Looking for a new song for the island…

Going through security at Paris Charles de Gaulle last night, I saw this guy just up ahead who was a ringer for Keith Wood, the former Irish rugby captain. Turns out it was him, and we ended up sitting one seat apart on the plane. We had a fair old conversation about the ongoing controversy over Ireland’s Call. He’d been talking to someone before the match, who’d suggested a song called “The Isle” (I think. I wasn’t taking notes, and it had been a long day and a longer night before) might serve in its place.
I’ve since Googled for it, and can’t find it, but apparently it was written by a northern Irish Quaker. If anyone knows the song, or knows of the song or especially if you have possession of the lyrics, perhaps you could punt them along, or post the below? Other suggested candidates also welcome.



  • agh@hot

    How serious was Woody Mick? I thought the whole Anthem thing had been dealt with – is there serious unrest within the Ireland camp with regards to Ireland’s call??

  • Dewi

    Merrily Kiss the Quaker’s wife ?

  • Frank Sinistra


    The full title is “There is an isle”. That should help the googling.

  • Frank Sinistra

    Here you go, you’ll have heard it before:


  • Mick Fealty


    Well, personally I suspect that the anthem controversy is dead as a dead thing. My own view is that it was an unnecessary slap in the face to the only people who earn the rest of us in Ulster representation in an all island team. And, de facto, it means we are now stuck with an anaemic compromise – yep, after Paris I am now with the sceptics. Most of the conversation was around whether it was possible to find a ‘living alternative’. If it’s not, IC should stay put.

    Yep Frank, that’s it (looks like the title is interchangeable) I’d forgotten it was the club song of Shannon, else I might have found it quicker. Good work.

  • Michael Robinson

    Munster inter-club rivalry can be as strong as inter-provincial rivalry so I can’t see all the other Munster clubs being in favour of There is an Isle given its association with Shannon.

    Its a good tune but I don’t know how the call/response bits would work in a stadium with 80k people.

  • Michael Robinson
  • Michael Robinson

    oops… apologies to Frank Sinistra who provided the link first.

  • Che Café

    Let us keep the anthem controversy up so that people will not realise how bad the team was.

  • gram

    Blaming Irelands performances, or lack of, on the pre match song is like blaming 9/11 on the design of the twin towers.

    I’d love to see the record collections of those slagging off Ireland’s call.

  • pith

    Gram, Good point. It works the other way too. England won the last World Cup despite having to sing the world’s dullest dirge before each match.

  • Phil


    “England won the last World Cup despite having to sing the world’s dullest dirge before each match.”

    You forgot to mention that it isn’t our anthem either, we don’t actually have one! All of our sports teams with the exception of the athletes who compete for England at the Commonwealth Games where “Land of Hope and Glory” is played, have to endure GSTQ in spite of its lack of reference to England or her people. As a song to be played at Royal occasions I don’t have a problem with it, but as a song to represent my country it stinks. Just as there is a debate going on regarding “Ireland’s Call” and which anthems and symbols should be used for all-Ireland events, there is also a debate going on regarding what should be England’s national anthem:


  • A Song For Ireland

    Song For Ireland
    By Phil and June Colclough

    http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=UR1SCDmJVxE – Mary Black

    http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=WwpEDYXAbJg – Luke Kelly

    Walking all the day
    Near tall towers where falcons build their nests
    Silver-winged they fly
    They know the call of freedom in their breasts
    Saw Black Head against the sky
    Where twisted rocks they run to the sea

    Living on your western shore
    Saw summer sunsets, asked for more
    I stood by your Atlantic Sea
    And sang a song for Ireland

    Drinking all the day
    In old pubs where fiddlers love to play
    Saw one touch the bow
    He played a reel which seemed so grand and gay
    Stood on Dingle Beach and cast
    In wild foam we found Atlantic bass

    Living on your western shore
    Saw summer sunsets, asked for more
    I stood by your Atlantic Sea
    And sang a song for Ireland

    Talking all the day
    With true friends who try to make you stay
    Telling jokes and news
    Singing songs to while the time away
    Watched the Galway salmon run
    Like silver dancing, darting in the sun

    Living on your western shore
    Saw summer sunsets, asked for more
    I stood by your Atlantic Sea
    And sang a song for Ireland

    Dreaming in the night
    I saw a land where no one had to fight
    Waking in your dawn
    I saw you crying in the morning light
    Sleeping where the falcons fly
    They twist and turn all in your air-blue sky

    Living on your western shore
    Saw summer sunsets, asked for more
    I stood by your Atlantic Sea
    And sang a song for Ireland

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Oró sé do bheatha abhaile – by Pádraig Mac Piarais is my nomination.

    Tá Grainne Mhaol ag tiocht ar sáíle
    Óglaigh armtha lei mar gharda
    Gaeil iad féin is na Gaill ná Spáinnigh
    Ag fógairt fáin ar Ghallaibh.

    That’s not nearly as blood curdling as La Marseillaise which, when sung by 60,000 French supporters in full voice in Stade du France, puts the Haka in the shade.

    There is an Isle is the closest song there is to a genuine and traditional rugby song in Ireland and should be considered. Ireland’s call is mediocre – so perhaps it’s apt that it be sung by a mediocre team. If they want the genuine article, they should ditch it and go for There Is an Isle or my suggestion.

    Of course the one proviso is the Irish rugby players will need to step up their game to merit the singing of something such as There is an Isle. It’s not a mediocre dirge.

    My other modest proposal is to recall the Irish rugby team, en masse, and replace them for next Sunday’s game against Argentina with the Kerry football team – even the Cork Lady Footballers – who would not disgrace us these overpaid big girls blouses have done over the past three weeks.

    Seriously, pay Eddie O’Sullivan off and get Declan Kidney in there sharpish.

  • Dolly

    The Gambler

    by Kenny Rodgers

  • Pounder

    After recent performances might I suggest Under Pressure by Freddie Mercury & David Bowie.

  • POL

    How about the national anthem.

  • agh@hot

    Naw, GSTQ would be too controversal.

  • Splurge

    A Nation Once Again is a great tune – all these other ones, from Danny Boy, There is an Isle, Ireland’s Call – too slow. How about we take the tune of ANOA and creat some new lyrics.

  • Redman

    Cannot have Under Pressure as (the) Queen is involved.

  • Pounder

    Harsh, Queen are one of the greatest bands to have ever existed.

  • There is an Isle was a Munstershire anthem long before the bandwagoneers started up with the miserable dirge that is Fields of Athenry. Can’t see how it’d work as an Ireland anthem though.

    What about Mise Eire? The traditional answer to this question.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Mix elements of ‘God Save the Queen’ with ‘The Soldiers Song’ and ye get ‘God Save Ireland’