Talk:History of Ireland through Song

Latest comment: 13 years ago by Colm in topic Brief Irish History


I had an idea to create this project, and so I went ahead and started it. I know exactly (more or less) what I have in mind for it, but I'm open to suggestions, and anyone is welcome to add additional relevant songs. When I have time, I'm going to add several more, as well as details on the historical relevance of each song. The Jade Knight 02:29, 25 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English Rebel Songs, 1381 - 1914Edit

Worth checking out are the tracks on Chumbawamba's "English Rebel Songs, 1381-1914" (apparently it's 1381 - 1984 now, they've added something that wasn't on the CD I had). "The Cutty Wren" and "Smashing of the Van" spring to mind immediately, but I haven't listened to the cd in a while, there may be others. Good luck! (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Iscutwo (talkcontribs) )

Another idea would to be have a timeline tagged and linked to actual historic events and persons, that correlates to song topics. Also, I do not see a way to teach Irish history through song without also teaching English history. The two cultures are intimately entwined and you can not teach one without the other. I am all for the Gailec(spelling?) content as well. I am looking forward to developments within this wiki. 20:09, 11 December 2006 (UTC)Shane Parnell65.105.1.75 20:09, 11 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That could be a very interesting project - in fact, all of this could join up very nicely, showing Ireland's relationship with England, the United Kingdom, and the British empire, the "troubles" of Northern Ireland, and, of course, before the strategic settlement of Ireland began. As you say, this page can link to many others about personages and events of Ireland's history, and other strands of national history and folklore, including England's. There's much potential to really make this a rich and colourful way to explore history - possibly to make it seem more alive. Also, as you say, to make this a way for people to learn language, Gaelic or otherwise. Fascinating! Cormaggio talk 22:00, 11 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Should we turn this into "History of the British Isles through Song"? The Jade Knight 06:20, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Possibly - though we'll probably need to remain specific - Ireland's musical history is incredibly rich. So, I'm thinking that we could have an umbrella learning project (ie British Isles) that then incorporates resources by country (which will possibly themselves need further splitting). What say you? Cormaggio beep 10:53, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good idea. I wonder what anyone else thinks. The Jade Knight 03:34, 12 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


One way to ensure that songs are available under a free licence is to organise the recording of them yourself (ensuring, of course, that the songs themselves are non-copyright, and that all the people involved in recording the songs agree to these terms of use). Perhaps people in Topic:Audio Engineering would like to help out - I might do so myself if/when I get around to building up some equipment.. Cormaggio talk 22:00, 11 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This would work well for older songs. Alternatively, if we could get permission to use copyrighted works, they could be hosted off Wikiversity, but linked from here. In my case, I don't have enough musical talent to engage in such a task. The Jade Knight 06:18, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Copyright is certainly a problem - and I'm not even sure what "older songs" are free to be recorded and released under a free licence. (This alone would be a worthwhile project to undertake.) It might be worthwhile contacting the Irish Traditional Music archive for both the question of what we can record, and what copyrighted resources are available to us. I'll volunteer to do this, unless someone else has any objections/ideas. Cormaggio beep 10:53, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the US, a good rule of thumb is that anything over 100 years old is probably fair game. Otherwise, you'd have to find the exact date of publication, and compare that to copyright law… and I think it'd be great to have you do this. Thanks for volunteering! The Jade Knight 03:33, 12 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gaelic SongsEdit

Should there be an option to include songs in Gaelic (or even other languages) for ambitious students?

Response: I do think that there should be a seperate option for these languages. I know that I am very interested in the Gaelic language and was also interested in learning to speak it and write as well. -(The preceding unsigned comment was added by HLNolan (talkcontribs) )

I think it would be good to potentially include materials in other languages, particularly the languages of the British Isles. Thanks for your response, though; it's good to know that there's some interest in this. The Jade Knight 03:36, 12 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Brief Irish HistoryEdit

8000 B.C First humans arrive in Ireland most likely via a land bridge.

600 Christianity becomes dominant religion of Ireland.

800 First recorded Viking raid.

852 Viking settlement of Dublin founded.

1167 British begin to conquer parts of Eastern Ireland.

1348 Black Plague reaches Ireland. Because the Anglo-Normans lived mainly in towns, they were hit hardest causing the shrinking of Britain's power to an area known as "The Pale".

1532 Henry VIII breaks with the Vatican. While Wales and Scotland accepted Protestantism, Ireland remained Catholic causing the loss of royal respect for the Irish people.

1583 British establish complete control of Ireland.

1642 After a rebellion, Confederate Ireland is established; this home rule lasted only seven years.

1801 The Act of Union established the British Isles as a single entity; the United Kingdom.

1845 Irish Potato Famine; killed between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people.

1916 Irish war of Independence begins

1922 The Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed creating the Irish Free State. Also in this year, the Irish Civil War over whether to accept the treaty begins.

1937 New constitution enacted.

1949 Ireland officially leaves the Commonwealth of Nations.

1980's Birth of the "Celtic Tiger" (Ireland's economy, which is the strongest in Europe) (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Popalor (talkcontribs) )

Thanks for that! This will help give us a framework to put things into. The Jade Knight 08:15, 27 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are there are some additions and amendments I would suggest to this framework. Much of Irish music (and history) is set around politics and rebellion. As such it is worth adding in some significant dates. As a new contributor and given that this is off the top of my head, here I will add below rather than merge.

1690 Battle of the Boyne the final act in the civil war between James 2nd(?) who had been deposed from the English throne and William of Orange. This reverberates though Irish politics (and music) to this day.

1798 The rebellion of the United Irishmen - inspired in part by the French revolution. The theme of the French coming to the the aid of the Irish is a common theme in Gaelic poetry from this time and earlier.

1829 ? Catholic Emancipation. This was a very important event in history signaling the end of the Penal Laws and is credited to Daniel O'Connell.

1848 The Young Irelanders rising. Robert Emmet considered the leading figure in the Young Irelanders appears in many Irish songs about the period.

1850-1900 During the post famine period the decline of Gaelic language continued. It had been illegal to use the language under the Penal Laws, but now as immigration was the goal, English was much more useful. Very interesting is how the music travelled. As a kid in Ireland I always wondered where the song the "Lakes of Ponchatrain" was set.

1916 The Easter Rising.

1918-22 The War of Independence. The War of Independence really began in 1918 when the majority of elected MPs elected in the election of that year set up an alternative parliment in Ireland.

1922-23 The civil war.

1990 The Celtic Tiger began in the 90s ... I would say 93 or thereabouts. The late 1970s and the entire 1980s got progressively more grim. I would suggest songs from this period should include Christy Moore's "Ordinary Man", Paul Brady "Hard Station", The Boomtown Rats "Rat Trap".

Colm 17:35, 12 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Songs of Uncertain MeaningEdit

Anyone happen to know if Flogging Molly's "Rebels of the Sacred Heart" refers to a historical event? The Jade Knight 12:53, 18 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is in reference to this: I believe. From that I would extrapolate the song is a satire poking fun at religion "No ball or chain, no prison choky, we're the rebels of the sacred heart." Says to me: You don't have to lock us up, we are already imprisoned in our belief system. If it is a traditional Irish song it would have most likely been written during the time of the Irish Catholic Reformation or more likely it is about the time when christianity first found its way to ireland Probably too late of an answer, but it was interesting to look up.

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