Friday, March 10, 2006

Too much alcohol

Some sad, chinless wonder of a Fianna Fail TD, with no doubt one eye to Easter and to emphasising his Republican roots, was on the radio during the week wondering why Gary Doherty, Brian Kennedy and David Gray didn't know the words of the national anthem. This should be rammed down our kids throats at school was his general contention. There is just no respect for the anthem.

Even the C&W bands in Edenderry on a cold Wednesday night have stopped playing Peadar Kearney's ditty as a cheap way of clearing the pub. And it is a great pity, he argued, given that it is such an easy song to sing and a lovely, lovely air. Mr Chinless confessed to being a bit musical himself. A man who loves a good sing song. In an attempt to capture the "Proddie" vote, he even claimed that he regularly enjoys a good blast of "The Sash", another powerful tune.

This set me thinking. I don't as a rule sing the National Anthem. The temporary English supply teacher that I had in Scoil Muire didn't really have much command herself of the song, so we stuck with "Danny Boy" and "Greensleeves". I don't sing it, not because I object to 'Le gunna screech'-ing or anything. I'm just not a good singer. No that's not exactly true. I am a bad singer but also I don't really think that its sentiment does much for me. The odd line makes reference to overthrowing tyrants, but there is a little bit too much fighting for my liking. The tune is excellent, I'll grant you. But then so too is 'La Marseillaise' and 'Das Lied der Deutschen'.

I tend to stand to attention when our anthem is being played because I think it is important to respect those who have gone before even if you don't always agree with their actions. I take the opportunity of think about the events and times that the tune has been played. And it is quite humbling. I listen to the crowd, for once in harmony, and I think that for a brief moment all is well. Then I cringe at the thought of Ireland's Call. (Could we not have gotten Louis Walsh to write us a wee tune?). I understand the importance of national identity even it only because for many lonely years in England, that's all I had. I wonder how lonely are the overseas nationals, now resident in Ireland.

Looking back at my blogs, I see that I've now designed a new flag, proposed a new
constitution and renamed our country (Ire-land!). You'd never have guessed that I'm proud of the country, it's people and our history. I love how we don't always get it right, often shoot ourselves in the foot and desperately want to be loved by everyone.

AMHRAN NA BHFIANN Peadar Kearney (1907)
Sinne Fianna Fáil
Atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn,
Buíon dár slua
Thar toinn do ráinig chugainn
Faoi mhóid bheith saor,
Sean-tír ár sinsear feasta
Ní fhágfar faoin tíoran ná faoin tráill.
Anocht a théam sa bhearna baoil
Le gean ar Ghaeil chun báis nó saoil
Le gunna screech faoi lámhach na bpiléar,
Seo libh canaig amhrán na bhFiann.

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

(Of course, this is just the chorus, it is easy to google the entire song if required. Perhaps someone with the correct blas might give us the phonetic version also known as the Brian Kennedy version. )

Kilted Scotsmen are gathering in Dublin tonight and tomorrow they will regale us all with perhaps the most beautiful anthem known to man. It too is all about overthrowing the tyrant. Funny how far of struggles seem much more romantic. I know that many bloggers will be at Lansdowne Road and many more will be in the Alexander later. Let's hope that the Irish Blog Awards ends with a rousing song about throwing off the shackles of dial-up connections.

Bloggers are we,
Whose lives are pledge to blogosphere
Some have blogged
before they had broadband.
Many more were screwed
by Eircom and Mammy O'Rouke
But still we have our voice and so we're free
We love our land with a passion
Which is why we rant and rave so much
We want to improve, to become the best
So why don't you blog some too!


Blogger KnackeredKaz said...

I nominate you to sing that at the Blog Awards Paige! I know you can't make the awards themselves, but come along later on in the evening...take a bow!

9:54 p.m., March 10, 2006  
Blogger Laughman said...

By the time I finished reading this, I was standing to attention in front of the computer, hand over heart, with tears streaming down my face!

Too bad I was in an internet cafe.

10:39 p.m., March 10, 2006  
Blogger Red Mum said...

LOL very good, did someone say Paige was singing this to finish off the evening???

12:36 a.m., March 11, 2006  
Blogger Fence said...

Yeah, but technically Flower of Scotland isn't the Scottish anthem. They don't have an official one of their own, apart from the British one. But yes, it is the prettiest one of them all :)

5:54 p.m., March 11, 2006  
Blogger Omaniblog said...

I'll have to learn the national anthem again...

10:24 p.m., March 13, 2006  
Blogger EWI said...

Lord, not this self-flagellation over the national anthem again. Translation of the Marseilleise:

Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts

To arms citizens
Form your battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows

What do they want this horde of slaves
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
For whom these vile chains
These long-prepared irons?
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What methods must be taken?
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!

What! These foreign cohorts!
They would make laws in our courts!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our warrior sons
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brow would yield under the yoke
The vile despots would have themselves be
The masters of destiny

Tremble, tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will receive their just reward
Against you we are all soldiers
If they fall, our young heros
France will bear new ones
Ready to join the fight against you

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors
Bear or hold back your blows
Spare these sad victims
That they regret taking up arms against us
But not these bloody despots
These accomplices of Bouillé
All these tigers who pitilessly
Ripped out their mothers' wombs

We shall enter into the pit
When our elders will no longer be there
There we shall find their ashes
And the mark of their virtues
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them

Drive on sacred patriotism
Support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty
Join the struggle with your defenders
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your manly tone
So that in death your enemies
See your triumph and our glory!

The full text of God Save The Queen:

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.

O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save the Queen.

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen

Not in this land alone,
But be God's mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world o'er.

From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
God save the Queen!
O'er her thine arm extend,
For Britain's sake defend,
Our mother, prince, and friend,
God save the Queen!

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 Queen!

Any questions from the floor...? ;-)

1:13 a.m., March 14, 2006  
Blogger Paige A Harrison said...

Kaz, sorry I couldn't make it to blog awards. But you are probably as well of that I didn't sing!

Laughman - So you were that strange man in the internet cafe!

Redmum - as for Kaz, you don't want to hear me sing, I promise you.

Fence - I bow to your superrior knowledge of National Anthems, althoguh I do belive "Sctoland the Brave" is the Scottish national anthem.

EWI - Not sure where the self-flagellation concept was entered. But I am so impressed with your ability to use google.

THanks to all for the comments

9:47 a.m., March 14, 2006  

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