God save The Queen (from offending Scots and Irish)…

THE British national anthem has been in the news again. Lord Goldsmith suggests it is not inclusive and should perhaps be changed. This – like the talk over a Welsh dragon in the Union flag – is to dissipate Scottish nationalism, although it appears the UK’s Scottish Prime Minister doesn’t mind the slur in the national anthem directed at his fellow countrymen (that bit about crushing rebellious Scots). Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, ex-rugby player Trevor Ringland has been criticising Irish rugby’s governing body for opposing the playing of God Save the Queen before Irish international matches played in Northern Ireland’s Ravenhill stadium. The former Irish international argues that the rules were changed to prevent the anthem being played in Belfast, and that since northern unionists have always stood for the Republic’s Soldier’s Song in Dublin, there should be a reciprocal goodwill gesture (or at least an agreed single anthem).

  • smcgiff

    Sticking a dragon in the middle of it would throw out the symmetry of the existing design.

    Besides, the rest of the flag is based on saints. Does St David have a representative flag?

  • smcgiff

    http://pvcbanners.co.uk/world-flags/allflags/gb-w-std.html

    Perhaps incorporate the black from St David’s flag. A black stripe could also represent a mourning for the eventual break up.

  • Quagmire

    Wake up and smell the coffee. The union is a dead duck. People in the UK from a unionist persuasion are only beginning to cop on to this now but its too late. Ye have had more time than enough in order to be inclusive, democratic and representative of all the peoples who live under that jurisdiction. You had your chance to do this in Ireland’s north-east but failed miserably and only have yourselves to blame for the advent of the IRA and the subsequent rise in popularity and prominence of Irish Republicanism-Nationalism in Ireland as a whole. Ye are the architects of your own demise.

  • Frank Sinistra

    My understanding was the anti-Scots verse hasn’t been used since C18th.

  • janeymac

    “They contend that for years they have had to come down to Dublin to watch Ireland play and be respectful to the “racist and highly offensive” Amhran na bhFiann, which they say lauds the slaying of Saxons.” quote from Irish Indo article.

    Always admired Ringland as both a rugby player and as a person – definately thought he was a lot better than “racist and highly offensive” Soldiers Song type comments (from Indo article).

  • Paul

    Who really cares about which anthem the English adopt?

  • nmc

    The word racist gets bandied about a bit too much these days. How can I be racist against a white christian as I too am one?

  • Oiliféar

    “Does St David have a representative flag?” Did St. Patrick? In any case, yes, St. David has a flag and, even more than “Patrick’s”, it too is a makey-upey to ape St. George.

    Back onto topic, Goldsmith is barking up the wrong tree on this one. The verse referring to crushing rebellious Scots was an anti-Jacobite add-on that appeared briefly in the mid-18th century. It never made it into the ‘final cut’.

    Ringland, on the other hand, has a point. Something has to be done about this in the interest of “parity”. Either scrap Amhrán na bhFiann or play God Save the Queen – or Londonderry Air. Southern supporters (or branches) have to grow up on this one. The reality is that neither Amhrán na bhFiann nor God Save the Queen represent the team playing the game.

    Any chance of an (all) Ireland anthem – if it’s agreed that Ireland’s Call is just too crap to consider – and (for the first time in history) a flag?

  • Ulster’s my homeland

    At least GSTQ doesn’t label all the Scots to be crushed, just the quarrelsome ones like those murdering, treasonous Jacobites.

  • Munner

    When the Irish team play outside the Republic of Ireland only Ireland’s Call is used as …. .

  • cut the bull

    The Welsh could be using their heads here put a dragon in the middle of the union flag and when it breaths hopefully it’ll set it on fire.Is that the plan?

  • Ulster’s my homeland

    “[i]Wake up and smell the coffee. The union is a dead duck. People in the UK from a unionist persuasion are only beginning to cop on to this now but its too late. Ye have had more time than enough in order to be inclusive, democratic and representative of all the peoples who live under that jurisdiction. You had your chance to do this in Ireland’s north-east but failed miserably and only have yourselves to blame for the advent of the IRA and the subsequent rise in popularity and prominence of Irish Republicanism-Nationalism in Ireland as a whole. Ye are the architects of your own demise.[/i]”

    Wise up Quagmire. The only reason there was a rise in popularity in Irish Republicanism-Nationalism was due to intimidation of those who were against it, both in the formation of the Irish republic and later in 1960’s N.Ireland. The Irish Republicanism-Nationalism movement preyed on the vulnerability of it’s own people at the outset, when all the men were off fighting in Europe for everyones freedom. Scavengers is all they are! Even when you managed to overpower those brave Irish men who stayed in Ireland, you didn’t receive the welcome you thought you would get on Dublin city. You so called liberators were pelted with rotten vegetables from your own Irish people in Dublin. It would take the Irish civil war and endless intimidation against those who were against the Irish Republicanism-Nationalism movement to finally bring about some form of government, although never democratic, more a dictatorship set-up to ethnically cleanse Protestantism.

    you must be so proud!

  • páid

    Gonzo puts out a thread about flags AND anthems.

    Slugger responses getting slack, I wonder?

  • Oiliféar

    Homeland – Not all Saxons – only the “tyrannical” ones. In any case, references to “Sons of the Gael” and “Men of the Pale” fighting together seems to have run right over your head. At least, you’ll be happy to know that the Irish-language version (invariably the version sung) makes no reference to the slaying of Saxons, but does make sure that Gaels and “Galls” are remain where they are, happily fighting side-by-side for each other’s mutual freedom.

  • cut the bull

    Maybe with a couple of changes to an old republican song there may be a new sporting anthem which suits every body in the rugby fraternity as there is an acceptance that there is and most probably always will be an all ireland team.

    ON THE ONE ROAD

    Chorus:
    We’re on the one road sharin’ the one load
    We’re on the road to God knows where
    We’re on the one road it may be the wrong road
    But we’re together now who cares
    North men south men comrades all
    Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Donegal
    We’re one road singing along, singing our Nations Song

    Though we’ve had our troubles now and then
    Now is the time to make them up again
    Sure aren’t we all Irish anyhow
    Now is the time to get together now

    Chorus

    Tinker, tailor, every mother son
    Butcher, baker standing side by side we’re Irelands number one
    Rich man, poor man, every man in line
    All together just like “Auld Lang Syne”

    Chorus

    Night is darkest just before the dawn
    From sporting achievement Ireland is reborn
    Come on all ye untied Irish men
    Now is the time to make a sporting nation once again

    Chorus

  • Dewi

    Already got a wonderful flag of our own thanks.

  • Star of the County Down

    Admire your efforts there, Cut the Bull, but I think its origins and a certain group of football fans’ bastardisation of it pretty much ruin its chances.

  • barneyben

    Ireland’s National Anthem consists of the AnB chorus only. So, inconveniently enough, the Saxon foe escapes without a mention. You’d think Trevor would have looked up the words before getting on his high horse. Maybe he’s one of those fellows who comes from beyond the waves.

    Chorus:
    Soldiers are we
    whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
    Some have come
    from a land beyond the wave.
    Sworn to be free,
    No more our ancient sire land
    Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
    Tonight we man the gap of danger
    In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal
    ‘Mid cannons’ roar and rifles peal,
    We’ll chant a soldier’s song.

  • Free Agent

    ‘Alternative Ulster’ by Stiff Little Fingers should of course be the played at Windsor and Ravenhill.

  • George

    Bit disappointed in Ringland swallowing the Saxon foe guff.

    As for giving up on our anthem, just because the good folk of Northern Ireland seem to have a serious mutual identity problem doesn’t mean the rest of us have to hide ours under a bushel.

    Rather than denying us our cultural reality, let those in Northern Ireland find an inclusive anthem and flag that represents all their citizens and we’ll play that too. They’ve already had 85 years, how much more time do they need.

    Or is Trevor still wheeling out the Northern Ireland is “Simply British” line in the vain hope that we will eventually swallow it.

  • Dec

    Whilst Ringland makes a fair point over parity, he doesn’t help his case by joining forces with the terminally ill-informed Lord Laird. Let’s clarify:

    The National Anthem and Amhran na Bhfiann aren’t one and the same. The National anthem consists of only the chorus of Amhran na Bhfiann and is sung in Irish. The only reference to ‘saxons’ occurs in the (translated) 3rd Verse of Amhran na Bhfiann and I seriously doubt there’s anyone left on the planet who has ever heard this verse sung in public. In short, they’ve got the wrong song.

    Ed Curran suffered from a similar confusion earlier in the year when he wrote this piece, complaining about hearing lyrics he hadn’t actually heard, though the more astute amongst you will note he doesn’t appear to highlight the unflattering bit about the Scottish* in his beloved GTSQ.

    * Though as a previous poster pointed out it wasn’t aimed at all Scots, just the nasty papist-loving kind.

  • Yukio

    Free Agent,

    perhaps Gotta Gettaway instead?

  • Democratic

    “As for giving up on our anthem, just because the good folk of Northern Ireland seem to have a serious mutual identity problem doesn’t mean the rest of us have to hide ours under a bushel.

    Rather than denying us our cultural reality, let those in Northern Ireland find an inclusive anthem and flag that represents all their citizens and we’ll play that too”

    Northern nationalists are already represented by the Soldiers’ Song George – they tell us this so often – why would they be represented twice? And expanding then why should Northern Unionists hide their identity under a bushel by not having GSTQ?

  • Reader

    Dec: Though as a previous poster pointed out it wasn’t aimed at all Scots, just the nasty papist-loving kind.
    Specifically, “rebellious Scots”
    And, as another poster pointed out, that verse isn’t in the National Anthem anyway.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Dec,

    “The National Anthem and Amhran na Bhfiann aren’t one and the same. The National anthem consists of only the chorus of Amhran na Bhfiann and is sung in Irish. The only reference to ‘saxons’ occurs in the (translated) 3rd Verse of Amhran na Bhfiann and I seriously doubt there’s anyone left on the planet who has ever heard this verse sung in public. In short, they’ve got the wrong song.”

    I’m afraid it’s you who’s wrong on this one…

    From the debate on the 1934 Appropriation Act, then Minister of Finance, McEntee:

    “That a sum not exceeding £1,200 be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1934, for the Acquisition by the State of Copyright in the National Anthem.
    This Estimate is introduced to give effect to an agreed settlement to copyright proceedings initiated in respect to the performance in theatres and elsewhere of the National Anthem, that is to say, the “Soldier’s Song.” As some Deputies may not be aware of the position in regard to the Anthem, I may say that the music of the “Soldier’s Song” was informally adopted by the then Government as the National Anthem for use within the State in May, 1924. On 12th July, 1926, the Executive Council formally ruled that the “Soldier’s Song” should be used as the National Anthem of An Saorstát for all purposes at home and abroad.”

    Seems the terminally ill-informed Lord Laird is actually better informed than yourself. Perhaps you owe Laird, Curran and Ringland an apology…

  • barneyben

    Congal,

    Ireland’s National Anthem consists of the AnaB chorus only. Doh!

  • George

    Democratic,
    we are talking about the anthems of the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland here, not the anthems of unionism and nationalism.

    Why? because there is no “unionist” or “nationalist” anthem. They simply don’t exist.

    It is for the people of Northern Ireland to finally find a “national” anthem that represents all their people, not to try stop us in the Irish Republic playing one that represent ours.

    I see no reason for us to tolerate their dysfunctional attitude towards anthems by acting in a dysfunctional manner ourselves.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi BarneyBen,

    I’m afraid not Barney. Double DoH! straight back at you.

    From Dáil Éireann – Volume 609 – 08 November, 2005

    Written Answers. – National Anthem.

    “Mr. F. McGrath Mr. F. McGrath

    323. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Finance when the national anthem composed by Peadar Kearney in 1907 will be reclaimed and the correct words (details supplied) will be inserted at all public and State occasions. [32906/05]

    Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen

    Mr. Cowen: My Department holds the copyright in the national anthem. The principal reasons for holding the copyright are to ensure that it is freely available, to prescribe that performance fees are not to be charged or collected in respect of the use of the national anthem, and to ensure that it is not used in an inappropriate context and without due deference, such as to render it an object of scorn or derision. I am satisfied that the current version of the national anthem is the appropriate and correct interpretation of the words as composed by Peadar Kearney.”

  • Dec

    Reader

    Clearly you don’t understand the concept of irony, let alone the point I was trying to make Re: Curran criticising Amhran na Bhfiann on the grounds of lyrics it doesn’t contain, yet praising GSTQ and neglecting to mention the uncomplimentary remarks about the Scots in it’s fourth verse.

    Specifically, “rebellious Scots”

    Should read: Generally, “rebellious Scots”, specifically Jacobites.

    CG

    Feeble attempt and no apology necessary. That the Irish Government purchased the copyright of A Soldiers Song over 70 years ago is irrelevant. The Irish National Anthem consists solely of the chorus of Amhran na Bhfiann. Let’s just remove my name from the plaque of clueless Unionists and add in your good self. Hold on, you’re already on there.

  • jaffa

    The Londonderry Air is already used as the anthemn for the Northern Ireland team in the Commonwealth Games. All we need is the right set of lyrics. There are plenty of words in hymns. These are pretty cloying but they might suit the chastened new NI. I think the top “for I’ll be Here” note falls on “humble”.

    We would be true, for there are those that trust us.
    We would be pure, for there are those that care.
    We would be strong, for there is much to suffer.
    We would be brave, for there is much to dare.
    We would be friend of all, the foe, the friendless.
    We would be giving, and forget the gift,
    We would be humble, for we know our weakness,
    We would look up, and laugh, and love and live.

  • George

    Congal,
    only the chorus constitutes the anthem of the Irish State.

    Sinne Fianna Fáil
    A tá fé gheall ag Éirinn,
    buion dár slua
    Thar toinn do ráinig chugainn,
    Fé mhóid bheith saor.
    Sean tír ár sinsir feasta
    Ní fhagfar fé’n tiorán ná fé’n tráil
    Anocht a théam sa bhearna bhaoil,
    Le gean ar Ghaeil chun báis nó saoil
    Le guna screach fé lámhach na bpiléar
    Seo libh canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann.

    Or in English:

    Soldiers are we
    whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
    Some have come
    from a land beyond the wave.
    Sworn to be free,
    No more our ancient sire land
    Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
    Tonight we man the gap of danger
    In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal
    ‘Mid cannons’ roar and rifles peal,
    We’ll chant a soldier’s song.

  • Democratic

    But George – GSTQ IS the national anthem of NI.
    Nationalists do not recognise NI as you know – It doesn’t matter what song they sing – Northern Nationalists will not have any of it – their anthem is the S.S. – which they say is an All-Ireland anthem – not saying I agree – but your argument is not with me it seems…..I think in your haste to have a dig you have tripped yourself up. My point remains why should Northern Nationalists be represented twice in anthem issues when they are perfectly happy with what you call the “Irish Republic” one. That only leaves the rest of us – and our anthem is GSTQ…

  • barneyben

    Conga,

    Not sure what your copywright fetish proves, other than the Irish Government hold it. Please read the last line below, slowly and carefully….doh doh!

    From today’s Department Of Foreign Affairs website:

    The National Anthem, called The Soldier’s Song was written in 1907 by Peadar Kearney, an uncle of Brendan Behan. It was first published in the newspaper, Irish Freedom in 1912, but was not widely known until it was sung at the GPO during the Easter Rising of 1916. The chorus was formally adopted as the National Anthem in 1926.

  • joeCanuck

    All national anthems are a bit of bunk as far as I’m concerned.
    But, it is the height of rudeness not to respect one when it is being played. In the case of sporting events you’re just respecting the opposing side, not anything more or less.
    As it stands, N.I. continues to be a part of the United Kingdom, and I suspect fewer nationalists would object to GSTQ being played that a lot of people assume.

  • Dec

    From the Horse’s mouth.

  • Dec

    As it stands, N.I. continues to be a part of the United Kingdom, and I suspect fewer nationalists would object to GSTQ being played that a lot of people assume.

    Joe

    It’s not really about us (for once :]). I really can’t foresee 13/14 Irishmen standing to attention to ‘their anthem’ at Ravenhill as GSTQ is played. That being said, the Irish National Anthem should not be played at Lansdowne either ( and don’t start me on that other dirge) and I hope the practice is stopped.

  • joeCanuck

    I know it’s difficult, Dec, but have to agree that it should be both or neither. Can’t have the cake and eat it yadda yadda..

  • George

    Democratic,
    “My point remains why should Northern Nationalists be represented twice in anthem issues when they are perfectly happy with what you call the “Irish Republic” one. That only leaves the rest of us – and our anthem is GSTQ…”

    Since when do you speak for those in Northern Ireland who aren’t unionist?

    Why should unionists be represented by an anthem that only represents them and not all the people of Northern Ireland?

    By that logic My Own Lovely Lee needs a rendition too.

    There are two jurisdictions (not cultures) so at most we need two anthems.

    What is so hard about finding an agreed anthem and flag for the people that live within the NI border?

    It is for the people of Northern Ireland to bring along an agreed anthem for Northern Ireland (their jurisdiction) not for us to get rid of ours.

  • jaffa

    I quite like the Soldier’s Song and if it’s kept to the chorus and a present tense sporting context it’s entirely appropriate for a current “mixed” Irish team about to face the All Blacks (manning the gap of danger etc..); but that said I cannot be doing with the rhyming of “Ireland” with “Sire Land”.

  • e82ph

    To me it says a lot about Unionist identity when they insists GSTQ is thier anthem.I guess it proves that there is no sush thing really as an Northern Irish/Ulster idnetity.

  • Democratic

    Nah George – your shifting the goalposts mate – and you know it too. Tell you what – I for one am amenable to an agreed NI anthem regardless of the fact it means me hiding my identiy under a bushel (an idea that caused you so much trouble it seems)- I’ll make a deal with you – you ask a cross section of NI nationalists about an suitable anthem for NI – the vast majority will tell you only an agreed All-Ireland one or the Soldiers’ Song will do. But since you think I am speaking for them out of place ask them yourself….

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Dec/George/Barney,

    Even between yourselves you can’t agree. Dec states…

    “The Irish National Anthem consists solely of the chorus of Amhran na Bhfiann”

    George seems to think it’s the chorus whether in English or Gaelic. Although somewhat ambiguously.

    And Barney thinks that based on the Foreign Affairs website…

    “The National Anthem, called The Soldier’s Song was written in 1907 by Peadar Kearney…The chorus was formally adopted as the National Anthem in 1926.”

    So that’s the English version then.

    So based on what you’ve said the National Anthem is either the chorus of the SS, the chorus of AnaB or both! Fekking brilliant! And George is the guy who reckons NI has to “agree” on a National Anthem to have it played at the Ireland rugby games. Seems we’ll have to scrap them all then as 3 nationalists can’t agree on their anthem never mind the whole of the RoI!

    I have shown you transcripts of the debates where the National Anthem is discussed. Only the SS is mentioned. Not AnaB. Show me where those decisions were overturned. It’s easy enough done as it’s all online.

  • iluvni

    I really can’t foresee 13/14 Irishmen standing to attention to ‘their anthem’ at Ravenhill as GSTQ is played…..

    Posted by Dec on Dec 04, 2007 @ 05:03 PM

    Are you saying that the 1 or perhaps 2 others arent ‘Irishmen’?

  • pfhl

    But George – GSTQ IS the national anthem of NI.
    Nationalists do not recognise NI as you know – It doesn’t matter what song they sing – Northern Nationalists will not have any of it – their anthem is the S.S. – which they say is an All-Ireland anthem – not saying I agree – but your argument is not with me it seems…..I think in your haste to have a dig you have tripped yourself up. My point remains why should Northern Nationalists be represented twice in anthem issues when they are perfectly happy with what you call the “Irish Republic” one. That only leaves the rest of us – and our anthem is GSTQ…

    Posted by Democratic on Dec 04, 2007 @ 04:53 PM

    Have you conducted a study of northern nationalists on this issue. Many have been happy to sign Danny Boy with there protestant neighbours down the years at boxing events. I would have no problem hearing Danny Boy or the green fields of France. You obviously know the my mindset as a northern nationalist better than me though. Any more of my demands you wish to fill me in on Democrat?

  • Oiliféar

    … so we’re agreed then! The Republic’s anthem (be it a Soldier’s Song or Amhrán na bhFiann) doesn’t suggest the slaying of Saxons, and God Save the Queen (or King as the case may be) doesn’t encourage the crushing of rebellious Scots. Happy days indeed.

  • IJP

    Oh for goodness sake! Nonsense, the lot of it!

  • overehere

    Dear God things must be slow over there when we are back on this one AGAIN surely we have enough of it during the Workld Cup.

  • audley

    In ROI, play an anthem agreeable to the vast majority of the people of ROI.
    In NI, play an anthem agreeable to the vast majority of the people of NI.

    Whatever that is, I couldn’t give a fuck. As long as it’s not the anthem of the UK, which is not represented at the match.

  • Democratic

    “Have you conducted a study of northern nationalists on this issue. Many have been happy to sign Danny Boy with there protestant neighbours down the years at boxing events. I would have no problem hearing Danny Boy or the green fields of France. You obviously know the my mindset as a northern nationalist better than me though. Any more of my demands you wish to fill me in on Democrat?”
    Yeah I’m fine with that too pal – where NI is concerned – you are taking me up wrong – I’ll sing Danny Boy with you anytime to represent NI.
    The problem arises when an all-Ireland angle is brought up that some people think it is acceptable for Nationalists to be represented twice – once by the Soldiers’ Song and again in a neutral NI specific anthem. My suspicious mind tells me that all this lateral thinking about juristictions and whatever is just a callous way of removing any representation of my British identity from the equation. The point of one team is to represent all the peoples’ identities equally – not fully one side and a heavily watered down version for the other. Sorry if I refuse to look at it the way you want me to – but that is the ultimate reality of the situation.
    As for speaking for Nationalists – since it is offending I won’t do it again – I still would be interested to see how right I am though if their was a survey. I may even be tempted to wager.

  • Democratic

    “To me it says a lot about Unionist identity when they insists GSTQ is thier anthem.I guess it proves that there is no sush thing really as an Northern Irish/Ulster idnetity.”

    Yeah it says they are Unionist – that’s all!

  • Oiliféar

    Democratic, what you’re describing is a Catch-22. Try and work this out logically.

    * Possibility 1: All-Ireland anthem (unacceptable because it’s “what nationalists want”?)

    * Possibility 2: RoI anthem, UK anthem (unacceptable because it’s “what unionists want”?)

    * Possibility 3: RoI anthem, agreed NI anthem (unacceptable because “nationalists are represented twice”?)

    * Possibility 4: RoI anthem, no UK/NI anthem (unacceptable because it “lacks parity”?)

    * For fullness – Possibility 5/6: no ROI anthem, UK/NI anthem (assume unacceptable because it “lacks parity” too?)

    Which leaves us with …

    * Possibility 7: No anthems …

    Honestly, I think you are being too harsh on the “it what Nationalists want” arguments. An agreed all-Ireland or Northern Ireland anthem would surely be inclusive by necessity?

  • The Dubliner

    It nicely illustrates why an all-Ireland is an unworkable substitute for a united Ireland: the problem of two competing nationalisms linked to two separate and independent sovereign states is not resolved by the dismal expedient of pretending it doesn’t exist.

    Nations invest in sports to promote their own national interests. That is why teams play at the Olympic Games under the banner of nations and not as individuals. The flag and anthem of the national team in sport is the flag and anthem of the nation – it represents the nation and not the players, and it is the nation’s choice, not the players. That is why, for example, Sven-Göran Eriksson did not demand that the Swedish anthem was played alongside GSTQ despite being a Swedish manager of the English national football team. It is only in NI that politics (as distinct from nationalism) enters sport, due to NI’s aforementioned dysfunction.

    George is absolutely spot-on: we should not import NI’s dysfunctional behaviour into the Republic or pander to or appease it in any way, treating the pathology as though it was normal well-adjusted behaviour. There is an ulterior agenda to undermine Irish nationalism by conflating ‘parity of esteem’ with ‘parity of nationalism.’ In short, it is proffered that unionists and nationalists in NI agreeing to have equal civil and political rights should also translate as equality between nationalisms on both sides of the border, completely negating the concept of national self-determination and the nation state. Failing in their attempts to oppose the right of the Irish people to a nation state, they now seek an alternative of ‘sharing’ Ireland with the Irish as equal partners and owners despite being an irrelevant minority in the grand democratic design who are now far outnumbered by other minorities in the New Ireland.

    This is why Lord Lard will inject politics into sport by saying: “I call for sanity by taking politics out of rugby by giving the two states on the island of Ireland equal status as agreed in the Belfast Agreement.” That’s the actual agenda here. It isn’t surprising that certain ‘republicans’ would play along with the idea of unifying the island under Her Majesty’s de facto dominion, completely missing the point of self-determination since they signed away their own right to it when they grandiosely renamed the Unionist Veto as the ‘Principle of Consent’ in the GFA.

  • Oiliféar

    George and Dubliner, this is our (southerners) dysfunction too. The Republic of Ireland does not have a rugby team. If you want an all-Ireland rugby team (accepting that a united Ireland is a long way off) then we are dysfunctional too for exactly the reasons you state. If Northern Ireland cannot agree on a song then “we” cannot agree on a song. If two songs are played before a game in one jurisdiction, but not in another, then that is, by definition, dysfunctional. We are dysfunctional. Learn to live with that fact.

  • IWB

    Trevor Ringland is right on the money here – the Irish Rugby team is an all-Ireland team from both of Ireland’s traditions and it should respect the National Anthem of both parts of Ireland – whether it’s Amhrann na bhFiann in Dublin or God Save the Queen in Belfast.

    The Agreement promised equality of respect for the two traditions, and this is a prime example of why many unionists are suspicious that the Unionist/British tradition can be equally respected in the all-Ireland context.

    Given that unionist supporters of the Irish rugby team have stood for many years for Amhrann na bhFiann at Lansdowne Road, it was the least they should expect in return for their anthem to be respected at Ravenhill

    – instead the current position of the IRFU writes off Ravenhill as “just another foreign rugby ground” which is ridiculous.

  • Democratic

    Hi Olifear,
    I fully understand that what I described is a catch 22 – I hope that my previous postings had pointed out that I am not necessarily digging my heels in as it were – I am merely pointing out the inherent hypocrisy in some of postings here regarding the nature of mutual respect for our respective identities and it’s application.
    To be honest my problem is more with the attitutes of some of our Southern cousins on this one. Dubliner’s recent contribution though beautifully written does not fill me with any optimism for the future either I must say.

  • If my expererience in Buenos Aires is anything to go by there’s a lot of foreigners who think “Ireland’s Call” * is* the national anthem

  • abucs

    I think Trevor Ringland makes a decent point.

  • ND

    Sheesh again and again and again.

    How about instead of a song we start something new with lambegs (for you lot), bodhrans (us lot) and a big bunch of travellers (the other lot) in a feast of fisticuffs for a purse of a conemara pony while the kiwis do the haka but nobody notices as the crowd demand blood?

    We could gradually build it up with acts of machismo added as necessary, perhaps a few gaa lads with hurls bateing at the lads who throw the pole at the front of an Orange walk using the pole to hold them off.

    It’d be great, honest would you even care for the game after that?

    Irelands Call is maybe not the best, but it’s yours and mine and with that said the IRB can drop both anthems.

  • joeCanuck

    We need to be totally inclusive, ND.
    What exactly is your objection to dwarf tossing?

  • Theo Logical

    The words are:

    “Our camp fires now are burning low;
    See in the east a silv’ry glow,
    Out yonder waits the Saxon foe,
    So chant a soldier’s song.”

    I wouldn’t consider this to be racist. I think Peader Kearney uses the word “foe” here in the sense of an “opposing team”.

  • No need to change the words,just change the status of GSTQ.Make it the Royal anthem and then England, Scotland,Wales,and NI could each have their own national anthems.

  • Harry Flashman

    *Maybe with a couple of changes to an old republican song*

    It’s interesting that you describe On the One Road as Republican, I always took it to be one of the few examples of a specifically “Free State” song.

    The lyrics appear to me to be telling the defeated Republicans to forget all that silly little unpleasantness of the Civil War, put it all behind us and work together with the new 26 county administration to build a happier Ireland.

    I trust I will be corrected if I got this wrong.

  • Cahal

    Harry

    “North men, South men, comrades all
    Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Donegal
    We’re on the one road swinging along
    Singing a soldier’s song”

    “Soon we’ll all be United Irishmen
    Make our land a Nation Once Again”

    Seems pretty republican to me.

  • Harry Flashman

    *Seems pretty republican to me.*

    Well vaguely united Irish nationalist certainly but like I said I understood the origins of the song to have come from the Free Staters after the Civil War, hence;

    “Though we’ve had our troubles now and then
    Now is the time to make them up again
    Sure aren’t we all Irish anyhow
    Now is the time to get together now.”

    Like I said I may have picked that up wrong but if my memory serves me correctly I heard this theory from a Republican I knew who always dismissed the song as “Free State shite” and pointedly refused to sing it on the bus going to football matches.

  • Of course there is always the Sex Pistols version of God Save the Queen!

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Irishmen claiming the anthem of an English monarch as their own is absurd, IMO!

    Although the melodic and lyrical merits of the Soldiers Song maybe disputable, but is it the line about the ‘Saxon foe’ that offends Unionists, or the notion of an independant Ireland having it’s own anthem?

    ‘See in the east a silv’ry glow
    Out yonder waits the Saxon foe
    So chant a soldier’s song’

    The poor old Jocks!…

    Lord grant that Marshal Wade
    May by thy mighty aid
    Victory bring
    May he sedition hush
    And like a torrent rush
    Rebellious Scots to crush
    God save the King

    …Unionists sing it out loud of course, as there is only one type of Scotsman too, the ‘loyal’ type!

  • willowfield

    Greagor

    Schoolboy error: the possessive “its” doesn’t take an apostrophe.

  • Theo Logical
    Shouldn’t the word Saxon be replaced by Cambro-Scoto-Norman to be more exact?

  • Reader

    Gréagóir O’ Frainclín: …Unionists sing it out loud of course, as there is only one type of Scotsman too, the ‘loyal’ type!
    When and where did you ever hear that verse sung?

  • Oiliféar

    Theo Logical, so we could replace the phrase “Saxon foe” on a case-by-case basis depending on who we play?

    “Our camp fires now are burning low;
    See in the east a silv’ry glow,
    Out yonder waits the [replace as necessary] foe,
    So chant a soldier’s song.”

    All we got to do is insert Saxon/Scottish/Cumbric/Gallic/Italic/Ozzie/Kiwi/Boerish/etc. in the relevant part. Hmmm … catchy.

  • Juan Kerr

    Howdy Y’all

    I’m back after a work-related absence from the site of about 4 weeks. Another fascinating topic about flags and anthems…(yaaawn).

    By the way I’m STILL waiting for UEFA to pass their famous ‘ruling’ that claims their statutes carry more weight than international laws and treaties signed and ratified by sovereign countries, re NI-born players not being able to play for ROI. (Sorry I know it’s off topic but just had to throw that in there).

  • willowfield

    Zzzzzzzz

    The Belfast Agreement has no jurisdiction over FIFA.

  • barneyben

    Olifear,

    Why exert yourself finding an alternative to ‘Saxon foe’ when it does not feature in the national anthem?

  • Juan Kerr

    zzzzz…and FIFA has no jurisdiction over anybody’s right to represent their own country once they qualify as a citizen and arguing from now until the end of time that they do will not change reality…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

  • willowfield

    Um, yes FIFA does. FIFA is the governing body for football and makes the rules!

    You’re just being stupid.

  • Former Ireland supporter

    It is not going to far to say this is insulting to the British players and supporters of the Ireland team. Their reluctance to mix sport and politics has been taken advantage of. It left the field clear for some in the IRFU who were clearly less pure in their motives and so we’ve ended up in the embarrassing state of affairs over anthems we have today – in 2007, for Pete’s sake!

    The lyrics of the anthems are neither here nor there, to be honest – the point is, the Soldier Song is the anthem of the Republic only and not Northern Ireland. The IRFU presides over a joint Irish and British team, not just a Republic of Ireland one. Either play both anthems and fly both flags or have none at all.

    The GFA set out once and for all that British identity in Ireland is a birthright for those who claim it and as valid as Irish identity. The interesting (and worrying) thing about all this for me is that many quite mainstream Irish nationalists appear still to be in denial over this central and rather obvious truth. The rugby anthems issue is important because it reveals the need for us to remember what was agreed and remember to respect each other, not lord it over each other.

  • Juan Kerr

    Willowfield, you’re as much in denial now as you were a month ago. Not that that’s too surprising.

    Tell you what:If you’re so confident in your argument, how about if by the end of next year, NI born players are ineligible to play for NI, you forward me your bank account details and I’ll lodge 100 pounds sterling in there.As a matter of fact, I’ll make it easy on you. Give it 5 years. Actually, what the hell. Make it 10.

    Anyway back on topic – Could NI at least profer a different anthem for when the Irish Team plays there, considering the Scottish and Welsh Rugby Teams have a separate national anthem, as do their football teams? Oh no, wait a second…that would be construed as ‘surrender’ I suppose…

  • Juan Kerr

    Whoops! That sghould be ‘ineligible to play for ROI…obviously. My Apols.

    Happy Xmas everyone!!!

  • Democratic

    “Anyway back on topic – Could NI at least profer a different anthem for when the Irish Team plays there, considering the Scottish and Welsh Rugby Teams have a separate national anthem, as do their football teams? Oh no, wait a second…that would be construed as ‘surrender’ I suppose…”
    What would you have in mind Juan – something that has no association or mention of British identity I don’t doubt…….

  • Dec

    something that has no association or mention of British identity I don’t doubt

    Yes, like ‘Flower of Scotland’ or ‘Land of my Fathers’? Or can you not get up in the morning without your citizenship being referred to in some context first?

  • willowfield

    Juan Kerr

    Willowfield, you’re as much in denial now as you were a month ago.

    Correct – because I wasn’t at all “in denial” a month ago and continue not to be “in denial”.

    Tell you what:If you’re so confident in your argument, how about if by the end of next year, NI born players are ineligible to play for NI, you forward me your bank account details and I’ll lodge 100 pounds sterling in there.As a matter of fact, I’ll make it easy on you. Give it 5 years. Actually, what the hell. Make it 10.

    It is not an “argument”, but two statements of fact that (a) FIFA is not bound by the Belfast Agreement; and (b) FIFA makes its own rules. Whether FIFA retains its rules by which NI players are eligible for ROI, or changes them in order to stop NI players being eligible for the ROI, it will not alter either of these facts. So your point is a red herring.

    Anyway back on topic – Could NI at least profer a different anthem for when the Irish Team plays there, considering the Scottish and Welsh Rugby Teams have a separate national anthem, as do their football teams?

    It would be better if they just used Ireland’s Call and a neutral flag in both jurisdictions. But, failing that, your suggestion is valid.

  • Democratic

    Thought as much Dec…….

  • Democratic

    “Or can you not get up in the morning without your citizenship being referred to in some context first?” I refer you to most of the nationalist comments on this thread Dec – if you have some sense of irony….

  • RepublicanStones

    the reason many unionists have a problem with
    Amhráin na bhFiann, is not because it is sectarian, or bigoted, because GSTQ outdoes it in that respect. it is because they see the tune and indeed the flag as being IRA symbols of resistance, and as such they are both soiled in the eyes of unionism. so they tar the whole idea of Amhráin na bhFiann and the tricolour with the ‘evil republicans’ brush they so willingy use on many examples of irish identity. what they fail to recognise is the the atrocities carried out by the IRA, were not carried out by the whole irish nation, or elected government. So therefore to view Amhráin na bhFiann and the tricolour as such is being childish. by contrast, those whose oppose the playing of GSTQ and the flying of the union jack, do so with the historical fact that many, many more atrocities were carried out by Britain and its government under the union jack and anthem of GSTQ here in Ireland and elsewhere, and because of this, those who oppose the playing of GSTQ and the flying of the union jack are a little more justified.

  • ec

    I refer you to most of the nationalist comments on this thread Dec – if you have some sense of irony….

    Democratic

    The key word is ‘most’ here, I believe. Since you’re addressing me, it might have been more suitable to concentrate on my comments, especially the one that referred to Ringland making a fair point (despite the muddling of it by incorrect assertions). In previous threads I’ve supported the dropping of the Irish National Anthem at Irish Rugby matches. However why let the facts get in the way of a good MOPE…

  • Democratic

    ec – I sorry you think I am moping – from my point of view I merely want equality of representation – or complete impartiality on flags and anthem issues – I am happy to have it for Northern Ireland as I have said – I see absolutely no reason why any All-Ireland team/body cannot do the same. It appears that you share my ideal and I respect you for it – for others majority rule seems to apply when expedient.

  • barnshee

    “it is because they see the tune and indeed the flag as being IRA symbols of resistance, and as such they are both soiled in the eyes of unionism. so they tar the whole idea of Amhráin na bhFiann and the tricolour with the ‘evil republicans’ brush they so willingy use on many examples of irish identity. what they fail to recognise is the the atrocities carried out by the IRA, were not carried out by the whole irish nation, or elected government.”

    Piss off —there was nary a squeek when the “gallant volunters” of the repupublic murder gangs were wrapping themselves in then tricolour and promoting A na bf.

    The republic (government included ) armed and gave active support to am murder gangs until embarassed by PIRA actions like Enniskillen Tebane Warrington etc

    Stick you flag and anthem where the sun don`t shine.

    The poor showing of Ulster in terms of Irish team places make this a non issue. If we ever return to the days of 6/7/8 ulster prods on the Irish team then the issue may arise again. In these circumstances I would hope they would rerun the Ravenhill circus of the 50`s but this time the prods should refuse to take the field if A na bf is played

  • Niall

    “The republic (government included ) armed and gave active support to am murder gangs until embarassed by PIRA actions like Enniskillen Tebane Warrington etc”

    Any proof of this, Barnshee? The IRA only ever had a tiny amount of support from people in the Republic, like they only ever had less than a third of nationalists in NI supporting them.

    If you’re referring to the arms trial as proof of ROI govt support, both Ministers involved were sacked at the time. Sinn Fein were banned from appearing on national TV and radio by successive governments during the Troubles.

    The actions of the IRA were always loathed by the majority of people in the ROI, as election results have consistently shown. Still, nothing like facts to get in the way of unionist propaganda.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Piss off’

    ‘Stick you flag and anthem where the sun don`t shine.’ – barnshee

    is this what passes for counter-argument?

  • cut the bull

    Harry,

    “Though we’ve had our troubles now and then
    Now is the time to make them up again
    Sure aren’t we all Irish anyhow
    Now is the time to get together now.”

    Harry you could be right, but Iwould contend that this song referrs to the usual splits that have continually defeated Republicanism and is aimed at those who stood on the Free State side during the civil war.

  • Harry Flashman

    Maybe so, Cut the Bull, but I did recall my Republican friend’s genuine dislike of the song so I gathered that he knew the specific origins of the song.

    It certainly doesn’t read like a traditional Republican song, no reference to fighting for freedom or the enemy, indeed actually no mention whatsoever of fighting at all which is after all the mainstay of most other Republican songs.

    Instead of fighting the song consists mainly of appeals to work together, forget the past, look to the future all that sort of stuff, which makes it sound like a Fine Gael manifesto set to music and leads me to believe that the song is indeed the “Free State” anthem that my did hard friend so despised.

    Does anyone actually have hard information of the true origins of the song?

  • Democcratic

    This is pathetic – now Unionists are beign called childish for not having any affinity for the tricolour – whereas Nationalists…..FFS!!!
    At the end of the day – ignoring the highly dubious allegations of “childishness” or “Unionist
    propaganda” (ha!) as irrelevant anyway – the fact remains – you will not find anyone from a Unionist background in Northern Ireland who will feel in anyway represented by the Soldier’s Song or the tricolour – and yes – you can thank militant republicanism for most of that!Nationalist feelings on this matter are of no bearing….and please don’t patronise with the honourable intentions of the green, white and orange, it changes absolutely nothing.

  • RepublicanStones

    there are two sides to that coin Democratic, as i have pointed out. you must accept that to many irish both north and south, GSTQ and the union jack engender a far greater unease and even disgust, than Amhráin na bhFiann and the tricolour ever could.

  • Democratic

    I accept it totally Republicanstones – hence my whole argument….

  • Democratic

    Of course though it changes nothing – you have your dearly held flag & anthem and I have mine – play both or neither – that is the ultimate reality of the situation for me I’m afraid.