..

    My point is simple-as a majority of supporters/players of the Irish rugby team prefer AnF, then it should be the anthem to be sung.

    If an Irish team, can’t sing the Irish national anthem, disband the team on RoI and NI lines. Sceptical to say the least of what Ringland describes as the unity that can be created through sport; the IRFU has hardly been a catalyst in the peace process.

  • BonarLaw

    Confused

    the team isn’t a national team so a national anthem would be inappropriate.

  • No Dozer

    confused

    ” If you consider yourself british then why not support one of the rugby teams teams from britain?”

    Consider it done. I have been supporting England for a number of years as I gave up waiting for the I.R.F.U. to show respect and parity of esteem to the people from the unionist tradition who supported “Ireland”.

    Al

    Your comments about “scummy loyalists from dingy housing estates” were appalling. You must be feeling very relieved to have been born with a silver spoon in your gub. Do you know anyone who live in these areas? I some how doubt it. No wonder working class unionists couldn’t give a toss about Irish and Ulster rugby when they have a buffoon like you as cheerleader.

  • Lafcadio

    the truth is that the anthem isn’t that big a deal for the irfu, on the whole – I think they were taken a bit by surprise by the fact that the anthem turned into such an issue for the italy match. i personally would have preferred to see them playing GSTQ, dreary dirge that it is – it may have appeared a tad perplexing to the uninitiated, but this is after all a perplexing place.

    they didn’t. the world still turns. big fecking deal.

    darth rumsfeld – you are displaying a profound lack of insight into rugby crowds in ulster, the alickadoos you mention will be a tiny minority at ravenhill tonight, and there will be no pimms in sight.

    i have a clear picture of my identity – i’m british and irish (so my passports tell me) and that’ll do for me. i love rugby and support ulster and ireland (ni at footy). i don’t need to somehow validate my identity by thinking that everyone supporting the same sports teams as i do, have the same opinions as i do.

  • God this thread went off at some tangent !

    Lighten up folks. An anthem should ideally be short, simple and rousing. Ireland’s Call fits the bill perfectly. It is fantastic and the hairs on the back of a few necks will be standing up when it is bellowed out in Paris circa 8pm tonight…!

  • darth rumsfeld

    Lafcadio
    I go to Ravenhill regularly. I have seen the old buffers in bow ties and blazers pootering up to the gate. Plus, of course loads of grammar school boys and their dads, and the odd trophy wife- the nearest thing to anything orange that you’ll see there. I’ve drunk the overpriced Guinness, and passed the hipflask. There are also quite a few normal human beings scattered about in the crowd. But there ain’t too many scummy loyalists from council estates

    I think you probably have a healthy approach to sport, and until the recent Ireland-Italy match I was a lukewarm irish supporter too. But the IRFU mealymouthed response to parity of esteem, and the pathetic attempt of some supporters to be half-different by flying 2 cross of St patrick flags [FFS!!!] convinced me that my part of the Irish equation isn’t welcome in IRFU towers.

    There would have been nothing wrong with GSTQ and a plethora of “Ulster” flags at Ravenhill-or indeed Lansdowne-and if BOD was squeamish about it then tough- Davy Tweed had to swallow the medicine, and Jimmy McCoy even needed police protection to play for a team that played under a flag revered by people who wanted to kill him.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Confused/Bonar Law,

    Being pedantic, the Irish rugby team don’t even sing the RoI’s National Anthem. The republic’s anthem is A Soldier’s Song. Amhrán na bhFiann is not the National Anthem. After 1922 there was confusion over what was the National Anthem. If you look thro’ the Dail records you’ll find no mention of “Amhrán na bhFiann” being adopted as the National anthem. However, you do find a record for the appropriation of the Soldier’s Song, described as the National anthem.

    From Dáil Éireann – Volume 50 – 22 November, 1933
    In Committee on Finance. – Vote 75—National Anthem…

    “It seemed most desirable that the copyright of the National Anthem should vest in the State and it was deemed inexpedient that an action such as this should proceed in the courts. Accordingly, the Executive Council authorised the Attorney-General to endeavour to acquire on behalf of the State any rights possessed by Messrs. O Cearnaigh and Heeney in the Anthem. After negotiation, and the Attorney-General having satisfied himself that Messrs. O Cearnaigh and Heeney had shown a good title to the rights in the Anthem, a settlement was arrived at in the following terms:—
    (1) That the Minister for Finance should pay £980 to Messrs. Peadar O Cearnaigh and Michael Heeney;
    (2) That the Minister should pay £20 to the Talbot Press, Ltd., Dublin;
    (3) That the Minister should pay £150 to Messrs. Miley and Miley in full satisfaction of their costs;
    (4) That the Minister should pay £50 to Messrs. O’Hanlon and Robinson, Solicitors for the Dublin Theatre Company, in full satisfaction of their costs;
    (5) That Messrs. O Cearnaigh and Heeney and the Talbot Press, Ltd., should cede all rights in the “Soldier’s Song” to the Minister, should stay the action against the Dublin Theatre Company, and should agree to take no further proceedings in respect of breach of copyright or of royalties claimed; that the Talbot Press, Ltd., should be allowed to dispose of, for their own profit and without payment of any further royalties, any stock of the “Soldier’s Song” printed by them and in existence at the time of settlement.
    An agreement embodying the settlement was executed by the parties on 20th October, 1933.”

    Note that Kearney was paid for the words ie the English version.

    Anyhow, I’ll be supporting France as my mum is one of the Saxon Foes.

  • Lafcadio

    darth – if you want to see something enough, you will find it. the last time i was back home i stood beside a guy who was very definitely not alickadoo, and not from a grammar school – he was there with about half a dozen family members. i don’t know whether he came from a council estate, and frankly don’t give a damn.

    there’s no orange there – what do you expect for a team that plays in white and red?

    yes most people will have gone to grammar school, that being where most rugby is played at that age. but since when have all people who went to grammar schools been members of the upper middle classes?? i went to 2 in NI, and while there were a few rich kids at each one – the type you seem to have such contempt for – there were a hell of a lot from backgrounds that were of average or below-average affluence.

    like i said i think the playing of gstq would have been a nice touch – a nod to all those who have stood respectfully for the irish anthem in the past – i was actually quite glad to see that the irfu were a little bit rabbit in the headlights on the issue. it said to me that the institution really doesn’t have an opinion or set of protocols for political sensitivities like this – they are (generally) modern, professional irishmen who are there to administer a sport. a decidedly healthy approach if you ask me (i’ll not draw comparisons to other sports on the island..oh wait.. i just have:-)) they were there to play a match – they suddenly had this issue put to them – they pragmatically took the path of least resistance – then (the important bit) they played and won the match.

    “irfu towers” will have no opinion on whether or not you’re “welcome” – they certainly won’t stop you coming to games, and adding whatever you bring to an already diverse crowd.

  • darth rumsfeld

    and as for anthems…
    “The Boys are back in town” by Thin Lizzy is a nobrainer

  • Congal Claen

    Whatabout, especially for tonight, “The frog chorus” as we all stand together?

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Re. ‘The Boys are back in town’, in light of the current rumours, I don’t think some of the players need to be standing beside each other singing ‘man, when I tell you that chick was cool, she was red hot..’

  • al

    No Dozer – You’d be very much incorrect in your assessment

  • sammaguire

    “Mise Eire” would be an excellent “anthem” for the team as it has no words but still very emotional and rousing. (Eire is the Irish word for Ireland in case some people think it refers to the Republic only). Not mad about Ireland’s Call but it will do. Much prefer the French or Welsh anthems.
    Anyway I think Ireland will be alot better tonight but still expect them to lose by less than 10 points. Hope I’m wrong.

  • The Enforcer

    Billy Pilgrim did say

    “I remember earlier this year standing in the Bot in Belfast, jam-packed to the ceiling with Irishmen and women of all backgrounds, religions and political persuasions, cheering on lustily as they watched our boys give the English a hiding at Croker”

    Pray tell, how exactly did you know the patrons were “Irishmen and women of all backgrounds, religions and political persuasions” ?????

    Also the lack of other nationalities in the bot is quite disturbing ?

    your a fucking retard if you ask me

    I haven’t been on this webby for a while, and now i remember why, it’s full of turds with no life, who try to “persuade” the other “side” why their political viewpoint is wrong. Everything on this web site is stained with political piss-talk poison. Grow some balls and get a life :/ we ain’t still living in the 70’s you do know.

  • Harry Flashman

    *Serves me bloody right for jumping in and agreeing with Harry Flashman.*

    Well that’s a relief, thanks for restoring normal service very rapidly there Rory, but just to repay your earlier compliment, I will now have to agree with you and say that your interpretation does indeed appear to be the correct one.

    In truth I had always thought the “three hundred men and three men” scanned a little oddly and given that Horatius was supposed to have faced ten thousand Etruscans (they were Etruscans right, or did I get that wrong too?) I should have known that I might have picked it up wrong, never spotted the “Greece” reference.

    Thanks for putting me right old chum, I hope it is the one and only time I ever have to say that :-).

  • Rory

    They were indeed Etruscans, Harry. Very big in vases, or so I’m told.